Kevin Hart seems like one of those omnipresent comedians who has been around forever but when I look back on his filmography I don’t think I had seen a movie he’d starred in until The Wedding Ringer. I’d say I am a casual fan, I do like his comedy specials and plan to see Jumangi opening weekend, but as we all know I am a memoir whore so it was inevitable that his memoir would find its way into my house. It wasn’t as surprisingly good as Gabrielle Union’s but it was pretty good.
Hart had an interesting upbringing. He was raised by a single mother after his father, who fathered almost a dozen more children and battled a drug problem, left when Kevin was a kid. His mother ran a strict household with a focus on education and staying out of trouble with activities like the swim team- all things that Kevin didn’t appreciate as a teen but as an adult credits his success to.
“It turns out that the things I hated most as a child are the same things that serve me the most as an adult.”
His humorous acceptance speech for what essentially amounted to a participation trophy for swimming was his first taste of being funny for a crowd but it was a while longer before he performed a real show. After high school Kevin got a job selling shoes, the first thing he excelled at and enjoyed, where he made some friends who suggested he go to an open mic night since he was so funny. After one night he was officially bit by the bug and eventually left his job to perform full time.
He worked almost every night, to the detriment of his already volatile romantic relationship, going from Philadelphia to New York several days a week perfecting his act. He got a few lucky breaks, including writing and starring in a movie for Roc-a-Fella records and a starring role in one of badkittyuno’s favorite movies- Soul Plane, but didn’t get a lot of traction. He also got a holding deal with NBC which never produced anything and, since he was terrible with money, Kevin was constantly broke and looking for gigs. Every time he blew an advance on something stupid I felt sick, although spoiler alert Kevin Hart is doing just fine now. He also hustled his heart out during the tough times, he was on the forefront of using social media to reach fans and sell tickets, and now the guy is selling out stadiums.
“American Express, if you’re reading this, please run my credit again I wrote this entire book just to send a message to you: I’m now ready to handle the responsibility of a credit card. I went out to dinner with Trey Songz last night, and he has a black card. That motherfucker is publicly on record singing about giving his card to random women and letting them max it out. That violates your terms of service. So why does he have one and not me?”
He is brutally honest about the short comings of his first marriage, particularly his infidelity which should have been a red flag for his current wife who he allegedly cheated on while she was pregnant earlier this year (this isn’t covered in the book).Overall Hart comes across as a well grounded guy who appreciates the success he is enjoying after years of struggling. It’s an interesting read if you like Hart or want to break into comedy yourself.