An Outlook on the Speaking Skills of Kevin Hart

The speaker that I chose to critique is Kevin Hart. I chose Kevin Hart because I have always been a fan of him and I even got the chance to see him live in 2015. He is my all time favorite comedian and I watch him every time he is on TV.

In the clip that I watched Kevin Hart was in Cleveland, Ohio and it was being filmed for his special titled “Seriously Funny.” It was filmed in front of a live audience and was later released on Comedy Central. In the clip I watched all of the jokes were connected. He would use one joke to lead into another and then at the end he would come back to the original joke in a full circle. This was very effective with the audience because it was easy to follow his jokes and there was no confusion at any point. All of the jokes were easily received and there were no attempts at humor that failed with me or the audience.

In my opinion, the fact that he used one joke to lead into another was one of the main reasons that all of his attempts at humor worked. The forms of humor that Kevin Hart used included one-liners and exaggeration. Most of his jokes came from the stories of his life or the people in his life. At one point he told a story about the one time his mother gave him permission to curse and he talked about everything that led up to it and finally when he got to the point where he was allowed to curse, he greatly exaggerated the amount of curse words he said in order to emphasize his point. He also talked about how he had to “practice his lines” when he was given permission to curse. The one-liners that he used were all witty comebacks that were in the stories that he would tell.

He adapted to his audience by making jokes about the city. He also poked fun at some of the members of the audience. The humor he used was appropriate for the audience because they were able to relate to it. Kevin is a very fluent speaker. His language choice was intentional and is easy to understand. He does however at points have an accent that indicates he is from the Philadelphia area, but it does not impair his fluency. His oral style was effective. He had pauses in the right places and they were the right amount of time to allow the audience to laugh and at times respond.

He is a very dynamic speaker. He is very mobile on the stage and he portrays everything on his face very well. The physical presentation definitely added to the humor. He described the way that Shaquille O’Neal falls down and went as far as to actually demonstrate what he was describing. I think they way he presented his humor could not be improved upon. Kevin did not take on a particular persona for the routine itself, but he did portray different members of his family or friends at some points during his stories.

His overall characterization could be described as enthusiastic. You can tell that he’s just as excited to be there as you are and the way he tells his stories makes it seem like it’s the first time even if it’s the 100th.

Overall, I would give him a 10/10. Three things that worked are mobility on stage, how loud he is, and the way he makes his jokes come full circle. There is only one thing that I would recommend that he reduce the amount of cursing that he does. Things that I can take from him are the way he structures his performance and how dynamic he is with his hand gestures. I learned that it is all about timing and that sometimes it is best to avoid cursing.

03 December 2019
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