The famous comedian Kevin Hart speaking at a red carpet event.

How did Kevin Hart get famous? What was Hart’s job before doing stand-up?

While appearing on the podcast Smartless, Kevin Hart revealed his humble beginnings as a charismatic shoe salesman. He attributes this job to his influential salesmanship in later endeavors.

Keep reading to learn how a shoe salesman became one of the most successful comedians in the world.

Origins in Stand-up and the Art of Salesmanship

As a salesman, Hart used charm and people skills to sell shoes on a commission basis, learning valuable lessons in cultivating recurring customers. 

On the podcast Smartless, Sean Hayes sparked a discussion that led to Hart reflecting on his shoe sales experience, cleverly linking these skills to his later business achievements in various sectors.

Overcoming Adversity and Pursuing a Legacy

So how did Kevin Hart get famous? Hart recounted his days as a shoe salesman which laid the foundation for his influential salesmanship in later endeavors. Hart spoke of the substantial personal impact of his incremental successes, viewing each as monumental against the backdrop of starting with nothing, and such victories continued to fuel his ambition. 

He vividly described the adversity faced early in his stand-up days, including being booed in Atlantic City and his subsequent return to the stage there, perceiving the mere absence of boos as a significant personal victory.

Empowering the Next Generation

A strong advocate for community upliftment, Hart emphasized his commitment to nurturing emerging talent. He spoke about creating opportunities for upcoming artists and not just pursuing individual acclaim but contributing to a broader narrative of collective success in the entertainment industry. 

Responding to a question about reaching the peak of success, Hart rejected the notion of stepping back, expressing his intention to keep providing chances for others to achieve their dreams. This illustrates Hart’s focus on extending help beyond his personal fame, aiming to foster greater opportunities within the industry.


The podcast delves into several key themes. Firstly, it highlights Hart’s journey of overcoming adversity and relentlessly pursuing success. From his humble beginnings as a shoe salesman to becoming one of the most recognizable figures in comedy, Hart’s story exemplifies resilience and determination. Secondly, the importance of community and collective success is emphasized. Hart recognizes that his achievements are not solely attributed to his individual efforts but also to the support he received from others along the way. Lastly, empowering the next generation is a central theme in Hart’s narrative. He actively seeks to inspire and uplift aspiring comedians by providing mentorship opportunities and creating platforms for emerging talent.

While no specific historical context is provided in this podcast, it references Kevin Hart’s early experiences as a shoe salesman and his involvement in stand-up comedy. Understanding these broader aspects of the entertainment industry can offer historical context for comprehending Hart’s journey.

Although recent events related to Kevin Hart are not mentioned explicitly in this podcast (as its knowledge cutoff date is September 2021), it should be noted that he has been involved in various projects such as stand-up specials, movies, and television shows.

In addition to Kevin Hart’s narrative, there are several related topics worth exploring further: other comedians’ journeys to success; mentorship and support within the entertainment industry; and how personal experiences shape artistic expression.

How Did Kevin Hart Get Famous? From Salesman to Comedian

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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