Kevin Hart recently debuted his theatrical version of his 2011 Laugh At My Pain comedy tour, which was extremely successful, earning more than $15 million in sales.
The tour reached legendary triumph, knocking Eddie Murphy out of his long standing record of being the first African-American comedian to surpass over $1.1 million two-day live comedy show ticket sales.
The film was part documentary and gave you a chance to see behind the scenes of Kevin Hart’s comedy lifestyle.
We got a chance to chat with the funny man about what made him decide to do a movie, incorporating his family into his sketches and chilling with superstar NBA players.
Check it all out below!
GlobalGrind: We watched Laugh At My Pain yesterday and thought it was one of the funniest stand ups we’ve ever seen. Where did you get the idea to actually go ahead and do the movie?
Kevin Hart: It was basically an idea from the jump. With the success of Seriously Funny, we said OK, it’s tracked so well. I think Seriously Funny is five times platinum right now. And we said you know what, wow, it has done so amazing, why don’t we take this to a different level. Why don’t we try and join that elite group on our next special and basically put it in theaters. So after having a meeting with my business partners, my staff, we decided it was a good idea. So we did a year tour of Laugh at my Pain to tighten it up and on the last date we decided to film it which was in Los Angeles, California. We filmed it for a movie, to be movie ready and it came out amazing.
Was it a different set that you did, or was that just your normal set that you always do?
At the L.A. show, there was riffing involved. I was feeling good, my mojo was high. So sometimes when you feeling good, and you on the road, you’re throwing out things that you don’t normally throw out. So there’s a lot of improv and a lot of excess banter. It worked out for me, it worked out really good for that show.
One of the funniest jokes we thought, it’s actually how you start the show and how you end it, was actually hanging out with the celebrities and basketball line. Who was that guy that you were hanging out with? Can you say who it was?
(Laughs)… That was Kenyon Martin, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, I believe and LeBron.
It was just crazy out in Vegas we can only imagine.
We personally think you are already there in that elite group of comedians, when so many other comedians are struggling to eat. How does it feel to be the guy right now?
You know what man, I really don’t think about it. The reason why is because you never want to be content with your level of success. You know the minute you start thinking about it … where you are in your accomplishments, that’s the minute that things go down. That’s the minute things can start to spiral in the wrong direction. I constantly want to be motivated and want to keep creating and get to the next level and the best way to do that is to humble yourself and continue to grind … When I’m no longer here I want to be talked about with some of the conversations that go along with some of the best comedians that ever did it and the only way to accomplish that is to put out great material, so that’s my focus now.
You do some of your family members in your sketch … when they first see the sketch what do they say to you?
They’ve been to shows. They laugh, that’s all you can do. I don’t put it to a point where I’m making my family look stupid. You tell the truth and you show how it affected you. I think that’s the one thing I’ve done a good job at doing, is showing how it’s personally affected me.
How about your dad? That’s the ‘real ni**a all day’ line that everyone is going to be saying … how did he react when he saw that act?
He laughed. He laughed his ass off. It’s the truth, he said ‘boy, I’ma kill you.’ But he loved the fact that I’m doing good.
Why’d you break out your dad now and not previously?
You have to decide when you want to put those things out there. And my dad going and being on drugs was definitely something like OK …This is actually so much funny stuff happened within this time that an audience hearing this could actually be received and not in a positive way. But it can actually be funny because I have a message behind it. This is how it affected me; this is how parents doing drugs can affect a child, here’s what your child thinks and here’s why it was embarrassing to me. It all came from a personal perspective. That’s why the audience loves it so much and you know what, there’s so many people who have that guy in their family.
What’s Five Year Engagement about?
KH: It’s a movie about this guy who’s been engaged for five years and through those five years his relationship has been off and on and the fifth year they finally get married. It took five years for them to get to a certain point. It’s about a man realizing how much he loves his women and sacrificing his needs for his woman and the woman realizing how much a man has sacrificed and continue to be selfish. Once she realizes how much this man has given up for her, then she realizes what type of love that he’s invested in her. I play a very close friend to the bride to be.
How does doing stuff like that sort of mirror your real life, because you just went through a divorce. How does that affect you?
Yeah, I did as far as that goes … I put it out there. Me going through a divorce is a chunk of what I talk about. Not that it was a bad thing, you know. My ex and me still get along and we’re friends. But people grow apart and go their separate ways and we decided to still be friends for the sake of our children, still make each other happy. But things happen for a reason and opportunities are given. And people decide to take them and that’s what we did.
Does it ever get aggravating with people reciting your jokes all day?
No. You know why it doesn’t get aggravating … this is why I have the lifestyle that I have. You take away the fans and the people who have tickets, and then I’m not successful. So those people coming in and doing the things that they do, it makes it easy for me to take two seconds out of my time and say ‘Hey’ and talk.
After the BET Awards, did anyone come up to you and was a little bit salty at what you said?
No man, I know all those guys … only people I talked about were my friends.
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