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Philly's Own Kevin Hart Honored With Mark Twain Comedy Award

One of the greatest talents to come out of the City of Brotherly Love was commemorated last Sunday.

Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart, who is from Philly, received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at a gala performance Sunday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, according to The Grio.

Hart at 44, has mastered his style that combines his height – or lack thereof – with his facial expressions and his personal way of delivering jokes into a successful sand-up act and movie career that spans more than two decades.

Hart actually made his movie debut in Hollywood in the 2002 movie “Paper Soldiers” before coming to the mainstream fame through some cameos in classics such 2005’s “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin.”

Hart’s movies have grossed more than $4.23 billion globally.

Hart has done enough to be honored with the Mark Twain Prize, which is in its 25th year. The award honors performers who have made a longstanding impact on humor and culture.

Honorees will get to receive a bronze bust of Tain, who is the iconic American writer and satirist whose name was actually Samuel Clemens.

The Mark Twain honorees are commemorated with an evening of testimonials and video tributes, which often highlight previous award recipients. Other comedians that received the lifetime achievement award were George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Dave Chapelle.

Hart embarked on his comedic career as a teenager, performing at venues such as The Laff House in Philly under the name Lil Kev. He said his first performances were epic failures, which included being booed off the stage on multiple occasions, and even having a piece of chicken thrown at him, according to the Associated Press.

Still, Hart stuck with it, and honed his signature style.

Hart said the launch of the Mark Twain Prize in 1998 with inaugural recipient Pryor coincided with the start of the his comedic career.

“To be honored in this commemorative year feels surreal,” Hart said. “Comedy is my outlet for social commentary and observations on life. I am grateful to the Kennedy Center for recognizing my voice and impact on culture.”

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