As exemplified in an episode of Kevin Hart’s new series the “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” Richard Pryor is the all time “King of Comedy.” Hart has a poster sized photograph of Pryor on his living room wall in the BET show.
Cedric “The Entertainer” guest starred on an episode and took the picture, playing a joke on his fellow comedian. Right now Hart holds the throne in facilitating outlets for his craft in the tradition of Cedric, Steve Harvey, Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy. He’s the reigning “King of Comedy”, the one in the “limelight”, a spot once held by Chris Tucker and Dave Chapelle. This piece is my way to say thanks and congratulations to Hart and all those who made, and make us laugh. It’s for a select group of men that transcend race through their art, while at the same time represent a people. Not all comedians are fortunate enough to score the trifecta as an outlet for their talent. The trifecta being able to succeed in delivering great live performances, as well as act in film and television. The first two were Bill Cosby and Redd Foxx.
Stand-up comedians who have accomplished this feat before Hart include the aforementioned Pryor, Lawrence and Chapelle, but the one who holds the title for the longest run and manages to continually have a presence, is Murphy. Murphy knocked down the door that Pryor burst through, that was opened by Cosby, and set ajar by Foxx. Those that followed Murphy were Chris Rock, The Wayans Brothers, and the self-proclaimed “Kings of Comedy” DL Hughley, Harvey, Cedric, and the late Bernie Mac (did I miss anyone?). These men have taken the craft of comedy to heights that professional athletes rise to in sports or a recording artist accomplishing platinum status in music. Don’t get it twisted or mis-understand me, there’s a very long list of successful black comics and/ or comedic actors, including Bill Bellamy, Eddie Griffin, Kat Williams, Robin Harris, Mike Epps, Chris Tucker, Flip Wilson, J.B. Smoove, Tommy Davidson, Paul Mooney and John Witherspoon, literally just to name a few. Last year, several entertainers came together to pay tribute to Murphy and his accomplishments, via a special titled “Eddie Murphy: One Night Only that aired on the Spike channel — it was very fitting, watch it here:
Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier and Marlon Wayans are as brilliant dramatically as they are comically. However there’s only a handful that have been able to surpass what anyone could have expected. There’s a plethora of female comics too, Mo’Nique, Wanda Sykes, Kim Wayans, Adele Givens and Sommore among them, but I was inspired to do this blog because of the funkin’ accomplishments of Kevin Hart. The new guy that’s been on the come up for a minute, and if you haven’t noticed, has taken the spotlight.
“Real Husbands of Hollywood” is a new spoof that nails parodying the “Reality Show.” Kevin Hart is the shows star and one of the executive producers. Hart works with TV veteran Stan Lathan (aka Sanaa’s daddy) on the series, who’s worked with Foxx, Harvey, Chappelle and pretty much every black person in entertainment, but especially in comedy. ‘Husbands’ also stars Smoove, Duane Martin, Nick Cannon, Boris Kodjoe, and Robin Thicke — and has featured guest appearances from Nelly, Faizon Love, Russell Simmons, and Shaquille O’Neal. Hart is “That Guy” right now, and I for one just think it’s a great thing to have witnessed. One who watched the escalation and pitfalls of Richard Pryor, there’s next to no comedians coming up successful today, that doesn’t see Pryor as a mentor. Hart is the man carrying the torch right now that Richard set aflame, and he’s not profane. Frankly I don’t give a fu*k if a comedian curses, it’s for a matter of emphasis, it just occurred to me while I was writing this, that Hart is one that really doesn’t… or at least not of note. To his credit are several recorded stand-up performances, TV appearances, his show ‘Husbands’ and roles in over 50 movies. “Real Husbands of Hollywood” airs Tuesday nights at 10pm on BET. On March 2nd, Kevin was the host for the long-time comedy series Saturday Night Live. During his monologue, he reflected on how he once auditioned for the show and didn’t make the cut. See it and other clips from the show here:
for the FUNKIN’ love of comedy