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Comedian Kevin Hart went from headlining his own stand-up comedy tours to being the headliner on the cover “Rolling Stone.” Sources say that Kevin always dream of being on the cover of Rolling out magazine and he’s the self-proclaimed “comedic rock star.”

On his humble beginnings:

“I’ve been to some of the damnedest places for comedy,” Hart says. “I performed in a place in Atlantic City called Sweet Cheeks. It was a male strip night, and some nights a female strip night, and in the middle they would stop the stripper show and have intermission, where as comedians it was our job to go up and make the people laugh. I performed at family dinners, family functions, like where you get there and you’re the entertainment for a household. You name it: All shots to my pride have been taken.”

On appealing to various demographics:

Race as an overt topic figures very little into Hart’s comedy. His core audience is black, but “I approach it on a universal level,” he says, and the proof of his success on this score is the racially diverse crowd that now comes out to see him. “If you associate yourself with one group of people, you alienate another 12, you know? So the thing for me is, how can I make everybody laugh at this one thought? The thought may be provoked by something that happened on the stoop or at the barbershop, but now how do I make it broad enough for everyone to understand it and see it?”

On why he refrains from joking about race/racism:

I ask if he has ever felt compelled to address race more pointedly in his act, particularly in the past year, when racism, and racist violence, have dominated the national conversation. He says that, offstage, these issues infuriate him: “A guy in the hood with two nickel bags of weed gets five years in jail, because they say they want to make an example of him, but I haven’t seen one judge make an example out of one of these police officers that killed one of these young black men.” But he keeps it offstage: “When I see videos of children being shot dead by police, I don’t talk about it because it’s something that scares me. Because I have kids. At that point, it’s not a joking matter. There is no joking there. I would not touch it.”