Good luck finding an example of Kevin Hart dissing Philadelphia.
Despite it being his job to make fun of things, Hart’s spent most of his career giving love to the city where he grew up, professing his adoration of the Eagles and donating back to the place that gave him his start. If you’re a fan, you know he filmed his huge Netflix special here in 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field, making him the first standup comedian to ever fill an NFL stadium to capacity.
Today, the city is showing him a little love back with a “Kevin Hart Day” celebration and a mural dedication in North Philly. Here are some times Hart’s Philly love made us go “awwwww”:
1. ‘My neighborhood was shit… but I love it’
Hart was on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast in 2015, when he talked about his upbringing in Philly and how he first got into comedy:
Maron asked Hart about the neighborhood he grew up in, to which he responded: “My neighborhood was shit. North Philadelphia, 15th and Erie. Crime city. Right now we’re third in the world in deaths, probably. New Year’s we opened it up with five murders in my city. You know, it’s not the best place in the world, but I love it. It’s home to me. That’s what I know.”
(And don’t miss the now-awkward Bill Cosby shoutout at the 21-minute mark.)
Hart visited his first apartment in Philly earlier this year, writing on Instagram: “I was 18yrs old & I wanted to be on my own. I was hype as hell when me & my roommate found this spot. Major shoutout & thank you to our landlords who were cool as hell for understanding our bullshit reasons for not having the rent on time sometimes”
2. At the Laff Factory in the 90s
It’s easy to forget where Kevin Hart got his start. It was as “Lil Kev,” and a video exists of him performing at the Laff Factory on South Street back in the 90s. Hart’s said that he only spent about a year and a half performing in Philly before he moved to New York. The rest is history.
3. The time he squawked to prove his Eagles love
Do not ask Kevin Hart if he’s a Birds fan.
Here’s how he responded to a question in 2015 about whether or not he’s an Eagles fan: “What kind of question is that? Do I need to fly? Do you want to see me fly? I bleed Philadelphia. Right now if you cut me, green and white gon’ come out, brotha. Eagles fan for life, you hear me? *incoherent squawking* I’m an Eagles fan. I’m an Eagles fan… I’mma ride for my city. Philadelphia all day, every day.”
4. Backstage at Helium in ’08
Hart chilled backstage with Patrice O’Neal and Keith Robinson at Philly’s Helium Comedy Club in 2008. Hart didn’t talk much about the city itself, but things were… weird, and Hart’s described both O’Neal and Robinson as comedy mentors and inspiration for him.
5. ‘I bleed Philadelphia for life’
Aw, he likes us. He really likes us. This opening is from the filming of his special at Lincoln Financial Field in 2015:
Hart said: “In my city, I made fuckin’ history, god damnit. I’m in the record books. I’m in the record books… in my city, I made history, man. I don’t take this shit for granted, Philadelphia. I am Kevin Hart because you guys made me who I am. I bleed Philadelphia for life, you hear me? I bleed it. I bleed it for life.”