A few days ago on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart announced that his next stand-up special What Now? will be released this year. The special was filmed in Hart's hometown of Philadelphia, in front of a sold out crowd of 53,000.
This means that Hart is looking to have another stellar year as his comedy sequel Ride Along 2 hits theaters on Friday and his next film Central Intelligence, (which co-stars Dwayne 'The Rock" Johnson) will be released in June.
There is no arguing that Kevin Hart is one of the most popular comedians of the last decade and is one of the most successful funny guys of all time. But it hasn't always been that way. He worked his way up the comedic ladder from comedy clubs in Philly to selling out Madison Square Garden. So we are going to rank Hart's stand up specials from worst to best dating back to his first major special in 2009.
Hart's worst stand-up special happens to be his most recent.
#4. Let Me Explain (2013)
It's not that this particular stand-up special wasn't funny (because it certainly was) but out of all of Hart's specials, this definitely isn't his best . During this time in his life Hart was going through a rough divorce and probably just felt his most comfortable being on stage. A lot of his jokes reflected that and were on the topic of relationships. Some of this turned out to be pretty funny.
But at other times it almost felt like we were just listening to Hart vent as if the audience was his Psychiatrist. Which actually makes a lot of sense considering a lot of comedians see stand-up as therapeutic.
Were glad that Hart felt comfortable enough to lay it all on the line in this stand-up, but this ends up being Harts least memorable special.
Hart's previous special is where he burned his jokes into the minds of his viewers by telling captivating stories.
#3. Laugh At My Pain (2011)
In Laugh At My Pain, Kev addresses the passing of his mother, and turns it into a two hour experience that makes the viewers feel like they know Hart personally. He describes his family in ways that Hart fans will never forget. His delivery was punctual, not forced and the audience is clearly enjoying themselves.
It seemed as if anything Hart did or said was hilarious from his physical presence to his stories. Unlike his latest special the stories felt like they had a natural flow and you follow along pretty easily.
You can tell that Hart was still riding the enormous wave that was set by his previous special.
#2. Seriously Funny (2010)
The runner up is the stand-up special that made Kevin Hart a comedic rock star. Seriously Funny was the start of the meteoric rise of Hart's career. Before this special Kevin Hart was just another comedian. But after it, he was mentioned in the same breath as comedic God's like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle.
At this point in Kevin's career he began to sell out arenas almost effortlessly and he began to get film roles that may have skipped past him had this special not been a success. This special holds some of Hart's classic bits and became the topic of conversations and memes for years to come.
In Seriously Funny, we are introduced to Hart's hilarious uncle which is arguably his best bit ever.
Seriously Funny is probably Kevin Hart's most memorable stand-up performance but there is one more special that I believe has the edge.
#1. I'm A Grown Little Man (2009)
Kevin's first stand-up special benefited from a small, intimate audience and was fresh to viewers who were seeing the little guy for the first time. It was impressive to see just how natural his stage presence was. He immediately connected with the audience, showing his versatility by making simple stories hilarious.
This was Hart at his best, spitting stories and jokes out like wildfire. Notice he never stays on a particular topic for too long like his later stand-up specials. This makes his entire set refreshing to viewers.
As he becomes more comfortable, it is revealed that Hart is at his best when he is making fun of himself, and this is what makes us love him.
When he actually does go on a long story its so funny that you want to follow along with him.
If you haven't seen this special in its entirety, I highly suggest you see it. When we look at Hart's specials each one has something funny about them but I'm A Grown Little Man is the most consistent with its level of humor and keeps you interested until the very end. That makes it Hart's best stand-up special to date.
We can't wait to see more of Hart in his next stand-up special, but for now you can see Kevin Hart in Ride Along 2 in theaters January 15th.