Kevin Hart Netflix special is full of heart and some hypocrisy

Jacob WaringOpinions & Features Editor

Kevin Hart: Irresponsible is classic Kevin Hart. Everyone makes jokes about his height, but he is a comedic giant; that is self-evident in his newest Netflix special. His comedic voice is not for everyone, but I do feel as if everyone could walk away with at least a grudging chuckle.

A lot of his material, as it is for majority of comedians, is from his own life. This is his first Netflix special since the pandemonium that was his Oscar controversy. If you were hoping he would offer some sage advice or touch upon that topic then you will be disappointed. This special was filmed three months before Hart’s world got turned upside down because he did not adequately apologetic regarding the times, he said homophobic and anti-gay jokes in his routines.

Without that context, a stand-up routine centered around own mistakes comes off disingenuous to viewers. What would have helped was some sort of text crawl, or something to indicate that this special was filmed before the controversy erupted. It is cringeworthy when Hart says, “You gotta learn from your f***-ups,” and it makes him look like a hypocrite.

The special was filmed in London, and I did find the setup innovating because he was on a platform surrounded by the audience. I have seen plenty of comedy specials where comedians are on a stage where the backdrop is either a reference to the theme of their jokes or something visually decent. Having Hart be surrounded by a sea of people made the show
feel more energetic and gave a more interactive element that is rarely seen one stage. What I always had enjoyed about Hart’s comedy that he is very expressive. From facial expressions and body movements to even how he walks as he delivers the punchline. His jokes are relatable. He was airing his dirty laundry and extrapolating from those experiences the humor of some egregious mistakes that he made in his life. One of the most prominent of those life errors that he spoke about was when he cheated on his pregnant wife back in 2017.

His funniest bits involving watching a friend’s baby and acted older than expected. Act more mischievous. I had a smile frozen on my face and was chortling as I was leaving bruises on my knees from all the slapping. I may not be a father of three like Hart but I am the ‘fun’ uncle who always volunteers to watch his nieces and nephews. I can imagine being in Hart shoes and related on a fundamental level. That was what was brilliant about his set, as every joke can be one everyone can relate to. We all have made mistakes, made a bad judgment calls and there are certain life scenarios we all experience at one time or another in life. Relatable content that is infused with life and where humor can be found is where the best comedy is at. The timing was not ideal, as the post-Oscar scandal does detract from his performance. The jokes hit, and a few missed. He was charismatic and had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

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