Authors-Kevin Hart, Neil Strauss
It is nearly impossible to turn on a television screen without seeing the seriously funny Kevin Hart on it. Rather it is commercials hosting awards shows or a new movie coming out with seems like every month now, Kevin Hart has one of the most recognizable faces in all of entertainment. How does a young black male from Philadelphia go from nothing to dominating the entertainment industry? Kevin spills all of his life lessons and his come up in is his first ever book “I can’t make this up.”
Kevin Hart was born in Philadelphia to mother Nancy and father Henry where he lived with his older brother Robert. Kevin always had an interesting relationship with his father and was only able to see him periodically. His mother worried about Kevin’s safety and kept his schedule extremely busy with activities such as basketball and swimming in order for him to stay out of trouble. After high school Kevin began working at a sneaker store where he quickly become the man there. After several coworkers informed Kevin of how humorous he was, they influenced him to try stand up. He finally agreed and participated in an open mic night where he did extremely well. Working his way through the underground comedy scene Kevin became popular very quickly obtaining opportunities to be in movies, television shows and move to Hollywood. As quickly as all the success came it went, with Kevin’s first few first productions being flops. Now with a struggling career a tumultuous relationship and trying to keep up with a lavish lifestyle, Kevin Hart had to grind in order to become one of entertainments brightest gems.
” You can’t control the events that happen to you, but you can control your interpretation of them. So why not choose the story that serves your life the best.”
” In life you can choose to laugh about bullshit that happens to you or you can choose to laugh about it. I chose laughter”
“It turns out that the things I hated most as a child are the same things that serve me most as an adult.”
“The biggest difference between the amateur and the professional, between the wannabe and the star, between the dabbler and the expert. The unsuccessful get halfway to the finish line, then turn around. The successful get halfway to the finish line then keep going. Both run the same distance, but only one makes it to the finish line.”
” A good mentor learns as much from teaching as the apprentice does from learning.”
” An entertainer makes you laugh but an artist makes you understand”
” I didn’t have a voice in my relationship, but I had a voice on stage. I could speak my mind, acknowledge the insanity of my situation, and be understood as such a raw uncomfortable level that it elicited knowing laughter.”
- Crazy relationship with his father and how he got his sense of humor.
- His dad grabbing the keyboard to type about the story that lead to him being locked up
- Throwback pictures from Kevin’s life
- Learning his strict work ethic from his mother who was very overprotective of him as a child because of her experiences with Kevin’s father and older brother. He had no time to be caught up in the streets of Philly because he constantly had something else to do. This practice helped mold his routine for his entertainment career to be successful.
- The story of how his mom came to his class to whoop his ass after he concocted a plan to move all of the clocks in his house ahead two hours so he would be able to make it to the basketball tryouts on time because his mother would not take him that early.
- The story about the famous hood classic Soul Plane where people would come up to him and proclaim how much they loved the movie and they weren’t even done filming it yet ( I remember when that joint came out everyone had before it hit theaters!)
In high school Kevin Hart did his first unofficial stand up routine on stage at a swim banquet. Hart was disappointed of him receiving the best attendance award while every one else on the team got real awards and were headed to college or training for the olympics. His acceptance speech was so funny and made people laugh he didn’t know it but it was stand up and his first time with a microphone in front of an audience. He enjoyed this feeling and made up for the fact he was under achieving and disappointed in the award. Strangely he said this was the only time his mother ever witnessed him on a stage.
“I Can’t Make This Up” is less about humor and more about the authentic situations that helped mold Kevin into the man and entertainer that he is today. There are a million “chapters” in this book but I like how each one ends with a cliffhanger to where as a reader I couldn’t put the book down. Kevin is very open about his financial woes and the turmoil that took place between himself and first love. The final words of this book were chilling as he explains the decision to finally leave his long time partner claiming that they had built an unstable environment for years one that was destined to collapse. In order to be successful it all starts with setting a solid foundation. Some interesting concepts I learned about Kevin was the importance of him using his real name as opposed to his first stage name Lil Kev the Bastard because his government name would be more iconic. I also liked how he learned to use his personal life in his routine so the audience could better relate to him. Kevin Hart definitely made the most out of his second run in stand up, film and television in this descriptive about his hustle that propelled him to stardom.
– Caleb Raves