Take a moment to acknowledge that Kevin Hart is in the middle of one of the all time great comedic runs. Perhaps I am jumping the gun, but how often do we take the time to pause during a historic run and put it in its proper perspective? We do it all the time in sports. Within 5 minutes of any athletic milestone, ESPN has put together a panel to break down its historic significance. So today I’m announcing to my ones of readers that Kevin Hart is etching his name among the all-time greats. I can see the writing on the wall as clear as I did when I proclaimed Lebron James to be an all-time great and future champion after just a few years in the league (I’ve been waiting for a chance to work that dig in ever since I joined State-lines).
On July 3 Kevin Hart will be releasing Let Me Explain, which chronicles his uber successful 2012 tour of the same name. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX0N972soEg). For all intensive purposes, the release is a proverbial victory lap for what has been a spectacular twelve months ever since the release of Think Like A Man. Off the heels of his 2011 “Alright Alright Alriiight. . .” Laugh at My Pain tour, which signaled his arrival to the big leagues, Kevin Hart essentially single handedly catapulted the low budget and low expectations Think Like A Man to the #1 movie in the country for two weeks in a row. Oh, and that Laugh at My Pain theatrical release in 2011: it was only the 7th highest grossing stand-up release behind a list composed of The Original Kings of Comedy, Eddie Murphy (twice), Richard Pryor (twice), and Martin Lawrence (twice). Given that Laugh at My Pain came out just before Kevin Hart became a household name, it’s a good bet he will be adding his name to the top five of that same list.
Like first ballot hall of famers Martin Lawrence and Chris Rock before him, who also experience similar comedic zones, Kevin Hart has taken his talents to television this year as well. His show The Real Husbands of Hollywood has been ratings gold for BET. Since airing, it has been the #1 rated cable sitcom among the coveted 18 to 49 year old age group. The show is part improvisational comedy, ala Curb Your Enthusiasm, and part reality show parody. The supporting cast, not all known for comedic acting, are surprisingly funnier than anyone could have imagined, but make no mistake about it, Kevin Hart is the rising tide that lifts all boats. He is the comedic version of a Magic Johnson-Dennis Rodman hybrid. He makes those around him seem funnier because he is always willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of good joke.
So take note, just as we do with athletes in their primes, that Kevin Hart is in the zone right now, because these moments come and go in a flash. Like Kevin Hart said himself in the promo for Let Me Explain:
“As a comedian you don’t get these opportunities; if you don’t take advantage of them, they’re gone.”
Those are the words of man who is living in the moment. In all honesty, even this great run is probably just a notch below what we saw from Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, or Dave Chappelle, when they were at the height of their powers. (Dave Chappelle is the Barry Sanders/Bo Jackson of this conversation). However, Kevin Hart is just now building steam despite all I’ve said he’s accomplished. For instance, he has been doing all of this without having even fully crossed over into the mainstream. He hasn’t even done the obligatory buddy cop movie yet! And trust me, he’s gonna KILL the buddy cop movie role. He’s just getting warmed up. Don’t believe me, just watch.