Anyone who has blinked in the last week may have missed the tenure of Kevin Hart as 2019 Academy Awards host. Mere hours after the diminutive comic was ruminating over the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ on his Instagram, his waxen wings melted in the scorching heat of the Twittersphere and he crashed to earth.
The source of the public’s ire? Some of Hart’s tweets from the earlier days of the website, surfaced by a BuzzFeed reporter.
‘Yo why does @DamienDW profile pic look like a gay bill board for AIDS……….Booom, I’m on fire tonight,’ one says. ‘Yo if my son comes home & try’s to play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice “stop that’s gay”,’ reads another.
I’ll leave it to other writers to reflect on the rights and wrongs of excavating what a person posted a decade ago on the internet and deploying it against them. At first it struck me as more shocking that for so many the final straw was these specific unfunny jokes, when Kevin Hart’s career has been a series of unfunny jokes in succession.
‘Am I being unfair?,’ I wondered. After all, my knowledge of Hart’s oeuvre is limited, extending only from late-night talk show appearances to the seemingly endless stream of blockbusters where he plays sidekick to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. So I looked up Kevin Hart’s funniest jokes. Here’s a selection of his best, from routines featured on DVDs, that he sold to the public:
‘There was a point in time when we were in Disneyland where I lost my daughter….But I knew eventually I would run into her again, so I took that time to get on rides she couldn’t get on….When I saw her she was crying….I was like, “It’s not your birthday. Today’s not about you.”’
‘It’s my mom’s funeral. I’m on the right side, I’ve got the casket….I’m crying, I’m a mess….My dad see me crying, my dad stood up, punched me in the back of the head. “Man up. She gone.” I forgot where I was, I threw the casket.’
Excuse me while I sew my sides back together.
Kevin Hart has stretched the definition of ‘comedian’ to its limit for a while. Thankfully the fallout from his bad tweets may have made the already-painful experience of viewing the Academy Awards slightly more bearable for us all.