Kevin Hart didn’t have an easy childhood in Philadelphia. He grew up in a single-parent home, his father was a cocaine addict who went in and out of prison, and he never finished college. But what’s most surprising is that his comedy career didn’t get off to a good start. Kevin didn’t click immediately and was even booed off the stage from time to time.
That all changed when Kevin realized the secret of good comedy: connecting with the audience. Since then, his style of comedy has always been about real stories — his stories — that he brings to life in his energetic shows.
In 2017, Hart launched Laugh Out Loud Network, which started as a simple subscription comedy service but has grown in leaps and bounds since then and is now disrupting the comedy industry one show at a time.
The Humble Beginnings of Laugh Out Loud Network
Laugh Out Loud Network (LOL) had one clear mission: to give opportunities to comedic talent of all ethnicities. When Kevin started in comedy, there was very little room for someone of his background. But through hard work and constant effort, he made it big against all odds.
LOL had its humble beginnings in December of 2016 when it started as a YouTube channel mainly featuring Hart himself. Come 2017, LOL got into a partnership with Lionsgate, and it launched a streaming platform and app with seven original programs from Hart, King Bach, David So, Dormtainment, and GloZell — all BIPOC comedians.
Expanding Into the Digital World
The first year LOL was a success, with high numbers of app downloads and positive feedback from the media. Many were even saying that the network was bound to disrupt the comedy industry with its unique approach.
But Hart didn’t stop there. Aside from the LOL YouTube channel and streaming app, he also launched LOL Studios, which began producing comedic content in a variety of formats and platforms. LOL Studios also sought out up-and-coming comedians, giving them a platform to showcase their talent to the world.
Pushing Into the Future
In 2019, Hart went ahead and bought a majority of Lionsgate’s stake in the company. In that same year, Laugh Out Loud Network also launched LOL Audio, a new branch of the company focusing on podcasts, audiobooks, and radio shows.
In late 2020, LOL X was launched, which focuses mainly on live events like comedy festivals, shows, and more. Both of these launches gave even more opportunities for BIPOC comedians to shine. It also gave listeners unparalleled access to their favorite performers and led them to discover new ones.
Kevin Hart is a firm supporter of up-and-coming BIPOC talent, and his dedication to the Laugh Out Loud Network shows just that. And while Kevin himself is a strong advocate for hard work and pushing against all odds, there’s little doubt that he hopes his efforts will make it easier for the next generation to achieve greatness.