Kevin Hart Speaks On Why Ice Cube Is The King Of Today’s Urban Comedy World (Video)

It’s no secret that Ice Cube has enjoyed one of the most impressive career trajectories in entertainment history. From his explosive work with N.W.A. to his appearance in blockbuster family-friendly movies, the rapper-turned-actor (as well as screenwriter, director, and all-around business man) born O’Shea Jackson has done it all. While his own work in films like Friday, Barbershop, and Ride Along make him a veritable comedic actor in his own right, what’s less known is the work he’s done behind-the-scenes bridging the worlds of Hip-Hop and comedy. However, Kevin Hart made it a point to acknowledge Cube’s extensive influence in that regard when he visited The Breakfast Club today (October 12).

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At the 17:18 mark of Hart’s extensive interview with Charlamagne, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee, the superstar comedian shares his thoughts on his Ride Along 2 co-star, who he says is just as important in putting Black comedians as anyone. “Cube is dope because everyone that’s successful in stand-up comedy in that urban world, Cube has touched you somehow. I don’t care who you are, Cube has had his hand in there somehow. I call Cube an urban version of Judd Apatow. How Apatow’s responsible for so much comedic talent, Cube is the same way,” he says. Hart is speaking from personal experience. As he explains, the casting decisions were being made for Ride Along, Hart’s name came up, and it was Cube who vouched for him. “Cube jumped at it. ‘We gotta get him, we gotta close it.’ And there were conversations where it wasn’t a fight, but [executives asked Cube] ‘are you sure we’re gonna go with Kevin Hart?’ and Cube was like ‘that’s our guy.'”

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Whether directly or indirectly, the success of Ice Cube’s forays into comedy have helped elevate the celebrity of comedians including Chris Tucker, whose first starring role was in Friday. Its follow-up, Next Friday, helped launch the mainstream success enjoyed by Mike Epps, who would partner up with Cube once again in 2002’s All About the Benjamins. Cube’s star power helped make 2002’s Barbershop a success, a film that featured Anthony Anderson in a starring role, a comedian who has gone on to become an executive producer and lead star of the Emmy-nominated comedy series Black-ish. Terry Crews, Katt Williams, J.B. Smoove, Rickey Smiley, and countless others have all found comedic success working alongside Cube, not to mention Hart.

Having just achieved something no other comedian has performed – doing standup in a football arena – Hart’s career has exploded into the stratosphere. Not only was he recently ranked by Forbes as the wealthiest comedian, but his partnerships with Nike and his forthcoming subscription-based comedy network Laugh Out Loud (both of which he discusses in the above interview) are likely to make him one of the most powerful celebrities in the world. The question is…could he have done it without Cube?