Hi, my name is Kevin Hart, and I feel extremely blessed about being Conan O'Brien's friend.
My God, I love that. I love that you would say that against your will you tell me to repeat after him? That's what he said. So I just said when I said.
Back to school, ring the bell, brand new shoes walking loose on the first. I can do anything I can to let me go. Hello there, welcome to Conan O'Brien, needs a friend podcast, Ponzi scheme, whatever you want to call it. We're having a really good time, joined here by my friends, Matt Gawley, Sunim Session. Hello. Hi, Conan. Good to see you all. This is an interesting episode, not just because we have an incredibly talented superstar guest on the show today.
And by that I mean myself.
Shimbo, Shahabi. Hey, no, Kevin Hart will be joining us. We'll get to him in just a bit. And just really just perfection when it comes to comedic forces. But I need to talk first about something. It's going to be happening in today's episode. That's very different because today is the episode where we reveal whether or not you won a golden ticket. I wish I understood this better. So Matt Gawley, feel free to jump in and explain it to me.
I tweeted up last week, I was told to, you know, when they put peanut butter on a horse's lips and then it smacks away and they add, you know, human speaking. Yeah. And it looks like the the horse is speaking. That's what they did to me last week with Golden Ticket. I didn't quite understand it. They put peanut butter on my lips, but I said it. And I do think it's a good idea.
Some lucky people are going to get a chance to maybe have a virtual meeting with me. It might even be on the podcast. It's very exciting, but I don't understand how this works. Matt Gawley, can you explain the engineering of the Golden Ticket?
Yes, you are Willy Wonka. You're just like Willy Wonka. And this podcast episode is sad, lonely man. I didn't want to say it exploits laborer's. Yes. No incredible health violations all over the place. Yeah. Brutal to his employees, brutal to his employees. Dirty rivers of chocolate and nugget everywhere with animal hair and feces in them. Yeah, OK, go ahead. And so this podcast episode is like a Wonka bar, meaning you'll get one and one, two, three.
Might have a golden ticket in it. And what that means is some individual people will hear an announcement that says they are a winner hint. Listen to the ads and then there are instructions in that announcement on how they can sign up to win to meet you. So people are I assume they listen to the ads anyway. I always listen to the ads because I care about the American economy.
People do listen to the ads in this because you often have such funny moments and well, I mine are wildly unprofessional. Yeah. We lose ads to time. We hemorrhage advertisers. I know we lose so many advertisers do it because they refuse to say what I'm supposed to say to sell the product. And listen, I feel like that's my job. You don't I mean, I'm the bull. This is the china shop. That's what's supposed to happen.
But if you listen to the ads today, you'll hear me give one or two of you or whatever if you hear a message, how does that work? How does some of them hear it and some of them. Well, hear it.
We're using something called dynamic insertion, which is usually used for advertising. And so, like a client can buy 100000 ads and it goes into 100000 episodes, but we can set it for a super low number. And that way only special listeners get that. You'll hear a little like horn fanfare if you're the winner. This is sounds dirty to me. Sounds like it really does me. I wanted this podcast to be pure and now it's we we've got some dynamic insertion.
Well, it can't be that dirty because it's it's advertised by State Farm. We should know. I love State Farm. Yeah. State firms, great agents. They've got a lot of agents. Yeah. No, no. It's amazing how many insurance agents state farms has and whatever number you think it is in the United States. Way more than that. Whatever number you come up with, it's much, much more than that. God bless you, State Farm.
I remember the number nineteen thousand. Yeah. Ninety thousand forty five times. OK, you just gave me two numbers to remember now. Forty five and nineteen thousand.
This is the nicest thing I've ever been to a sponsor. Well listen, I'm nice to them because what I always look for in any advertiser is how many people do you have. And yes, I do. That's important to me. And it's the first question I asked. And so if Burt's Bees comes along and says, do you want to promote Burt's Bees lip balm? I go, Hey, Burt's Bees, how many agents you got in the field?
Did they go agents? That's not really applicable to Burt's Bees lip balm. And I go, yeah, sounds like a lot of malarkey to me. I what about State Farm? They have over 19000 agents, which I would suggest at the risk of angering State Farm is too many. I think they've got agents selling other agents insurance. Like if you wreck a car, they send twenty people over. Yeah. You get into a fender bender. Sixty five people are going to come running out and and just.
Warm your car and they'll all be State Farm agents trying to help you, but anyway, yes, dynamic insertion robots, I've done my best to keep this thing pure, but evil forces like Adam Sachs, Matt Gawley have conspired to insert robotics into my pure artistic film. Robot Masters has no idea what it is. I still don't know it best, although I just to be honest, I don't see the dynamic insertion. Yeah, sounds like a robot got fresh with me and what I'm saying.
Well, listen, I don't know, but you've got to listen to the whole listen to all those ads, kids, because one of you or more of you, actually a couple of you are going to hear a special and then you're going to hear will it be a robot voice or my voice? It's you already recorded the announcement. No, I have no memory of this. You recorded it? I recorded it already. Oh, my God. What's happened to me?
I don't know. I'm just completely lost my mind. I have no memory of this. You really are like a horse dressed out who dressed me this morning. I don't even know who dressed me. The winner is going to get to come visit you in a nursing home. Yeah, yeah. The winner gets it gets to feed me. See. Do I know you. Yes, yes.
Conan, I'm a big fan. I won through dynamic and soup. Hot soup is too hot blow on it like you should probably go now. Mr. Brian needs is now put.
I won a contest. I did. I won a contest through dynamic insertion. You really have to feel you're setting it. Why is Mr. O'Brien working in a poll and how he liked him to think he's Napoleon makes him feel better. Time to go fight in the Battle of Waterloo. This soup is hot anyway. The point is, listen to the show. I hope you win and then you'll get to meet me and explain to me why you're meeting.
Because I forgot. No, I really do think it will be fun. So let's go for it and yay! State Farm. OK, well, now that we've established that I'm suffering from rapid neurological decline, let's get to my guess today. An absolutely hilarious comedian and actor. God, you know him from everything. He's in everything and he's great and everything. Such movies as Right Along Jumanji, welcome to The Jungle and Think Like a Man. His stand up tours have sold out arenas around the world.
Now he has an audio book, The Decision available on Audible. Very excited. He's with us today. A gentleman, an absolutely fine fellow and hilarious.
Kevin Hart, welcome. Kevin, you're just back from a workout and you're sweating.
Yes, and what are you working out all the time for? You're an amazing shape.
I find it irritating is all about the naked walk away in the bedroom. That's what it's about. It's about the naked walk away. My fear is walking away naked and hearing, OK?
That's my fear. So I'm trying to keep everything intact so that I never hear.
OK, well, let me tell you, as someone who hears that all the time, it's not that bad. You get used to it. It's doing well. It's OK while you just don't even hear it anymore. My wife is very vocal about the fact that I look awful. I've got a sickly flat white ass with little freckles on it and everything is messed up back there. I got a little tuft of orange hair the very in the small of my back at AIGO that I've never ever trimmed.
Yeah. At this point it's about eight inches long before, you know.
You know what? You're not going to. Man, I'm in love with jazz, with trying to give myself the best opportunity to be around for a long time. So everything that I can do to help that I'm going to do and you know, the things that I can't control, of course I can't. But I like eating healthy. I like working out. I like being active. I like the fact that I'm 41 and I feel 30. Those are the things that that are bonuses for me.
Good for you. I applaud you. I applaud what you're doing. Thank you. I am 57 people.
Tell me like I look like a 74 year old woman, a Dutch woman who tends to her flowers.
And that's because they think that you have a hair running down your back, but they don't know it's actually in the small of your back. They don't know.
You know what I do? I comb it forward.
Now, it's gotten so long that I take my low back hair and I come forward and it adds, I just saw I think I just saw your trainer by he just, well, better be your trainer. It's your trainer or your lover. I don't know who it was.
It was my trainer. I could say that with my training, has no respect for any work that I'm doing. You know, we're in quarantine together. So his whole thing is trying his best to to be seen. I mean, it's really annoying. I call him a mammoth, a man. A walking mammoth is what I call can't believe he would have the nerve.
He must have known. You're talking to the Conan O'Brien on a podcast. He probably shit himself when he heard that.
Not actually told him this morning. I didn't give a shit. Yeah, I told him. I said, you know, that Conan this morning, he's like, who the fuck is that? That's that's when I was like, you know, Conan. He's like, no, I really don't. And I went down all the things you've done, he still didn't know.
So you really went into detail about all the stuff I did. You show me any photos?
Yeah, I showed him the photo. I showed him the thing that we did for my movie promos. He's like, never seen it.
And I like whatever. So it sounds like you were very thorough with him. Yeah. And he still has no clue.
I made sure that I was like, very like accurate with my description of you, what you've done, why you're successful, why you're a friend to me, why I'm a fan of you. He didn't he didn't care. Didn't care. No, he didn't care. You put a lot of time into trying to explain to him who I am, and I appreciate that. Yeah.
Whatever it is, what it is and what it is, you don't look at you eating egg whites. You're eating egg whites right now as you talk to me, which I find both inspirational and disrespectful, when you same time, that's hard to do. Why are you not like the yolk? There's nothing wrong with the yolk. You can have the yolk.
I just told you, I'm in love with a healthy lifestyle. And you're questioning me about why I'm eating egg whites.
It's because you're healthy to the yolk. I don't want it. Koenen don't tell me. Oh you don't want to eat. You eat it. I don't want the yolk. You eat the yolk. I'm going to do I'm going to send you nine hundred yolks ok. And I want you to eat one a day. That's ridiculous. I'm not even the yolk. I don't want the yolk.
I have spinach in my egg white with a hint of pepper and some avocado on the side and to wash it down I have a green juice that has some ginger and some lemon cumin pepper in it, which is good for my digestive system.
These are things that I learned all sauces, Tom. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You've turned into like Jack LaLanne. You know, it's an old reference.
The kids won't know what I'm talking about. But there was a guy who I know Jack LaLanne well. I know you probably know him, but Jacqueline was this little man that was a health expert back in the 40s and 50s and 60s. Yeah. And he would eat the same stuff. And guess what? He used to get into in the water and tow a bunch of tugboats every year with the rope in his teeth. Yeah. And he lived to be like one hundred and ten.
Yeah. So it works. It actually works.
It does. I mean, look, Jack Lang is somebody I think, like you said, they're going to have to do a lot of research on, but.
We see a lot of clips that are just unnecessary that had nothing to do with fitness, like the one you just said, tugging boats which had teeth. Not really a justification of being in shape is just there's just no reason to be doing that. As you just told me, he had a fucked up job because of it. And you could never later in life, you could never understand what he was saying because his job was all messed up from pulling boats.
And he'd be like, you'd be like, what's the secret to a healthy life? Like, Oh, you shouldn't have pulled the boat. Yeah, maybe that's why your jaws.
You're going to let me start by complimenting you. Thank you. You are. And I've said this to people because I've worked with you a bunch of times. We've done different remotes together. We've shot different things together many times over the years. And I always say the same thing. I've never seen anybody. Obviously, you have God given talent and a lot of it, but we both know that doesn't get you that gets you some place, but not far.
Nobody works harder. I see you I see your brain working constantly to think of how could I make this funny or what could we do now? How can I increase the energy? How can I create an environment where funny things will happen? Nobody is dedicated to that like you.
Nobody that I worked with. It's the part where you you tell me what's good about me. Oh, all right. Well, let me do that. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. You know, but I'm serious. And here you go.
Now, I think that you out of all of the host that I've ever worked with and I've worked with them all, name it, I've been with them. I have never seen a person read.
No, wait a minute, I have never seen you write this on your head to come out. Just give me a second ring when you come out.
You know, that's not you have to say, because this is scratches Kobori. Oh, yeah.
I'm sorry. I got a thing after this. And this is a forget it, forget it.
Go back to what you were doing to forget it. Spoken from the heart. Everything spoken by the heart. From the heart.
You know what I wish? I wish when I go and God knows I'm going to go. I want you to give the eulogy and get up and do that and go. The thing about.
Wait, wait. That's not Conan. Hold on a second. Hold on. The thing about. No, that wasn't him either.
Got a couple of funerals a day and then funerals and then just wander off. I don't know. I don't know. No, I am. I am serious. People don't realize and this is something there are a lot of comedy fans that listen to this. And I want them to know that comedy is all about creating the right conditions for comedy to happen in a moment.
And you can't make it happen unless the conditions are right. And every time I've been with you, I see you. You immediately change. You create an environment where something really funny not only can happen, but will happen. It just will happen because your energy is off the charts and your instincts, you're constantly monitoring the situation and saying, OK, if Conan went left, I'm going to go right. If if the energy's over here, I'm going to go that way to help counteract that energy and add to it somehow.
It's very difficult to understand but or to explain. It's not difficult understanding.
No, that's what you're doing. You're doing a great job of it. I mean, look, I feel I feel that comedy's reactive. Right. And you like you said, you've been in comedy for 30 years. You've been all around it from writing, from performing, from hosting, and you've been jousting all that time because you can't always be in the lead. And if you had that mindset and you think like that in comedy, well, you know, you're funny is going to have a time limit on it.
So what I learned and what I've held on to and I always gravitate towards is things are funnier when when the entire thing is good.
If one person stands out and one person's just funny, well, is not going to do the project or the the project, the sketch, the monologue, there has to be an effort of making all of your surrounding counterparts just as good because the straight man shines well then the funny guy shines even more and sometimes the funniest guy can become the straightest guy. So. So I've learned that. And I'm always on that balance beam. And with you from the Times when I was a guest on your show to the times where we've done our sketches together, I think there's always been an amazing, an amazing display of a ping pong match going back and forth and allowing each other to hit the ball.
There's never an ego involved. If I need I want I have to. It's always an understanding of how do we make this the best thing possible?
Yes, you always walk into a situation with a lot of humility. You're just there as a person who wants to try and make it funny. You're not there as a guy that's played the biggest arenas in the world or had, you know, been in the biggest movies. You're not coming into it with any of that.
I remember we shot something. I shot something with you. I think this was your idea where we work out with sumo wrestlers, but it started with us going to a diner.
And you went in there and you were just I mean, you could have been starting out for all anyone would know.
You walked into that diner. A lot of people there, they're freaking out. You were just focused on, OK, I'm sitting in a diner at a counter with Conan and we're going to try and make this thing funny.
And so you would do funny things, but you would also, if I did something stupid, react to that. I always liken it to there really is a thing with music where I play amateur guitar.
But if you're playing with the guitarist, if they're playing low on the neck, you go up high on the neck to blend in. You don't play the same thing. And I sense you doing that all the time. You're constantly you're ethic is absolutely unparalleled.
Thank you, man. I've been very lucky from all of the projects that I've done, the the co-stars that I've had, the the cast that I've had around me in various different movies, television, there's always been a high level of generosity from from everybody to right. To give. And, you know, I wouldn't be where I am today without that, without that giving, without that understanding, without knowing that if you don't set me up. Right.
Well, I can't hit the. All and then if I catch the ball, I got to throw it back to you, so let me make sure that's a good pitch or good throw. It's I've always been able to do that. And I you know, I think because of that, the projects have succeeded. I think the best person that I've worked with that didn't was such an amazing love was set back and not only laugh, but I really dissected everything this individual did was Will Ferrell with me and Will Ferrell did get hard.
I looked at that as a comedy school over the course of two and a half months. I have never seen improv done at this level. Whatever the scene was will do the scene. And if he went for the funny, he knew how to get back to the scene. He knew how to get back to the moment. He knew how to get back to the purpose. And when he and I were going back and forth in certain things, we had a time clock.
We both had a mental time clock of how long we've been in this for about fifteen seconds. OK, let's get back to the scene, put the button on it. And there was always a button and there was never a thing that ran on too long. That's where the real talent within a Krave is put on display. And when I watch Will Ferrell do it, I said he's where he is because of him knowing how to do this, because there's no way for anything that he does to really be bad, even if it's a bad thing.
And people may not be a fan of the movie or whatever, you can't be mad at the effort, inability to find a laugh.
There's a lot of people that would say, well, Kevin Hart's he's just funny. Will Ferrell is just funny. So they have that and aren't they lucky? And what they don't understand and it's work ethic, I think is part of it. And it's also instinct. But someone like will you have it, too? But I know exactly what you're talking about with Will.
He always knows what he's going for. He's got a really quick mind. And if you're improvising with him, he knows exactly what he's doing and he's put some thought into it. He's not just winging it. And he's also talented enough to make it amazing. But I think a lot of people don't understand and maybe because it's not sexy to say it's just not sexy to say, yeah, Will has talent, Kevin Hart has talent. But then they put in this enormous amount of work and thought, well, a lot of people don't want to hear that because it's not who wants to hear that?
It's like, you know, I want to be a great musician. Well, you got to go. You've got to practice for thousands of hours. Well, I don't know. I just I just want to be a rock God.
You know, I have an amazing comparison for you. We were having a discussion with me and some other comedian friends on our radio show. And the discussion was based around people not understanding the maturity that comes with the comedy.
Right. Like like there's a there's a crazy movie that that people love to watch.
And that movie is The Rise and then the Fall of individuals. Right.
So with comedians, there's always a big thing of, oh, my God, he's the funniest, funny, funny. And then there's a thing of many not funny no more. He's not funny like he used to be. Right. I remember when Kobe Bryant started playing with his back to the basket rest in peace to an NBA legend. I remember when LeBron James started playing with his back to the basket when Michael Jordan started playing with their back to the basket.
They were still the best basketball players on the planet, but they learn how to be the best with less effort and less work so that they can last for long.
Right. They started to learn how to take care of their body and execute and score efficiently without doing the things they did when they were older. I mean, younger hands with comedians. There was a period where comedians where you got no problem flying across the stage flag on the floor, being as physical and energetic as possible, because that's the thing. You're young, you're ready for this. But then as you start to get more polish, you gain more knowledge about the art of joke, telling the same thing with comedic acting, you gain more knowledge and understanding of how to make a scene actually flow.
So when you talk about that poise side of it, I witness Will Ferrell at a mature stage in his career, show how polished he was with an understanding of that, setting a scene from front to end and giving you the funny where you needed it, not necessarily where you wanted it. That, to me, is when you become an engineer of the craft, right? You put in the hard work, you dedicate yourself, and then later on you learn to be more efficient.
So, I mean, I can look at me, I can look at a tape from me from twenty seven, twenty eight years ago. And I see myself working and it's hard for me to watch. But then I can watch myself later on. And I want you to take away from this that I just look at old tapes of myself all the time and I make the kids watch it too. And I'm in my I'm just weren't boxers. I get to see what I did and they're crying and my wife's like, enough, enough.
I swear to God we're leaving. I packed and I'm like, look at this.
You no, you're absolutely right. It is about and it's the same analogy again with sports, with music. It's trying to figure out a way to conserve. I mean, it really does apply to you. You famously have incredible energy. You're a machine. But you also know you'd like to be doing this when you're 85, if that's possible. I mean, I don't want to see it when you're 85. Wow.
It's going to be a big mind to lose a couple of spinous. Just you sitting on a stool. Students from the IV drip, drip, the stage nurse with me to wipe my mouth every so often I can feel your hired to just make sure I'm spitting on myself. I mean, that's all I care about. Mr. Drooly must be still drooling, drooling.
Kevin Hart, why is he in a in an arena just sitting on a stool? It doesn't make any sense anymore. No entrance.
There's no excuse at all. I'm just I'm a hospital bed on stage.
I ain't dead yet. And you're just yelling. It hurts. It hurts to breathe.
Applause. Applause lights going unnecessary, unnecessary special effects on stage. I still have the fire for gas, let's say. You know, what I love, too, is if the camera is doing all that stuff where they shoot you in concert, where were they with the cameras on a crane and spinning around above you? It's all that. But you're in a bed, barely moving and yelling at people, crying and the camera. And every now and then they come out and put it, put a different leather suit on you and then the camera spin around again.
You're like, it hurts.
Yeah, I still and I got on like just a weird, weird another top you can tell I don't have pants on is just a lot more, it's just a leather top.
So because you only see my top have from the medical bed I'm in. But this is what I wanted.
One last go around my die hard fans die hard fans are still there as a fan of thirty in a fifteen thousand seat arena. Thirty guests, just tiny little pockets of people sitting way far away from each other. You know, I'll be there. I love. Check it out.
Where do you think you got this, you have like a nuclear fuel, like it's I imagine it's it's almost like Tony Stark, you've got this thing in your chest that's burning away with nuclear fuel. That is one of your superpowers. It's not all of it, but it's one of them, this dynamo that's inside you. Do you know where that comes from?
I'm going to tell you, man. And this is this is going to blow your mind because it just hit me this year, this pandemic, this conversation of systemic racism, all the stuff that there's been murmurs and conversations, but the focus hasn't been as loud as it's been this year.
It hit me now that the reason why I'm always trying and always looking for more, trying to create more is it was a fear of it being taken away.
Right. It was a fear of somebody going to come and take this away. It's impossible to last forever. There was a fear that I'm not supposed to be here and that I'm lucky and fortunate to be here. Right. It's like I hit the ball at the park. Oh, my God, look at me. I'm a shooting star. And when you look at it, it's only a certain amount, you know, of people of color. I get these opportunities.
So when you get these opportunities as black people, we're holding on for dear life because outside of the opportunity is what? So I'm trying to get as much off of the plane.
And have been trying to get as much off of the plate to either create other opportunities or plant a flag of stability that can't be moved so that you're no longer you're no longer in the space of mental fear of damn, it's over.
And that's and that's a crazy thing because I swear to you, can't it just hit me? I said, oh, my God, that's been my fear. My fear has been this all being taken away because someone says up, it's done up, it's over.
And all the hard work and energy and effort that you thought was going to last ran out.
You're shooting star went down. So how do I become a brand of business, a. a entity, a IP a..
I mean, when I went to a streaming service, a a company, a investor, how do I do everything and check it all off the box set at the end of the day?
I've built a brick house and when you go to blow this bitch and go and fall, you may break the glass, but this house ain't going to fall. How do I do that? Oh, I know how I'm going to outwork everybody. I'm going to run 100 miles per hour, 365 a year, and when I get to said age and I decide to sit down and drink my first gallon of water at the running for so long, I'm going to look back.
And all the things that have been accomplished and done are things that are hopefully going to set my kids, my family, my next generations and generations to follow with multiple levels of opportunity, multiple shots at success.
And the success doesn't have to be entertainment.
Stardom is different levels.
If I create the thing that I think that I'm doing, if I create this mogul machine with all of these different branches, when it should be a lot of people that come out with success stories from it, that's my real success.
So if I do it correctly, my real success is not going to be the star that I was. It's going to be the stars that I mean, that's my reason for this crazy battery in my back and this pandemic. I swear to you, sitting in a house, having a conversation, I say, oh, shit, I remember Chris Rock had a joke and I just laughed at the joke. It was funny. But now I understand the truth behind it.
Chris Rock said he always kept a bag packed in his house by the door, he said, because he believed that one day somebody will come in and say this, it ain't yours is over, he said, because I'm the only guy in my neighborhood that's a star.
Everybody else is just a regular person. Dennis, Dr. Cerrejón principle that's that's built schools.
These are all just regular people. I'm the only astronomical star. No way that they won't let me stay here. And there was like a fear in the back of his head. And it was a funny joke. We laughed. But today it makes sense.
I'll tell you a true story. It's a very vivid memory, Chris. Back in the day, there was a period time where he was coming on our show and he had left staring at live. And he was I think he was a correspondent for Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, I believe. And he had come on and he'd come on as a guest. And then, of course, he did his iconic comedy special that absolutely blew up. He'd come on and the crowd would be screaming ten minutes before he came out.
You know, I'd be trying to get through the first ten minutes of the show, but the atmosphere was different because Chris Rock was in the building and he'd become such a huge star. And I remember he come on countless times and he was this huge deal. And almost every time he would come out, I'd say, ladies and gentlemen, Chris Rock, he'd come out and they'd be going crazy. He would always make a quiet comment to me, just as we, like, shook hands or hugged before he sat down, which was they are not on to me yet, you know, a comment that he would always say that now no one could hear him, only I could hear him.
But he must have said that to me three or four times. And it was always a different version of that, which is, well, OK, it's still happening for now. More they haven't come on to me. They're not on to me yet or. Well, they don't know. I still got them fooled, that kind of joke.
And I could see him saying that to me. But his head is turned away from the crowd. They're going nuts. And he's confessing to me exactly what you just said. Yeah. And I remember him saying it several times. I don't know if it's all artists. I'm assuming it's all artists. But I know it's true about comedians. We all think I'm here, you know, but for the grace of God and what you're talking about, which is something I cannot relate to, which is you add this race component, which I think this whole moment in the last six, seven months, really exploding, starting with George Floyd and continuing through so many of these shocking events has been people like me.
You don't understand that in the in the black community have perceived a slightly different America than the one that you perceive. And it's with us all the time. And because it's with us all the time, we do think about some things differently. We perceive things differently. And it is, I guess, shocking to me. And I'll even admit it's embarrassing to me that I haven't understood it as completely. Do you know what I mean? As I'm just I.
I didn't I didn't understand.
But here's the thing. No, I'm going to sit up here and admit I was aware, but with the light that's now shine. You're more aware, right, because where I was, I was conditioned to deal. What I saw is what I knew and what I knew is where I grew, this is it for me. This is what is going to be this is what life is supposed to be.
I don't know anything else outside of this. So because I got the opportunity to get outside of it, when you get outside of you look back, this is when you start to go, holy shit. Oh, this is what this is what people talk about. This is the racial divide. This is the conversation.
So when you're when you're when you're a part of that and you're you're gaining success, financial relationship, opportunity.
Well, the scramble to get it all is because you don't know how long it's going to last. And that's what the white community has never truly understood. There's a there's a safety net of longevity that comes with opportunity.
So the reason why, a, me, a rapper, young studio exec Anahad is trying to hustle to become a producer, signs. Fifty eight artists, fifty eight music artists in six months. And people like, are you crazy? Hell, no.
I don't know how long ago. Let me stay here. Right.
It's a fear of it's going to get taken away. It's not going to last what some that are extremely privileged and blessed have been able to do.
Hence your Oprah, Hinche, Tyler, Hintze, Puff, Jay-Z, Beyonce say they've created these entities that now stand alone to where they've been able to own board and hire and give opportunities and show so many that had no idea what else was out there, what the possibilities can be.
Yeah, but you take these shooting stars away. Well, how do these opportunities come? Right. And that's the part where now the education is is is being served on a dish that's got food good enough for people to eat and go, oh, OK. Oh, I didn't I didn't know that this was here. I had no idea this food was even on the side. I had no idea. So the conversation becomes how are we now going to be conscious and improve?
And what you just said shows that you're a part of the improvement. It's the it's the understanding of, oh, I did it. No. Oh, shit. Honestly, I'm OK. I am embarrassed that I didn't know. That's the that's the improvement. So so how many can do that and how many moving forward will. Because then you understand the hustle, you understand Kevin's crazy drive. You understand why Kevin's filming a movie and touring at the same time and trying to get to his office at nine and with his staff.
You understand? Yeah. You understand why, why? Why. That's the attitude and the effort now.
It's just a different it's a different way to look at it.
I had this moment long before this current conversation. There's this guy that works on our show, Chris Hayes, who is is he from.
I think he's from Lompoc. Is that right? He is from Lompoc. He's from Lompoc and he's black. And I had this movie night and he came over and we're like sitting out having a beer before we're going to watch the movie and eat some food.
And he made some remark about coming to this neighborhood because I live on the west side of L.A. and I live in a nice neighborhood and I didn't understand what I said. What do you mean? He said, you know, I just have to when I drive into your neighborhood, I'm on my best behavior.
And I I stopped the conversation. I was like, why? What is he? And he said, Why I have to drive because I know there's a good chance I'll get pulled over because I'm in a very different neighborhood. And I was I was I'll say it again. I was embarrassed. I was I felt some shame that that hadn't occurred to me. And then I realize I think it's part of this conversation that I've been having with a lot of people is this whole idea that so get over yourself.
You're embarrassed. You didn't know or you didn't you didn't realize. Obviously, we all know there's there's racism. We all know that it's a big part of this, our world. But when you hear.
But wait, that's my friend. What do you mean? He's really he has to have his driver's license ready. If he comes to my neighborhood, he has to be worried about getting pulled over. I'm embarrassed now and I'm ashamed. And one of the things that's come out of this is, so what if I can get over yourself, be embarrassed. Let's say you're paying a much smaller price than Chris Hayes is playing, saying get over it and work on changing it.
That's you know, I think part of what this conversation has has all been about. And I think what's so powerful about you saying this is that I'm telling you, Kevin, people look at you and think. They just think you've got the world by the tail and that you've been blessed and you have been blessed in many ways, of course, but they don't understand that you feel that way. Oh, absolutely not. They do not know that a Kevin Hart, because they otherwise you and I don't mean otherwise you in any racial way they otherwise you and that America would take successful people and turns them into gods.
And so it's Kevin Hart and Kevin Hart is just oh, he's got it made. They do not understand what drives you.
They couldn't they they couldn't understand and they would. And they also don't understand being where I am now. The eyes that I have to walk on in this position, this thin ice, I'm walking on thin ice.
So I'm not complaining about it. I'm very thankful. I'm very happy for all of my success. But I'm walking on thin ice.
There is no room for error for a black successful man. I'm sorry.
There isn't. No, there isn't. And and the world doesn't understand it and hasn't processed it like, you know, with what happened with me from tweets of old, you know, I'm I I did everything in my power to try to show that I was sorry, remorseful. I mean, it took time. I don't know if it's still received or not received, but me trying to show the person that I am and hey, this is guys, I'm still me.
I'm the happiest person. I love everybody. That took an amazing display of effort and energy to prove once again who I am. I have to go above and beyond to prove that because it's been compromised. OK, well, now that thing goes past. Well, Kevin messed up again, guys. I'm I never said I'm not going to mess up what the pressure of perfection is on me for what? Oh, that's right.
Because we don't get these shots. So, yeah, the ones that do if you mess it up, then where's the next one? Because this one doesn't deserve it. That's the mindset. That's the attitude. And that's something that the world has yet to truly identify with. So when I'm now in this position of quote unquote power, I'm a CEO, I'm a chairman of my company, I sit on the boards of several other companies. I'm a real fucking entity.
I'm a role model. But guess what? Any time anything happens with me personally, well, now I've got to worry about those that work underneath me and as hundreds of people.
So now Kevin has to walk at the highest level of success in a in a in a piece of fear with his moves. Right. Because I can't. I can't. I can't mess up this is this is where my mindset is and has been, and now because of it, I just try to make sure I'm always doing the right thing.
And if I finish my my time in this business and I maintain a level here and I've been able to do it, then God bless me.
But if I didn't know, well, then it wasn't meant to fucking be like at the end of the day, you get one life.
Yeah, I get one life and I got to live my goddamn life because when it's all said and done, I'm a look back at it. And if I'm not happy or if I wasn't happy and if my family wasn't happy and we didn't do it right, we didn't do it right.
But the pressure that comes with the attempt of holy shit, we're talking about a different one.
Yeah. Talking about a different level of pressure. And that's the part that people just aren't aware of. But I love it. I stand up to pressure. I've stood up to it all this time. I'll take it head on. Take it had to fuck on and there's nothing that can happen except you get knocked on your ass and the beauty and as you can see how felt. But dust comes off, yeah, bruises heal.
I've been I've been bruised up a lot, but yeah, I've been punched, kicked a lot.
And also, I mean, talk about people not realizing. I don't know if a lot of people realize how badly you were hurt recently by that accident. Yeah.
You were like, my God, why didn't you call me? I wiped your ass off. I should have I should have called me. I would have happily wiped your ass. I could not wipe my fucking ass man as another another piece of reality. That's what that's what you face when you can't wipe your ass. A advice you can get of fucking help, but you got to help. But that's about it.
And the most the most humbling shit ever in the world is not being able to wipe your ass and having an innocent look in your eye for help.
That is the most humbling thing in the world. When I tell you I have never been more appreciative of my wife in my life than when I was swiping your eyes. She wasn't happy about it. She wasn't happy about it, but she was happy about it. I'd be very suspicious. Happy about a kicks ass wife four times.
I want you to nurse do it. I don't want nurse do it. Oh no, I don't like it. I want you to do it so that that had to be done for a while.
But that's when I got punched in the face with more reality. You know, like this, like I built up this thing for so long that I was in control.
Me I, I, I, I, yeah I got it. I'm doing I got to make me me, me. That's what you think. Because you're doing so much you start the. Oh so you're just not quite so my god damn egg whites over. That's what I want to do. This shit you know, if there was yolk in there, if there was yolk in there, the plate would have been heavier and it wouldn't have flipped off the table.
Damn it, egg whites are too light. That's the problem. Might be on to something. You've got to have some. You've got to have some yolks.
You know, it's what's what's what's crazy is you were micro millimeters away from being paralyzed for life.
Your doctor held his fingers up and they were a very small space. There was a small space inside. That's how close you are from never Waukegan's Christ.
That's how close. He said you're very blessed and fortunate. He said, because of my core strength. Of course, I say because of God first. But he said also my core strength played a major part in saving me from being paralyzed as well.
But, you know, that was that was a moment where, like, life could have been over, man. SNAP of a finger, bye bye, life.
But it's so funny when when you say I that is a trap. I know that I've fallen into a lot, which is I mean, when I'm in my office, the building says Koenen on it. And there's a thousand pictures of Koenen inside and everyone's wearing a shirt that says Koenen because I make them. It's like. It's like, it's like Willy Wonka factory. I just, I insist just on it. It's a great book. We actually make really good chocolate.
They're not good comedy movies, great movie.
But you can get into this idea that I'm making all this happen when you really got to give it up for how many people around you are supporting you and that there's a limit to I, there's a limit to what we can do.
We need help. And occasionally you do need someone to wipe your ass. Hmm. I have not been in that situation. Well, I've had people do it not because I can't wipe my own ass, because I just. Yes. Laziness. Yeah, just and because. Yeah. You're not a morning person.
I understand we've had interns complain. It's just been some lawsuits. But I say, look, what's the point of having your name on the building if someone can't wipe your ass? That was when I was trying to get college credit. You know, there was. But no, I, I understand exactly what you're talking about.
And the other thing I wanted to say that you brought up that I thought was such a good point. You've worked so hard to build a business. And I'll tell you something. You could take some of the whitest, most racist, ignorant people in America who are in a bubble. And and I think it's just very American. But if you show them your spreadsheet and you show them how much money your company is making and how many people you employ, the most racist person will be like shit, you know, would you like I mean, it shouldn't be that way.
But sadly, it is.
It is it's beating them at their own game because we do bad that it is. But it is it is true.
Money is the one thing, sadly, in America that gets people to get over some of their prejudices. They because they I think, sadly, in a lot of parts of our country, we respect that more. Well, and it makes sense to me that you would want to build a system where it's like, you know what? You've got to respect that one day I'm going to have a Fortune 500 come. You know what I mean, you've got to respect that and it doesn't matter what prejudices you have and people who don't know that, yeah, OK, he's from Philadelphia and he used to sell shoes for a living before he got into comedy.
And he struggled for years and years and years and who are biased against the color of your skin once they see fuck.
Look at this thing he's built. I mean, it's sad, but it's true. At the end of the day, whether you're a fan of not whether you're a fan or not, you're going to respect my effort, my attempt and my effort and whether I get to that place of ultimate success, I'm at least going to set the blueprint, an example for the person behind me to do it better.
So so my efforts, my push, my attempts, if I do come up short, which I doubt I will I don't lose.
I don't fucking lose. I say that confidently. I do not lose if I do come up short. I will have come so close that the next person is going to go, all I got to do is this and then make a right instead of that left. That's all I got to do, my moves and his business have not been astronomical, have not been genius, I have watched and studied so many and I have followed the path that so many have set before me.
And getting to a certain place, OK? Some have went this way and this way, I'm going to try this way. I'm going to try to do this. That's how ground gets broken. That's how new success becomes a story. It's within the attempt. So right now, my attempt is when we're witnessing somebody see some not that's not my business for for you to be aware. My business is in the business of implementing and planting a flag of opportunity.
Mm hmm. If I do that, then I did my job. I did my job. I realized my purpose. I realize my opportunity.
And if I create more, well, I did it. So whether you like me or not, you're going to have to respect it. You're going to have to respect it and go home.
Holy shit, whether you like Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, music, all those names that I named before and there's so many more, whether you like them or not, you have to respect what they did with their opportunity.
They created more.
So if I can put myself in that conversation, then God bless me.
Thank you. I think you.
Well, first of all, I think you you did first of all, you you put yourself in that conversation and my only wish for you, because I do honestly really consider you a friend. You're someone who's I have a lot of admiration for as a person, as a comedian, but as a life force and a person. My wish for you is that you take 30 seconds every day to understand that you have done it and that you have have some self-love every day to say, I did it, I did do it.
It has been done. You are continuing to do it. But honor that. You did do it, Kevin. You don't. I mean, it's not all in the future for you. And I'm sorry. I wish it wasn't the case that you felt like someone might take this all away from you, but. God, I think you've made that highly unlikely. You've really I mean, I do not understand how someone could do this as well as you are because No.
One, I would never bet against you. You're the last person on Earth I would bet against. You are undefeatable. You're just and I really admire you. I really have such great admiration for you.
This is why I love you. You are a friend. And the amount of respect that I have for you is just through the roof. And as for this, for so many more reasons, outside of what you do is just the person that you are, a man so into hell and high water, you forever got me for whatever you. Right. And I mean that.
All right. Well, I need a lot of money. I kind of get it now. OK, well, now I'm talking I need like six million dollars unless I fucked up. Well, let's talk. You know, I need you in cash. I need it in cash. Listen, I'm going to let you go. Yeah. Let me go and let you go. But you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to have my people contact your people at six million dollars.
Right? Right. Let's talk offline into some bad people. These are bad people. Kevin and I need this fucking money. I need it now. And I got it. No, let's just talk about it offline and we'll we'll see what we could come. I will never talk to this man again. All right. Hey, I love you, Kevin. Love you well. And and stay well and try the yolk just a little. Yokine.
Beiste Goodbye. Goodbye. Bye.
You know, there are a lot of people that ask me how accurate is the depiction of your relationship specifically with sonar? That's that you hear on the podcast, meaning do we turn this on when we're on the podcast? But we're not this way most of the time. And I would say this is a fairly accurate representation. But I had an example of something that happened the other day. That's just a perfect example of, I think, how we are in the real world.
I'm terrified now.
You shouldn't be terrified, OK? Actually, we taped our show, which we do at the Largo Theater. Yes. The television show. So many shows. Now, I have a puppet show. I have a I have a Cirque de Soleil show.
There's so many versions of Koenen Cirque du Soleil. Yes. What do you do? I am the least limber member of the Cirque du Soleil, Ariel Koenen. Yeah, everyone else is spinning and twisting and and then I'm in a chair and they, I slightly recline the chair about eight degrees once once we reclined it, the music was playing and we reclined it 14 degrees. And I started screaming and they rushed me to. That's terrible.
So anyway, so many different shows now, but we did the the television show at Largo Theater and then we were done and we thought, let's go grab a bite to eat. So Soane and I went and we went in the neighborhood to this Italian restaurant where you can sit out on the sidewalk. They're very safe there. We could socially distance. Yeah. And I want to make that point. So we're sitting outside and it's right across the street from Cedars Sinai Hospital.
It's a big hospital here in Los Angeles.
And we're sitting there and we're waiting for our food. When I saw two guys that work for the hospital, they looked they were employees and they were running down the street. One was at the front of a gurney. One was at the back of the gurney. But the gurney was completely empty. They were just rushing down the sidewalk with an empty gurney on wheels and they were pushing it really fast and headed into the hospital entrance. And I pointed to and I said, oh, my God, Seona, the invisible man's been in a terrible accident and it's so stupid.
It's such a stupid joke. But Seona started laughing really hard. And and and then I said, Hi5, that Seona and Sonna was laughing. So she hi5 it. And then our food comes and then we're eating our food and it's like it's ten minutes later I went Invisible Man had an accident, right, seona? And she went, Yeah, yeah. Know that was really that was funny. That got me. It's stupid but it's really funny.
Ten minutes ago then then I'm like, it's later, it's an hour later and I'm running errands and I call Seona on the cell phone and she's thinking, I'm gonna ask her to do something. And she picks up and I go, Invisible Man had an accident. Right? And she's like, What are you doing? Yeah, I acknowledged it. And then FlashForward like three hours later. Yeah, it's getting to be nighttime. Four hours later, I text you an invisible man accident.
And you were like, and then I can't stop. I got to keep doubling down on The Invisible Man. And it was really funny the first time. Right. But then there's some part of me that can't help but ruin it. I have to drive it into the ground totally.
And the thing is, you are so proud of yourself, too. And then, you know, there were high fives. There were chuckles. And I think because you felt so good about nailing a joke, which you you do, by the way, for your career, I'm happier about a stupid one than I am about a good one. And something about them rushing down the street and they looked like really serious. And there's an empty gurney. But I knew the invisible man had been hit on a bicycle, which but and then I'm thinking this happens all the time to the invisible man because he's invisible.
So when you know, when he's out walking around, people are hit. And, you know, that's really stupid. I bet the invisible man had like iPods in and was listening to music. So he's invisible and he's listening to tunes and he's constantly, constantly getting hit, you know, and every time they take him to the hospital, they're like, Invisible Man. Yeah. There's like a whole like, come on, were you listening to your invisible iPhone buds?
Maybe I don't have that attitude. You got to listen. If you're going to be invisible, you know, maybe you should, like, maybe spray some sand or dust on him or something. They've tried it, but he's very sensitive skin. Oh, yeah. His invisible skin is very, very supersensitive. He's tried it. He's tried doing a light paint when he goes out on a jog and it doesn't work, why wouldn't he just wear clothes?
Well, first of all, he enjoys being naked on one of the joys of being invisible. Man is walking around naked. Yeah, he's. You just get naked. Yeah.
You got to start the moment he put clothes on, he they become invisible.
Doesn't work that way. You got to be completely naked. It that's one of the erotic thrills of being the invisible man, and that's why he's such a perv. So anyway, the fact that I couldn't let that joke go. Yeah, that is an exact example of what I do all the time. And probably if I hadn't brought it up here on the podcast, I would have waited a few days. And then I guess I'm going to say, like on Sunday, I would have bombarded you with a couple of invisible, like, wasn't that good.
Yeah. And you would have been like, you've got to stop. Yes. Yes. My hope would be that years later, after you're retired and so on, is not working for you and you're on your deathbed and you haven't spoken in 10 years, you just call her. And the last thing you do before you die, remember that invisible man? It's funny because if he was rushed to the hospital, it would look just like those two men pushing an empty gurney and you'll be in a gurney and naked.
Yeah. And I'll be in a gurney naked. Well, that's. Yeah, yeah.
Well, it's so on brand for you that your last words would be a bit and not like my last words. My last words will be a bit like I've always thought, you know, there's that weird guy, George Slansky, who works for us. Yeah. I always thought that if something, God forbid, something terrible happened to me and people rushed up and I was fading fast and they said, is there anything we could say? Instead of saying, tell my wife I loved her, I'd probably say, tell Jordan, Shelanski I'm not a fan.
And then she's like, oh, my God. My wife would be like, what did he say? He said, Tell, tell, tell me that. Tell lies. I love her. No, that's not what he said. We thought that's where he was going. But he said, Tell George Slansky I'm not a fan. And then he went on a little bit about how Jordan usually comes in late and seems to have attitude and doesn't back it up with his work.
How long did he talk for? About 45 minutes. You die. Did he mention his children now? We actually brought up his children a couple. We brought up Nevine back and we said, is there anything you should tell them? And he was like, no, no, no, no, no, no, whatever. They'll figure it out. Look, also bring up the fact that he's always talking about manscape. Why does he manscape?
Oh, my God. And then you know how long? Well, he lived for about six days. And we kept saying we should. Why didn't you contact me? He said you shouldn't contact him. He was on a roll about this guy at work who irritated him. Oh, my God. He just went off anyway. That's what we're like. You're a sick man. That's the real US, right? Pound it is your right buddy guy.
Can I just touch on the shoulder and go? Yeah, buddy, that's super spreaders. Yeah, yeah.
I just had my hand in a big bucket of covid.
A bucket of govey they sold at the Cracker Barrel bucket Unkovic. Yeah. I went for my bucket of covid put my hand in there. I don't know why Cracker Barrel sells that shit. It's crazy. Cracker Barrel. Knock it off. Where is it. Cracker Barrel. There isn't one here. We've gone off the rails. There's no way this is making it in this camp.
But is there a Cracker Barrel anywhere nearby? I know, right? You'd have to go out a ways out towards the creek. OK, OK. We're done. We're done. We're done here. You're ending it. Know what, Eric? You know what I love? I love. I love that girl. She's trying to end this neatly and I'm refusing to let this have a neat. Yeah, no, he'd go out to the Cracker Barrel, head out towards the Krick, get yourself a big bucket of covid.
Now, you put that in possibly the biggest laugh you had to do to to to to dude, I'm playing, my God, a laugh musical instrument.
It's a woodwind boo boo boo boo boo boo boo. Gawley can't cut this out to people. He can't cut it out.
Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Sunim Obsession. And Conan O'Brien has himself produced by me, Matt Cawley, executive produced by Adam Sachs, Joanna Solotaroff and Jeff Ross at Team Coco and Colin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Airwolf. Theme song by The White Stripes. Incidental Music by Jimmy Luisito. Our supervising producer is Aaron Belayer and our associate talent producer is Jennifer Samples. The show is engineered by Will Beckton. You can rate and review the show on Apple podcast and you might find your review featured on a future episode.
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