Tag Archives: Comedy

Kevin Hart Shines in His Memoir, “I Can’t Make This Up”

Kevin Hart Shines in His Memoir, "I Can't Make This Up"

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible.
The opinions and text are all mine.

If your typical day is like mine, you spend a considerable amount of time in the car. Whether it’s getting to work and back, running errands, shuttling kids to activities, or visiting family and friends, you are behind the wheel a good part of the day.

I find myself flipping from music to talk shows to news, anything to distract me from the boredom of sitting in a traffic jam. Fortunately, there is another option: listening to an audiobook on Audible. When I want to catch up on a novel I’ve missed or discover a new author, I can search through Audible’s vast selection of titles and come up with the perfect choice for the moment.

These days, I often find myself needing to tune out what is happening in the world. I yearn for a selection that will take me away. Something that will make me laugh.

And laugh I did, all the way through Kevin Hart’s funny and heartfelt new memoir, “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons.”

Kevin Hart Shines in His Memoir,

If you are familiar with Kevin Hart, you know he is an accomplished actor and stand up comedian, as well as a successful businessman. His meteoric rise to fame is all the more admirable because of his humble beginnings in North Philadelphia.

North Philadelphia both then and now is a tough neighborhood besieged by drugs and violence, and Kevin Hart’s family was not immune to the temptations on the street. As he describes, he was born an accident to a father who became a drug addict and was in and out of jail. His older brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother, although well meaning, was strict to the point of being abusive, beating him with whatever she could get her hands on, whether it was a frying pan, a belt, or even one of Kevin’s toys.

Now how can all the above be funny? Kevin Hart turns tragedy into comedy, and listening to him narrate the book is like attending one of his stand-up concerts. His delivery is what makes this audiobook superior to the written version, in my opinion. You feel like you have a front row seat to his comic genius.

Not that the written version is any less funny. Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review. “[An] emotion-filled memoir full of grit and humor…Inspiring and thoroughly entertaining, Hart’s memoir brings his readers into his hilarious universe of stories and philosophy.”

In addition to all his other talents, the man can write. And what makes this particular memoir stand out for me is not just the funny stuff, but also the life lessons Kevin Hart shares from the bumps in the road. He is introspective, humble, down-to-earth and philosophical. He could have succumbed to the drugs and crime in his neighborhood. He could have grown up angry and rebellious.

But that is not the way he is wired. He chose to find meaning from the life lessons at every turn that helped him forge a way out of the poverty and violence and into a career that has made him adored by millions of fans.

Although this was not written as a self-help book, Kevin Hart’s memoir is truly motivational as well as funny as hell. His message is that we all have challenges that can be overcome through determination, and using laughter as a coping mechanism never hurt anyone.

 

 

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Farewell to Funny Man Robin Williams

Robin Williams is dead. I am reading the headlines and watching the news blanket the Internet. But my mind is not computing this fact.

I scroll through smiling photos of him as one by one my Facebook friends post their tributes, and I just can’t believe he is gone. That face, the face of a thousand expressions. That voice, so cleverly altered in one parody after another with his trademark rapid-fire delivery.

I remember his appearances on talk shows.

Whether it was Johnny Carson or Letterman or Oprah, his staccato stream of consciousness left the hosts in the dust and the audience in paroxysms of laughter. Maybe they had planned on an interview, but he had his own agenda, and it was best to give him the spotlight and let him do what he did.

Because, damn, Robin Williams was funny.

I feel shock, deep sadness. Like he was more than a celebrity to me, someone closer. My friends are posting similar sentiments.

Why? Maybe it’s because he was one of us – one of my generation. Although many fans know him for his movies in the 80s and 90s, we knew him first when he made his television debut in 1978 as that loveable alien in Mork and Mindy. His “nanu nanu” quickly became part of pop culture, and he captured our hearts.

His talent was obvious.

Mork and Mindy was just the beginning of a remarkable career.

From standup comedy to sitcoms to dramatic roles, he showed the breadth of talent throughout his career. He was amazingly good. Just read through the list of his movies – The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Will Hunting, Good Morning, Vietnam, Hook; Mrs. Doubtfire — so memorable, so timeless.

The accolades will come. Genius, one of a kind, maestro of comedy. Irreplaceable. All true.

Yes, he was a comic genius. But then he got into dramatic roles, and, who knew? He could do that, too.

The reports are he died of a suicide. That he struggled with addiction and depression, and that’s what got him in the end. How such a funny man could lose the will to live, to find nothing to live for, not his family or friends or the love of his worldwide audience, is an illustration of just how insidious the disease is.

We don’t know how and why he could no longer cope, why he sank into that maelstrom of despair. Was he getting help? Probably. But it wasn’t enough to calm his demons.

On his Twitter page, one of his last tweets is wishing his 25 year-old daughter, Zelda, a happy birthday.

I remember when she was born. He talked about his little baby, Zelda, on one of the talk shows I watched, because I always tuned in when he made an appearance.

If only someone could have saved him.

Farewell Funny Man Robin Williams

Rest in peace, funny man. The world will not be the same without you.

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