While the title of “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” has been thrown around quite a bit, there’s a good case for comedian/actor/producer, and all-around Renaissance man Kevin Hart. Hart, whose stand up comedy career began not too long after his high school graduation, has definitely worked his way up in the world of comedy, and beyond.
Case in point, even while juggling several film and comedy projects at once (not to mention his work for the emerging headphone company Muzik), when asked for an interview, Hart was swift to jump on board to share his insights on business, comedy, and his newfound interest in tech.
“I’m very humbled and appreciative of what I have been able to accomplish thus far in my career, but I’m also not a person to sit back and be content with what I have. At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, I want the last name Hart to be something my kids will be proud of,” he told us during our interview.
The Road to Success
As an entertainer and businessman, Hart is definitely no stranger to the entrepreneurial ladder. Before the breakout 2009 release of I’m a Grown Little Man, he spent much of his early career in smaller clubs perfecting his art. During this time, it may have been difficult to see Hart becoming a household name, especially considering he performed as “Lil Kev The Bastard,” before embracing the more honest persona he’s known for today.
With those club shows well in the rearview mirror, Hart will typically play an arena with over 50,000 people on any given night. In fact, his recent What Now? tour saw him playing such gigantic venues as the New Orleans Superdome, L.A.’s Staples Center, and New York’s Barclays Center — spaces that will rarely host a stand up comedy act.
And Hart may be even more recognizable from his roles on the big screen. His film career, which began in earnest with 2002’s Paper Soldiers, has grown into one of back-to-back hits, including the Ride Along franchise and 2016’s Get Hard.
However, his most ambitious work may be his cinematic stand up feature What Now?, which showcases a performance at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. While this is unique on its own (it’s the first time a stand up comedian has performed in an NFL stadium), What Now? mixes action, comedy, and stand up into one package, with a Bond-esque opening featuring Halle Berry, among other stars. “As my career continues to grow, I feel that each special I do should reflect that same growth. I always try to break ground and do things that no other stand up comedian has done,” Hart said.
And, if you didn’t think dominating the worlds of film and comedy were enough, Hart created his own entertainment company, HartBeat Productions. The company, which produces everything from films and television to live performances, is responsible for 2013’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, the Kevin Hart Presents standup series, and his recent What Now? tour, listed by Billboard as the highest grossing comedy tour of all time.
Hart & Tech
In early 2016, Hart playfully announced that he was going to make himself a triple-threat by adding “tech god” to his résumé, as he heralded his partnership with Muzik Connect, a company that creates sophisticated smart headphones.
Hart trumpeted the collaboration with an endorsement on Facebook, claiming that it has taken him “a long time to find the right tech product to back…because I didn’t want to partner with something or someone that didn’t have the ability to be cutting edge and shake up the world.”
“Once I sat with Jason [Hardi, CEO of Muzik] and got to hear his plans to create the first smart headphone and was able to see his vision for other products to come, it was a no-brainer that this would be my first venture into the tech world,” Hart informed us.
Considering the quality of projects Muzik Connect has developed so far, it appears Kevin Hart has once again made a wise call. As it stands, Muzik is poised to be much more than a basic headphone company. For example, their smart and connected headphones, the Muzik One, are the very first of their kind.
As part of his efforts to represent the company, Hart said he plans on attending CES 2017 in Vegas: “I’m excited for the event as a whole. The fact that I’m actually a part of it and have a product that’s been getting great reviews makes it that much better,” Hart said.
Fitness and Social Media
As if he didn’t work hard enough, Hart has also become well known for his acute commitment to staying fit, even partnering with Nike to detail his workout strategies. His intense routines were recently recorded in a video on the company’s YouTube channel, showcasing that he hits the gym with the same intensity as he hits the stage.
And Hart definitely doesn’t try to hide the fact that he keeps himself in shape — his social media accounts full of hashtags such as #FitFamily and #HealthIsWealth, along with images of him exercising. Speaking of social media, Hart is certainly no stranger to the web. With 31 million followers on Twitter alone, Hart knows exactly how to keep his fans up to date on everything he’s doing.
When speaking to Oprah, Hart revealed that “social media is everything to me,” Hart revealed, speaking to Oprah, “…being able to talk back and forth with your fans goes a long way.” And, while many people may not earnestly represent themselves online, Hart’s social media is definitely an extension of himself. As Hart says, “What you see is what you get.” In the often superficial world of social media, this a refreshing notion.
For Kevin Hart, slowing down is simply not an option. Even though 2016 held a myriad of projects (from big films like The Secret Life of Pets and Central Intelligence to smaller projects like The Road Trip), 2017 will by no means be a year off for the comedy superstar.
One of his upcoming projects, to the delight of ‘90s nostalgia addicts, will be a reboot of 1995’s Jumanji, with Hart teaming up again with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.“I think me & Dwayne have such great chemistry because we are both two people who consistently push ourselves to be better. So when you combine us both together on the same project it creates a great energy on set. To see how humble he is with the success that he has had is something you don’t normally see in today’s world,” Hart said.
Additionally, a new entry has been announced for the popular Ride Along series, where Kevin Hart has a starring role alongside Ice Cube. And Comedy Central has recently renewed yet another HartBeat Productions project, Kevin Hart Presents: Hart Of The City.
Hart’s work ethic and versatility have definitely paid off. According to Forbes, he currently ranks as the #1 highest-paid comedian for 2016, beating huge names such as Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, and even Jerry Seinfeld. With no sign of letting up, look for this vertically challenged comedian to continue to be a giant in the world of entertainment.