In the modern world, very few standup comedians and actors match Kevin Hart’s success. He has established himself as one of the wittiest, seriously funny, and knowledgeable entertainers, making him one of the sought-after. His journey hasn’t been straightforward, though; from being offstage to being mocked for his height and upbringing, he has seen it all. Here are some interesting Kevin Hart facts to help you learn more about him.
1. Kevin Hart Was Once at Loggerheads with the LGBTQ Community
In 2010 and 2011, Kevin Hart made homophobic tweets, which did not go down well with the LGBTQ community. So, when it was announced that the actor would emcee at the 2019 Academy Awards, there was a huge uproar, especially from the community. Kevin Hart apologized and considered withdrawing from hosting the event.
Several days later, Kevin Hart asked if he could reverse his decision and host the awards ceremony. Again, the LGBTQ community was up in arms, stating Kevin Hart’s apologies were insincere. The year’s Academy Awards ended up with no host.
2. He Owns a Vegan Restaurant
Inspired by his “health nut” lifestyle, Kevin Hart debuted a vegan restaurant in August 2022. Located in Los Angeles, California, the joint offers flavorful plant-based food; it intends to compete with the other popular fast-food outlets. The restaurant claims to provide food free from artificial colors, trans fats, hormones, antibiotics, and entirely cholesterol-free.
3. Kevin Hart’s First Stage Name Was Lil Kev the Bastard
Earlier in his career, Kevin Hart used the stage name “Lil Kev The Bastard,” which gave him little success. As a standup comedian, he was booed offstage multiple times. It was so bad that someone threw a piece of chicken at him while he was performing.
4. Kevin Hart Considered Being a Stripper
When Kevin Hart sat down with Goalcast crew to talk about the struggle and why it’s okay to go through phases in life, he admitted that he, at one point, considered being a stripper. He stated that he was in college and did not have money. His girlfriend proposed that he start dancing; they went as far as thinking about a routine, what to do, and outfits. The plans fell through after his brother caught him practicing in his room.
5. He Found His Comedy Breakthrough by Talking About His Insecurities
Kevin Hart put his rough start behind him when he changed his stage name and quit imitating other comedians like Chris Tucker. Instead, he focused on talking about his insecurities and life experiences. His standup comedy breakthrough came in 2009 when he performed I’m a Grown Little Man. Other subsequent hits include Seriously Funny (2010), Laugh at My Pain (2011), and Let Me Explain (2013).
6. Kevin Hart Once Tried His Hand in Music
While most people recognize Kevin Hart as an actor and standup comedian, the icon tried his hand at music earlier in his career. Under his alias Chocolate Droppa, he signed to Motown Records, releasing music singles such as “Baller Alert” featuring Migos & T.I. and “Push It on Me” featuring Trey Songz.
7. He Is an Avid Poker Player
One of Kevin Hart’s major hobbies is playing poker. Since 2010, the actor and comedian has entered several competitions, cashing in $4,783 at an event in 2014. He is also famous for playing cash games organized by PokerStars, an online poker cardroom; he has been their ambassador since 2017.
8. Kevin Hart Has Massive Film and Television Shows Success
While Kevin Hart’s standup comedy career suffered several setbacks before taking off, his success in film and television came earlier. His first role was a guest appearance in Undeclared, a 2002 sitcom; he was also featured in Paper Soldiers in the same year. Today, he is famous for Ride Along, where he starred opposite Ice Cube, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Fatherhood, and Central Intelligence.
9. Kevin Hart Loves Watches
Kevin Hart’s love for watches is so over the top that he used the majority of his first major Hollywood paycheck to purchase a fancy watch. He stated that he thought the accessory would boost his image. When asked if he is addicted to watches, Kevin Hart said he would rather call it a “hobby.” He has dropped major cash on his watch collection since.
10. He Has Suffered Multiple Physical Injuries to Date
In 2019, Kevin Hart suffered significant back injuries as he boarded the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that veered off the Mulholland Highway. After recuperating and eventually healing, he again tore his lower abductors on his abdomen after racing against Stevan Ridley, a former National Football League star.
11. He Once Refused A Movie Role Because the Character Was Gay
In 2008, Kevin Hart refused a role in Tropic Thunder, a satirical action comedy, because the character was gay. He cited his own “insecurities” as the sole reason for turning down the opportunity.
12. Kevin Hart Is Afraid of Insects
Even though Kevin Hart constantly interacts with insects in his film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, he is deathly afraid of them. At one point during filming, his co-star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, threw a fake poisonous scorpion at him, further alleviating his anxiety.
13. He Was Born Kevin Darnell Hart
Born in Philadelphia on July 6, 1979, Kevin Hart is the son of Nancy and Henry Hart. He was born Kevin Darnell Hart and grew up mainly under his mother’s care. His father had a cocaine addiction and was in and out of prison, affecting his relationship with him. The two later developed an understanding relationship as Kevin Hart’s father reformed.
14. Kevin Hart Dreamt of Being an NBA Player
Even though Kevin Hart is very successful and has little financial regrets, he has constantly admitted that he wanted to be an NBA player growing up. In pursuit of his dreams, he once found himself in the same basketball camp as Kobe Bryant (considered one of the best at the sport).
While Kobe Bryant used his left hand to dominate everyone present, Kevin Hart’s impression was the exact opposite; he was being dominated, and his short stature didn’t help. The comedian has appeared at several NBA All-Star Celebrity games, winning four straight MVP awards in the process.
15. He Once Was a Shoe Salesman
In an interview with Kevin Hart on the Howard Stern Show, the comedian stated that he worked as a shoe salesman, insisting he was particularly good at it. However, as he grew, he had a dilemma of whether to continue with the job or pursue his passion for comedy; he chose the latter.
16. Kevin Hart Is One of the Highest Paid Standup Comedians
Being booed offstage and having a piece of chicken thrown at him didn’t deter Kevin Hart’s ambitions of becoming a great standup comedian. Through persistence and hard work, he pulled crowds that filled up stadiums and became one of the highest earners. For instance, his Let Me Explain tour sold over 600,000 tickets, raking up about $35 million. Today, he is among the highest-paid standup comedians with the ability to pull crowds wherever he goes.