Kevin Hart Curated

Kevin Darnell Hart is an American comedian

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This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Kevin Hart have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Kevin Hart's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming comedians. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • Tell us about your New Book, I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons?

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  • How have you been encouraging the younger generation, and even your own children, to practice positive mental health during these unfortunate times for the Black community?

    Just talk to them. Communication is everything. Find the time to talk to your kids. Making sure that your kids understand the climate of what’s going on today and giving them the opportunity to be heard. Communication is key, so having a high level of back-and-forth where you can reassure, uplift, motivate, inspire and those things are needed, and that’s what I make sure is on a high level of display in our household.

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  • Where do you see the future of Black comedians in the next few years?

    To the top, we’re seeing amazing numbers across platforms like Pluto TV and YouTube. Soon LOL will be available on Peacock. I know from my own touring experience, there is a global appetite for Black comedic voices. As we expand LOL’s global distribution footprint, we want to play a big role in helping diverse comedians reach a global audience.

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  • How have you seen the comedy and entertainment landscape grow in relation to opportunities for Black comedians?

    It’s grown over the years. There is no way you can, or I guess you could say, “Have a blind eye” to [it] or ignore the progression that has been made. We do have actors, actresses, comedians of color that are definitely examples of some of the steps in the right direction that are acting as movie leads, TV leads, and just doing more in the business. In the world of comedy and from the world of comedy, I think the opportunities and the doors that are opening are definitely signs that are — once again — going in the right direction. Does that mean that we’re anywhere near done or that we are as close as we should be? No. That just means that we’re making steps towards the place that we ultimately want to be, which is equality, and fair and equal treatment in the business of entertainment as a whole. The natural growth of a comedian from comedy club and the stages that you have to go through is a lot more difficult for your Black comic, male and female. You have to get approved. There is no equal opportunity floor for the Black comic. We’re not equal. There are so many more comedy clubs and stages that are available for your white comic. Black comics have made progress via TV sitcoms, movies etc. But, there is no Def Comedy Jam to provide opportunities for up and coming comedians. LOL aims to be a home and platform for Black comedians and diverse voices in comedy. For the up and coming generation of comedy — male [or] female — I think that the future is definitely going to be brighter because the work that people are putting in now is the reason why this light is being shined on our issue that we have now made very visible today that has been going on for so long. Making people understand what systemic racism is and how long it’s been happening, and the affect that it’s had on so many... hopefully [it] will be the reason for so many changes and doing the right thing in the future.

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  • How have you seen the comedy and entertainment landscape grow in relation to opportunities for Black comedians?

    It’s grown over the years. There is no way you can, or I guess you could say, “Have a blind eye” to [it] or ignore the progression that has been made. We do have actors, actresses, comedians of color that are definitely examples of some of the steps in the right direction that are acting as movie leads, TV leads, and just doing more in the business. In the world of comedy and from the world of comedy, I think the opportunities and the doors that are opening are definitely signs that are — once again — going in the right direction. Does that mean that we’re anywhere near done or that we are as close as we should be? No. That just means that we’re making steps towards the place that we ultimately want to be, which is equality, and fair and equal treatment in the business of entertainment as a whole. The natural growth of a comedian from comedy club and the stages that you have to go through is a lot more difficult for your Black comic, male and female. You have to get approved. There is no equal opportunity floor for the Black comic. We’re not equal. There are so many more comedy clubs and stages that are available for your white comic. Black comics have made progress via TV sitcoms, movies etc. But, there is no Def Comedy Jam to provide opportunities for up and coming comedians. LOL aims to be a home and platform for Black comedians and diverse voices in comedy. For the up and coming generation of comedy — male [or] female — I think that the future is definitely going to be brighter because the work that people are putting in now is the reason why this light is being shined on our issue that we have now made very visible today that has been going on for so long. Making people understand what systemic racism is and how long it’s been happening, and the affect that it’s had on so many... hopefully [it] will be the reason for so many changes and doing the right thing in the future.

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  • For a lot of us, laughter is a form of medicine. How have you been using comedy to cope with everything that’s been going on in the Black community?

    Laughter is everything. It’s an escape. It always has been, so regardless of what you’re going through in life, sometimes it’s good to have something or someone to laugh with or laugh at. It’s just what makes the world go round.

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  • What have been some of the most rewarding moments in LOL growth?

    The most rewarding thing is being able to say that the vision that you have is becoming a reality. Having a dream and staying true to it regardless of what people are saying or what people feel, it’s a big deal just to see it happen and for me, that was a network and that’s a reality now. The network is here, we’re in year three and this is very much hard work and dedication in this company, and it’s paid off. To me, that’s the whole thing. Seeing your hard work and dedication that myself and my team are putting into this pay off is the best.

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  • As you approach the three-year anniversary, how have you seen LOL evolve?

    Well, we’re still here. That’s the biggest thing. When we talk about networks, streaming networks, platforms, apps, etc.; so many have come and go. So many have basically started, spent a bunch of money and ended up bankrupt or not being able to sustain, and having to shut down or investors pulling out. There’s so much that has happened over the last three years that I’ve personally seen. To still be in business and to have the partners and partnerships that we have, that’s a big thing. I think it’s a sign to our team, executives, our entire staff, everybody’s working extremely hard and the goal of making the world laugh and providing comedy in color is one that we all have made a priority. To see it progress and come closer and closer to that, it’s a big deal.

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  • LOL has a unique position in the entertainment industry as a Black-owned media company with majority Black leadership. How important was it for you to have representation throughout your company?

    Extremely important. I think right now, the conversation that we’re all witnessing is a conversation that’s been long overdue. But, the light that’s been shined is opening up the eyes of so many to the systemic racism that so many have been going through. That has been an ongoing thing in our business, the entertainment business and in the world in general. This is an opportunity to make adjustments and make change, and put people in a position to be heard, especially when they’re saying the right thing. LOL’s mission has always been about inclusion. Our programming strategy, “Comedy in Color,” has always amplified Black voices. From day one, it was important to me to identify smart, creative, culturally connected executives who understand, and are passionate about the talent and audiences we serve. LOL is a Black-owned company with many talented Black executives, supporting Black talent, and programming to diverse audiences. It’s not just about representation, but it’s about having the power to create opportunities for others.

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  • What was the inspiration behind Laugh Out Loud’s conception?

    Laugh Out Loud was an opportunity to have a network, a streaming network, that could provide opportunities for the younger generation of funny whether it be male, female, comedian, writer, producer, director — it didn’t really matter. It was about creating a hub that can highlight this new wave and new level of talent because it’s so hard for the stars of tomorrow to get discovered because opportunities are tough to come by. I wanted to do my part and create something where I felt like I was giving more of an opportunity to those that could possibly be missing out or getting skipped over. There’s also an amazing component to provide “Comedy in Color,” a multicultural platform that’s shining a light on culture, and the Black and brown people around the world that are the stars of tomorrow.

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  • How would you define your style of comedy?

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  • Kevin Hart Interview On Oscars Outrage: 'We're All Flawed' : NPR

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  • how do you think comedians adapt with the times

    The world of a comedian is a real complicated world, and just understand where it started. If you were raised on comedy, that means you were raised on all the greats that came before you. When you look at the greats, when you look at George Carlin, when you look at Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor ... the list goes on and on ... when you look at all these comedians, edgy was funny. Racy, cutting-edge was funny. Now, today, that's not funny. It's deemed "unfunny." So the change that comedians are having to make is one that they never thought they would have to do — that they never saw coming. And that change is going to be a change that takes time for every comedian to grasp and understand — some slower than others. I'm different. It took me nothing to adapt and change, but everybody's not going to get it. Everybody's not going to understand it. But you have to have patience ... for growth. You have to have patience. There is no world where we shouldn't be able to laugh at ourselves. We're all flawed — flawed but funny.

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  • What is the time when the insult comic Don Rickles offended you

    I'm at a Vanity Fair party. It's a very true story. And [someone] says, "Don Rickles wants to meet you. He's a huge fan." I said, "Aw man, Don Rickles? Comedian legend. This man is unbelievable. He's just a legend just for who he is and what he's done for comedy." I go meet Don Rickles. Don Rickles, he sees me, gives me a hug, taps my cheek and said, "Look at you, you're like a cute little monkey." Don Rickles was always known for edgy, crazy material. He always said crazy things out of his mouth. At this moment, I say, "Wow. He just called me a monkey. Let me just get out of here. Let me just leave." Good meeting you, man. I don't want to sit here and tell people that Don Rickles just pissed me off. I'm just going to go and leave. It's very easy for me to leave. It's very easy for me to say at that moment, "Hey, this ain't for me. I'm out."

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  • What is the line between jokes that are edgy and jokes that are offensive

    We've lost the thought that comedians try to be edgy and funny. That's what comedians do. That's not me justifying it — that's me trying to make people have the common-sense side of it, see the reality of what a comedian's attempt is behind the job. It doesn't mean that you get it right all the time. It doesn't mean you're going to knock the ball out of the park all the time. ... There was a joke I used to have where I referred to midgets as midgets. And then I later was educated that midgets don't like to be called midgets! They like to be referred to as little people. I didn't know that! It was just a joke. ... I won't do that anymore. It's within the attempt to be funny. It doesn't mean that there's a malicious piece to it, you're just trying to make people laugh. ... Stand-up comedy is built off of edgy, courageous individuals that will say what other people think. What you think, I'm going to say, because I'm a comedian. That's what comedians do. Now, once again, in doing that, some stuff can be tacky. Some stuff can be tasteless. Some stuff can just be outright demeaning and wrong. In that case, those comedians today will just have a hard time being successful. The comedians that are good, the comedians that can adapt in that no matter what, can still deliver the messages that they want but do it in a classy, mature way, are the comedians that will still evolve and go through even [in] these sensitive times. ... It's like, what state of the world do you want comedy to go to? Because ultimately, if we keep pushing in this direction, you're gonna have comics that don't know what's safe to talk about, and now the conversation has changed to people aren't funny anymore because everybody's afraid to be funny. So what level can they be funny? ... We're taking away the ability for people to be comfortable. Everybody. Workplace, work environments, from professional to any aspect of life, now. Everybody's walking on their toes. Everybody's walking on glass. Everybody is!

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  • What is it like being short (5 feet, 5 inches) and talking about it onstage

    I was always a little scrappy kid, so I didn't have any worries when it came to that. I think the one thing that I always had was just confidence. My mother made sure that I understood who I was, and what my potential was, so I'd never felt like being short was a flaw. I mean, that's why I've always addressed it and talked about it. I've embraced it. It's not something that I feel like had a stigma behind it when I was coming up, "Like, Oh my God, I'm so small. People aren't going to like me. Oh God, I'm the smallest person here. I'm embarrassed." I've never had that. I never experienced that. I've always embraced it. [I talk about it onstage because] self-deprecation is always good. Say it before other people can.

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  • What is your father's idea of masculinity

    I think that my dad's vision and goal was for me to be a replica of him. I think that any man, when you have a child, your first will ... is for your child to be a version of you. You want them to have some cadences that you have. If your child chooses not to, if your child chooses to love or do anything else, that's fine. You're going to love your child regardless. You're not going to disown your kid. You're not going to hate your kid. You love your kid regardless. My dad loved me regardless, but my dad wanted to see me take on some of his loves and likes. He wanted to see me have some of his personality traits and characteristics.

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  • What is your understanding of what it meant to be gay, growing up in North Philadelphia

    Well, it wasn't something that was talked about or seen. You have to understand, you're a product of your environment. So what you see is what you know. ... From my upbringing, it wasn't around. So the things that I was brought up on in the comedy that I watched, in the way that my dad talked and my cousins talked and my brother talk — that's all I know. So you're a product of that. Now, because my life took me in a different direction — I traveled. I travel the world. When you travel the world, you get to see things you never saw before. You get to see that other things exist, that other people exist. You get to be around all kinds of people. And when you go, and you experience different things, and different people, you become cultured. Your level of understanding and knowledge grows, to where now, you are aware of things that you may not have been aware of before. Because of that, you're able to adapt and you're able to change and take bad habits away.

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  • What is your decision to withdraw from hosting the Oscars

    I think things caught on fire very quickly and everybody reacted instead of really assessing the situation properly. In return, decisions were made on my part, and it's something that I felt that I should do, and I didn't want to sway and go back and forth with that decision, so I decided to stick with it. There is no ill will or gripe between me and the Academy. We're fine. But it just didn't work out this year. It wasn't in God's plan. That's how I look at it. ... I think you have to find positives in every negative, and the positive that comes out of this is what happened, happened. More apologies were given after I stepped down. I made sure it was very clear where I stood, and that the LGBTQ community understood my position, within my apology. ...My apology was sincere when it was given, and I made it sincere when I gave it again, and my effort after that, when I gave another one, was just as sincere. But it just seemed as if it was a never-ending cycle. So I chose to just shut it down and say that I'm done with it, and move on from it.

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  • UB ReVisit: Kevin Hart Talks Road to Success, Favorite Role and Dave Chappelle – UrbanBridgez.com | E-Zine

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  • Speaking of getting lost in the hype, what are you thoughts about Dave Chappelle? Everyone knows that he hit a high point in his career and then he disappeared.

    Here’s the thing; I think Dave Chappelle is a genius. I think he’s brilliant. I think he’s one of the best comedians that we’ve had in our generation. It’s easier for some people on the outside to judge without knowing really what a person is going through or what there circumstances were. At the end of the day, Dave had standards. Within his standards he refused to compromise on certain things. When asked to compromise he didn’t want to so he did what some people can’t do, which is walk away from an opportunity. Everyone else just sees dollar signs but it’s bigger than that to him. The reason why is because he already has money. And if you already have money it’s very hard to control a person and I don’t think Dave wanted to be controlled. I stand by me saying that I think Dave is a damn genius. It’s easy for people to point a finger and call someone stupid and crazy. But, I’ve known him and I respect him and I’m quite sure there is more to Dave Chappelle’s story than anyone else knows.

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  • Switching over to politics really quick, are you team President Obama?

    I’m definitely team Obama for life. I think for one you have to respect what this man is doing and what he had to clean up. He was dealt a bad hand from the beginning. When you are dealt a bad hand you have to play that hand and try to find a way to make it a good hand. And to make it a good hand it takes time. People are inpatient but people will realize that his path is a rough path and he’s getting through it. He is making change just at a slower pace than people want it to be but like I said he’s cleaning up a lot. I’m still team Obama and hopefully he will stay in office.

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  • What are you future plans in terms of doing different types of roles?

    When the time is right I’ll do them. I’m not in no rush. Right now the comedy is great. I love it. I love laughing. When the time comes and those dramatic roles present themselves, I’ll be more prepared and ready for those as well. It’s not like I’m sitting up today saying I need to play Shakespeare in the next film or I’m ready to be Peter Pan. I’m having fun with comedy so I’m going to stick here for a minute.

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  • What was your reaction when you found out how successful your stand-up comedy tour did at the box office?

    I’m still shocked!!! I’m still in awe and amazed. The beauty of it is that I own it, it’s mine. It’s done through my company, Heartbeat Productions. So that return comes to me. So just know that you can do stuff on your own. You can be independent if you have the capital and relationships to pull it off. That’s one thing that I pride myself on which is building relationships. I’m at a point now where I can honestly do things on my own and be responsible for my personal development. So at the end of the day, if Hollywood refuses to deal with me and doesn’t want to deal with me anymore; I’m setting up my own path and my own empire so it’s cool.

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  • Can you talk a little bit about House Husbands. That skit was a huge hit at the BET Awards.

    It started as a sketch that I did to make fun of those reality shows like Basketball Wives and The Real Housewives of ATL. It was a mock of those women, what they do and the way they argue. I think it will be funny to see men acting catty and behaving the way that they do. I call it a “mock reality show.” So think sketch meets reality.

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  • How easy or difficult do you think it is (coming from your background) to cross over from urban films to mainstream Hollywood?

    It’s definitely not the easiest thing (laughing), its difficult…you just have to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. When it does you have to say okay, let me make sure I do what I’m supposed to do and be as professional as possible and go above and beyond to shine. At the end of the day you want to appeal to everyone. You don’t want to appeal to just one specific audience. You want to be funny to black people, white people, and Chinese people; whoever it is you want to be funny to them. So for me right now, I think Think Like A Man and The Five-Year Engagement” are going to be really great for me. They are both putting me in a great place because I think they are both universal movies that people are going to enjoy and that are going to appeal to everyone.

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  • As far as your involvement in The Five-Year Engagement movie, how did that come about?

    It was just relationships. Jason Seagel is a great friend of mine and I’ve known him for years. They presented me with an opportunity saying “Hey Kev, we’ve got an opportunity for you and we think you would be funny but we’ve got to find a way to put you in the film and write you in.” They developed the character in like two days, I fell in love with it and then I was casted.

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  • In terms of casting for the film what was that process like? Did they say we definitely have to cast Kevin Hart in this film?

    I was casted first. Will Packer met with me and I had a conversation with him. He said this film is going to be good and we think your involvement will make it better. We are going after you first and nobody else is in the cast yet. I said okay cool let’s do it. After casting me in the film they met and went down their wish list and I’ve never seen a movie get put together faster. Literally everybody was happy to be on board and wanted to do it which was great.

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  • What were you thoughts about the book Think Like A Man which the movie is based on?

    Well I didn’t read the book until after I got the part. Once I got the part I said oh okay let me read the book so I can be well versed on it. I read it, and after reading it I thought it was a good book. You don’t get to be a #1 seller for no reason. It was a well-written book and very smart. As far as the women thinking like a man, I don’t know if a woman necessarily needs to think like a man. I think a woman needs to understand who she is and acknowledge her self-worth. If she does then she will be taken care of. If she doesn’t it will be a very long road for her.

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  • And speaking about the cast letting you slam dunk in Think Like A Man, how was the vibe on set? Did they let you guys improvise a lot and just got for it or did you have to for the most part stick to the script?

    They let us improvise. It was literally like, “we want to get what we have here on paper, and after we get it let’s see what you can bring to it.” So 9 times out of 10 we brought some stuff to it and after bringing stuff to it, which kind of motivated you to want to do more or think about doing more. So Tim Story was very, very good in having a relationship with his actors and actresses. If it was too much he would pull you back in, if it was too little he would tell you that you could do a little more. We all had a lot of fun and I think that’s how we got a great result with what we did. Tim Story was great.

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  • What was your favorite and least favorite role so far?

    My favorite role is probably going to have to be Cedric from Think Like A Man. I got to be myself. I got to do what I wanted to do for a long time which is cut loose and go all out. It was kind of no holds bar for me in that movie and because of that it turned out amazing when I saw it. I really take off my hat off to my cast members, because without them I wouldn’t be able to score the way I was scoring in that film. I definitely got set up to dunk the ball a lot in that movie! My next favorite role was probably “Paper Soldiers.” I don’t like to say least favorite. It’s all work and it’s all putting food on the table. So I don’t want to say a least favorite role. At the time that I did it I’m quite sure I needed it so I’m appreciative for every role that I’ve had.

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  • How old were you when you realized that you were actually funny?

    I would say I was probably about 10 years old. I had to do go to a family reunion and I did an impression of my Mom and her sisters. So I had like this big sweat suit on and I put a bunch of balloons in it and that was supposed to be their butts and chest. My family was rolling and I had people on the floor and that’s when I was like “I’m a bad dude. I’m pretty damn funny. I’m gonna be the next Lenny Bruce.”

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  • Can you share a little bit about your road to success?

    My road to success was a long road to success was a long road. I’m 32 now and I’ve been doing this since I was 17 or 18 years old. You get out of something what you put into it. I put blood, sweat and tears into stand-up comedy and the entertainment realm in general. For me to just know be coming around is a blessing. It’s a blessing and it’s an honor. It makes me say I can get more and I can do more. So from stand-up comedy, to driving back and forth from Philadelphia to New York, to moving to New York and then LA. Having to be in LA and then go tour and do college tours and do every small place you can name; the road is worth it. If you don’t have that road and if you don’t have all of those bumps that you had to go through, you don’t have the character that you have now. I can say right now that I’m poised and I understand the business because of what I’ve been through. It’s very hard to shake me right now.

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  • You are definitely one of the top comedians in the world right now, how does that feel?

    It’s a good feeling. I try not to think about it too much. I don’t want to get lost in the hype. Sometimes when you hear so much and everybody is praising you, you can get lost in that. You can start thinking that you are on a higher pedestal than everyone else. So I try to stay level headed, humble and the best way to do that is to not really acknowledge it that much. I just keep grinding and working as hard as I can. I also set my goals higher so that I don’t have time to be content with my place in life and in my career.

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  • People has been cured from terminal disease by taking laughter as therapy, what do you say?

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  • You’ve said that an old version of you died in that awful car accident (in September 2019, Hart sustained serious back injuries after a car he was in veered off the road.) last year, and a new one was born. What’s different about the new one?

    The version of me that died felt invincible. You get to this level of fame and success, and you think you’re in control, and you’re not. My life could have been over. I could be paralyzed. And by that amazing man upstairs and a loving and supportive family, I was able to get back to myself and work on being better. In these trying times, when we’re dealing with what we’re dealing with — and this is bad — it could be worse. So finding reasons to be thankful and finding a bright light is what I know now to do.

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  • Is your age being 40, something to do with your stand up comedy?

    There’s a high level of not caring that comes with 40. Sweat suits. Sweat pants. Hoodies. It’s all comfortable clothes. Different types of slippers and socks. It’s about being content with your decision-making ability. Like, at the younger age, I was the guy that always wanted to please. What do you need? OK, I’ll do it! You don’t realize that you need to be OK with you. You need to make sure that you’re giving yourself time. At the age of 40, that clicks in. “Hey, let’s go here.” “No. I don’t want to go.” “Why not?” “I have no desire to do that.” “Why not?” “Because I don’t. I don’t have to explain why.” “Why don’t you want to go see the Grand Canyon?” “Because I don’t need to see it.” “Going fishing? Absolutely not.” “Why not?” “I don’t feel like dealing with waves. I don’t like being on a boat rocking all goddamn day.” I’m OK now with saying what I will and won’t do and have no remorse for it. That’s 40.

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  • Is stand-up what you find most fulfilling?

    That’s what I love. That’s my therapy. That’s my muse. That’s where I’m the best version of myself in any form of entertainment.

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  • Tell me about your career?

    My stand-up comedy does not grow and become global without my theatrical. I need universal appeal from the theatrical. I can put out hundred-million-dollar box-office movies domestically all day. “Jumanji” is seen all over the globe. So the more that I want to extend with stand-up, the more that I want to do movies that give me that global opportunity. It’s a conscious business decision to seek that. If things do not allow me to do that, then from a business side of it, you’re not uplifting my brand.

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  • Something about how you equated negativity with subjectivity a minute ago seems as if it might make it hard to distinguish valid criticism from “opinion.” How do you tell the difference?

    If somebody has something to say and it’s not just opinion — it’s based on their track record — then that’s something you should listen to, whether you apply it or not. You can listen and then make a decision for yourself. I’m willing to talk, but I’m also willing to shut up and receive what you have to say.

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  • But maybe sidestepping and counterpunching are ways of avoiding criticism rather than understanding it. Do you believe you’re always giving proper consideration to negative things? For example, I know you’d rather not deal with online critics, but what if a criticism someone makes of you online has some truth to it?

    I don’t feed in to people on the internet who have a bunch of bad [expletive] to say. The bad [expletive] is a lot louder than the good [expletive]. The bad [expletive] seems like it’s written in a bigger font. It’s not, but you don’t see the person who says ‘‘I love you.’’ You see the person who says ‘‘[Expletive] you, you untalented [expletive].’’ Why didn’t you choose to see the ‘‘I love you’’? It’s because you have learned to let the negative be louder. It’s just like in the world today: You can’t tell me one good thing that was on the news. You’re not trained to remember it. I bet you the news might have something on there that you would consider stupid. Like, a dog was found in Mississippi that was lost for three weeks. Then the family got their dog back. You wouldn’t remember that. That’s something to understand: There’s a lot of bad, but there is some good if you choose to look for it. My book is about opening up your eyesight to see both sides.

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  • One theme of your audiobook is reframing negative things in positive ways. But how do we make sure it’s rational and objective and not blindly optimistic or self-serving when we do that?

    When you talk about negativity, it’s all subjective. Everything is subjective. There is nothing that cannot be argued. I’m simply giving you my insight from how I dealt with things. If you don’t agree with things, that’s OK. If somebody doesn’t agree with your talent, if somebody doesn’t agree with your dream or your wants, it doesn’t make them a hater. It makes them a person who thinks differently. So in my audiobook I’m showing you how to sidestep and counterpunch.

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  • When you say that maybe the pandemic happened for a reason, do you mean in a larger theological sense?

    Yes. I’m not saying that like, go out and infect people and put this virus in the world. I’m saying you’ve got to look behind the cloud and realize there’s sun. It’s an opportunity for people to band together. Now you’ve got a reason to go, hey, we’re now in the history books in 2020, experiencing one of the biggest catastrophic pandemics. This will be taught to kids in years to come and how we come back from it will be a major discussion. If we choose to come back correctly, it can be heroic. If the economy goes down to this crazy level, then the bounce-back from it can be massive. Success stories can be written. You’ve got to look at it that way, and that’s a way that sometimes we are afraid to look.

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  • Before the pandemic, you were working on new stand-up material. When that hit, did you have to go back to the drawing board?

    Well, my comedy has always been evergreen because it’s about me. I’ve never really discussed topical things. I’ve always looked at that as something that can be dated. Talking about myself, my family, my life changes always puts me in a position to have an audience that can go, ‘‘Oh, my God, I get that.’’ So the new material was all about my perspective on life now and being OK with old age.

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  • You’ve always stayed away from political material in your comedy. Will you be reconsidering that approach?

    No. This isn’t a laughing matter for me. This isn’t something that I choose to make material out of. This is serious. My voice has to be used correctly. We’re talking about a 400-year problem. You’re talking about something that doesn’t want to go away, and people keep treating it as if it’s nonexistent. I don’t understand why everybody is so afraid to address the elephant in the room. It’s shocking to me. You’re witnessing white power and white privilege at an all-time high. For those who say they don’t understand that, or don’t see it, or are confused as to what that means, I’m going to say you’re a part of the problem.

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  • What are your views on the media, focusing on the wrong narratives by paying so much attention to the looting. Where does the focus need to be?

    From the media standpoint, the conversation should be about the ‘‘why’’ of what’s happening. The why is social injustice. The why is racism. The why is hatred that exists in our world and the people on the receiving end of it. We’re not in a position where we can ever feel as if we’re equal because of things like this, and we’re never going to have that feeling unless a narrative is pushed to fix the system. That’s the conversation, but we need the help of white America to say the things that we’ve been saying. When you guys say it, it brings a different volume: ‘‘Oh, my God, this must be real. This must be a problem.’’ When all the news outlets are screaming the same message, now that message has no choice but to be heard. And the narrative that I would love to see people be more consistent with is: ‘‘This is death number what? How many were unarmed, defenseless black men? How many are shot, choked?’’ At some point, the world has to go, ‘‘We’ve got to start taking responsibility.’’ The media has to be a part of that.

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  • Having a positive mind-set is the big topic of your audiobook, and you talk about it in a way that feels applicable to, say, workplace or relationship problems. But what about when the issues people are facing are more systemic? Is it even possible to apply your thinking to the national atmosphere over the past few weeks?

    When you talk about the mental preparation — you see this thing just poke you and poke you and poke you. There’s a snapping point, and at a snapping point you fight back. This is a moment where it doesn’t matter how patient you’ve been. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve turned the other cheek — it’s not going to stop until there is pushback. The fact that I’m upset, that I’m this bothered — I’m a guy that tries my best to be on a nice, levelheaded plane, but we’re talking about another man who was murdered by cops. Slow-murdered with a knee on his neck! At this point, the highest level of anger and frustration should be attached to this, and if you don’t understand that or don’t see it, the only thing that I can say is that you’re a part of the problem.

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  • What are your views on social media and cancel culture?

    You gotta get to a point where you become more realistic. What I mean about being realistic is: Nobody's perfect, nobody's going to be. We're living in a time where we're just expecting perfect, as if people don't slip and fall down the steps, or everybody walks straight all the time. But you stumble...it's weird to really hold people at a level that they never asked to be held at. If babies came out with all the knowledge, then what's the point of going from age one through 21? You get to 21, and there's a celebration of you now being an adult, because you spent those years being a kid, doing the things that a kid is supposed to do. So you can't hold me accountable for things that I did as a kid that were childish behavior, at 21 when I'm now an adult...well from 21, to 31, I was a young adult, so I didn't know what life was going to be like as an adult, so I messed up as a young adult. We can't be so persistent with the search to find and destroy. Although some things are warranted and I understand, it's just us as people have got to be smart enough to go..."You know what, whatever has happened, has happened, but people deserve a chance to move on. Life isn't over because people say it is, and that's what's been happening as of late. It's like people determine when your end button is pushed, but that's not how it works. We need to lose that attitude and feeling and let people grow. People love to talk shit...people love to be negative, but guess what? They also love to be positive. But we only talk about the negative.

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  • On what we can expect from the new audiobook, The Decision?

    It's basically information. I feel like in today's time, the one thing that people don't do enough of is sharing information. We don't volunteer it, there has to be an ask for there to be a tell, and when you think about it, that's the one thing that stands in the way of success. The Decision is about taking responsibility for you—your actions your movements your decisions...it's ultimately you. What I wanted to do was be transparent with my life, my journey to where I am now, and give you all the decisions that had to take place in doing it. And what you realize is, it's okay to fall, it's okay to not get it right. The thing about making mistakes is embracing it, and being willing to grow from it...if you are that person and you are willing to grow from it...you're going to be better off in the long run. If you're not that person, it means that you haven't yet developed the ability to check yourself. So you can look at you and address the things wrong with you so you can fix you. It's about me discussing how I got to that place in life, and how I whipped myself in mental shape to deal with all that I've dealt with to embrace those things rather than wallow in the pity of what can't change. It's not as if I'm a prophet. It's very simplistic information. But because of my personality, because of where I am in life, I choose to deliver the message in a way that nobody else has, or probably can. It's about self-check. I can't continue to blame other people for my sh*t, and that's what other people enjoy doing. 'I would've did it, but such and such didn't tell me...nobody woke me up so that's why I overslept...' It's always about somebody else. So this is a book for you. This isn't a "Do what I do" book, this isn't a 'live like me.' This is about me giving you a different lens to look through, a different POV, so you can assess it and decide if it works for you or not, but at least you have the information. People think it's a cool thing to withhold. You can see someone with cool sneakers...you'll ask 'Where did you get those sneakers?' And they'll say 'Ah, I'm not tellin' you, you gotta figure that out on your own!' Why? What happens if more people have the sneakers? What does that do to you? That analogy can be applied on the highest level...to business...why can't you just tell me and help me, so I can get some information to be successful as well? Information shouldn't be a secret.

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