Conquering comic Kevin Hart ready to make Las Vegas laugh
It’s pretty ironic that Kevin Hart’s extended cross-country comedy trek—which is selling out arenas across North America and spills into MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 6—is called the Irresponsible Tour, considering the diminutive funnyman is responsible for so much showbiz success.
His previous world tour in 2015-’16 broke countless records and made Hart the first comedian to sell out an NFL stadium. He snagged a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 and released a best-seller memoir, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, in 2017. And he’s starred in so many memorable movies—most recently in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Central Intelligence and voice work in animated hits Captain Underpants and The Secret Life of Pets—that no single role can define him; his fame is greater than the sum of its parts. Rolling Stone magazine has called Hart “stand-up’s first mogul.”
That aspect of his success is evident as Hart isn’t the only one benefitting from his hard work and ambitious talent. Last year, he teamed with Lionsgate Entertainment to launch Laugh Out Loud, a built-from-scratch comedy streaming network. Its summer slate consists of the second seasons of three shows (including Hart’s own Lyft Legend prank series—and four original series including In the Zone, a spinoff from Hart’s CBS series TKO, and Unmasked, a mockumentary about Hollywood Boulevard street performers. There’s no comedy platform where Hart isn’t present.
But the stand-up stage is where he began his career, winning amateur comedy competitions along the East Coast until Judd Apatow cast him in the TV series Undeclared. That led to movie roles and the rest may be Kevin Hart history, but his manic energy, self-deprecating style and relatable storytelling are the factors that make fans love him the most. Alone onstage, Hart’s in his sweet spot.
“I pride myself on putting together productions. My shows are no longer just shows with me and a microphone, it’s a production,” he said in an interview with Chicago’s WGN-TV. “I take that big arena and make it feel like a comedy club. I make it intimate. I capture amazing moments by making you feel like you’re not only watching a show but you’re a part of it.”