For a comedian who never fails to joke about his stature, Hart is certainly not falling short professionally. Kevin Hart is taking his comedy to new heights. In an industry with more pitfalls than opportunities, Hart is creating a formula that is not only working for him but keeping him working. He is growing as an artist and a businessman while keeping the personal side of the man behind the laughs in perspective.
As an artist, Hart’s filmography since 2001 counts 61 credits as an actor. If to those credits one adds where he was a producer, writer, host, or contributed to a soundtrack the credit count can go up to 185. In the year 2014 alone Hart starred in Think Like a Man Too, About Last Night, Ride Along, Real Husbands of Hollywood, and Keep it Together. In the next three years he is projected to bring about a minimum of six more movies along with more television projects and possibly DVD’s.
Comedians have been known for and even expected to touch on topics that are controversial, sensitive or taboo. Hart does not shy away from difficult topics but as an African-American comedian he immediately sets himself apart for what he does not make jokes about. He has made it clear that his repertoire as a stand-up comedian will not include race, politics or homosexuality. What is left when a comedian does not point their finger at others for a laugh is pointing the finger at themselves for an even harder laugh. This is where he shines. Most of Hart’s comedy relies on his comfort to speak his truth, negative, positive, ugly or sensitive. A title of one of his DVD’s states it best in four words, Laugh at My Pain. He is not a one joke man though, his range of topics does include more than his life stories. He has simply made it clear what he will and will not joke about.
As a businessman Hart is taking his comedy to new heights as well in more ways than one. Earnings speak louder than accolades and Hart’s earnings are screaming. In 2013, Let me Explain, a self financed movie grossed $32.3 million. Ride Along grossed $121.5 million. About Last Night brought in over $30 million. These are impressive numbers but what makes a businessman turn his head and pay attention is that all these productions also have in common a small budget. Their gross earnings ranged from two and half times to 12.5 times their production budgets. Not a short feat at all.
Moving beyond budgets, Hart shows his understanding of the business side of the beast of entertainment and the importance of being behind the camera as well. His brand and career are set to launch even higher as he has focused his sights on his production company HartBeat Productions. With this venture he now has producer, financier, writer, director and actor as roles he will be juggling. A role he does not get paid for but reveals every chance he gets as his most rewarding is that of dad.
As a man, Hart has gone on stage to make light of difficulties in his life growing up but when home life now is brought up, his giddy is undeniable. He expresses with joy the satisfaction he gets when pointing out where he has come from and where he is now. He makes no apologies for being happy. His children play a big part of that.
Hart has been able to continuously appear on screens big and small but none of them included a negative headline with reports of drama or drugs or other pitfalls many have fallen prey to. His focus and his ability to balance his priorities are credited for keeping him out of that spotlight. The positivity he exudes in interviews is compared to that of a kid in a candy store but to many he is headlined as just laughing his way to the bank.
Either way, the fact that his physical stature is 5’4” tall is not a reflection of the stature of his success. Kevin Hart is taking his comedy to new heights and makes no apologies for it. He is on entertainment watchers radar and with all the projects on his horizon they won’t have to look too hard to find him.
By Clea Tucker
Image courtesy of Christian Haugen – Flickr license