FEBRUARY 1: KEVIN HART

Kevin Hart was born in Philadelphia on July 6, 1979. Raised by his mother, Hart began working as a stand-up comedian shortly after graduating from high school. The experience of his tough early years would later provide a source for much of Hart's comedy. Citing Chris Tucker and J.B. Smoove as important influences, Hart moved to New York City post-graduation and later to Brockton, Massachusetts. However, it was back in his hometown of Philadelphia, while working as a shoe salesman, that Hart's stand-up career began to blossom. 

It was a rough start. For a time, Hart pounded the pavement at a variety of small comedy clubs, working under the stage name of Lil' Kev the Bastard. Few saw Hart, and few of those who did found him funny. Under the guidance of Keith Robinson, a veteran comedian who began to mentor the younger stand-up, Hart began performing under his own name and creating material drawn from real-life experiences. Success eventually followed. 

After winning several amateur stand-up performances, he began performing regularly in clubs around the country, eventually migrating to bigger clubs in New York and Los Angeles. In 2006, he released his first stand-up album; I'm a Grown Little Man. His 2011 tour, "Laugh at My Pain," grossed $15 million, making it one of the biggest tours of the year. His success has continued to grow over the last few years with hit films such as Ride Along, About Last Night, The Wedding Ringer, and Grudge Match. In 2014, he won 2 NAACP Image Awards including "Entertainer of the Year" and "Best Actor in a Comedy Series".

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Photos: 25 Things You Didn't Know About Kevin Hart

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