Kevin Hart, the 37-year old is without a doubt, one of the funniest men in Hollywood today. The Philadelphia-born star was raised by his mother and started working as a comedian shortly after graduating from high school. In 2006, the budding star released his first stand-up album, I’m A Grown Little Man. Climbing the stairs of success pretty fast, Hart’s 2011 tour, Laugh at My Plan, grossed $15 million and brought him under the limelight.
Kevin Hart comedy has been widely adored all over the world. Drawing his inspiration from real life and tough times, Hart’s sense of humor has been appreciated, being labeled ‘sharp and engaging’ by the New York Times. And his comedy has been called ‘candid’ and something that at least ‘most of the family can enjoy’.
But the real question is, how does someone with simply a good sense of humor, become such a big deal in Hollywood and beyond? Let’s have a look at how Kevin Hart become a sensation that landed on the number 6th top-earning comedian spot on Forbes, among other such achievements.
He quit his job at the right time
At the age of 18, Hart had a very successful job as a shoe salesman. His big break was right around the corner with a career-altering job opportunity at the shoe-giant, Nike. But Hart, realizing that the time was right, decided to go down a completely different road. He intended to pursue his actual passion, comedy. Taking a risk at a point in time where he was well settled, requires a lot of guts. But he went for it and the rest is history.
He took maximum advantage of social media
His sense of style and his optimal usage of social media enabled him to remain connected to his fans. He actively converses with his followers on YouTube and does not let others take care of his social media accounts. He believes in the idea of making the fans a part of his journey by maintaining direct contact with them.
Kevin Hart does not let fame get to his head
Even though Hart has achieved great heights of success already, he is a very humble and grounded individual. His self-deprecating humor, such as poking fun at his height, and his failure at wooing attractive women, have all kept his audience laughing, and made him a very relatable comedian. He comes across as a regular guy with a hilarious set of jokes under his belt, rather than as someone who is egotistical and very proud of his celebrity status.
He never gave up on his dream
Even though it sounds like a cliché, it is nevertheless true in Hart’s case. It has been more than 15 years that he has been involved in the business of making people laugh, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that he actually started reaping the benefits of all his hard work. And he has had his fair share of disappointments and let downs during his career; Soul Plane and Fool’s Gold to name just two. In addition to that, for several years, he couldn’t even afford the auditions. But at no point in time, did the budding star give up on his dream. He built himself from the bottom up, with nothing but commitment and passion. His perseverance was so strong that at one point, he was actually doing seven shows a weekend at various low-key venues and college campuses. His work ethic and tireless efforts are what have kept him at the top of his game in all these years.
He consistently developed and innovated his acts
Comedians more than others need to be on their toes all the time. Rehashed and old jokes can only be digested by the fans for so long. If comedians aren’t innovative, they lose their fans rather quickly. Even when Kevin Hart reached the peak of his career and was at the absolute top of his game, he never stopped bringing in fresh ideas. He understood the importance of keeping the audience engaged. Initially, when he had just begun, he would often play safe and stick to standard jokes. He explains how most of his performances were based on the same old rhetoric – “white people do this and black people do that”. But he has come a long way from those early and quite basic days. More than a decade later, his work is now considered among the most creative and fresh comedy acts in the world.
He learned from other successful stars
More often than not, you will find people in the entertainment business that are too proud to ask anyone for advice or help. Even though there is an opportunity for learning from other, more experienced celebrities, a lot of the stars in Hollywood choose not to learn from others. But Kevin Hart was smart about it. He learned from whoever he could and did his best to make the most of it. He believes it is always a good idea to listen to those who have walked the walk. For instance, Kevin Hart took Chris Rock’s advice of always backing up your own brand no matter what and sticking to what you know best. As a result of this valuable advice, Kevin never joined group tours. He kept his focus entirely on developing and showcasing his own stand-up comedy act. While it made his road to success slightly longer and harder, it certainly paid off at the end.
He kept it real by using real life experiences in his comedy
There is no hiding the fact that the superstar has seen some pretty tough times in the past. A painful divorce and a father battling addiction are not the ideal circumstances for anyone. And he wasn’t even an instant success either. In fact, the star has also had to experience being booed off stage or have stuff thrown at him during a performance because the audience was not satisfied. But he never let these experiences get the best of him. He always rose above it all and came out stronger and better. He never let these experiences slow him down or negatively affect him. In fact, he did quite the opposite. He used them in his work, which is a very smart move on his part, turning his hardships into good comedy.
Kevin Hart’s success story has been nothing short of an inspiration for others in the industry. He strongly believes that, “people may hate you for being different and not living by societies’ standards, but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same”. Such perseverance, commitment and passion are what made Kevin Hart the man he is today – the Little Master of comedy.