“Living Large: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Kevin Hart’s Record-Breaking $87.5 Million Tour”

Thanks to a loaded tour schedule and packed arenas, Kevin Hart managed to out-earn all of his fellow... [+] comedians (and many rock stars). (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Thanks to his busy tour schedule and sold-out arena performances, Kevin Hart has managed to earn more money than any other comedian. While most rock stars rely on guitars and drums for their performances, Hart takes the stage with just a microphone and stool, delivering laughs instead of songs to massive crowds around the world.

In 2016, Hart’s What Now? world tour was the main source of his staggering $87.5 million income, propelling him to the top spot as the highest-paid comedian. Compared to the second highest-earning comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, who made just $43.5 million, it’s clear that Hart’s comedy empire is on a whole other level.

Apart from his successful tour, Hart also raked in money from lucrative commercial deals with Hyundai, Foot Locker, and H&M, as well as starring roles in hit films like The Secret Life of Pets and Central Intelligence. With his irresistible humor and unstoppable work ethic, Kevin Hart has solidified his status as a comedy legend and a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.


While many comedians embark on extensive tours across multiple cities throughout the year, none have reached the level of financial success that Kevin Hart has achieved, highlighting the uniqueness of his career. According to Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar, very few comedians have the ability to fill sports arenas with their comedy, making Hart an exceptional case that transcends borders.
Most comedians typically start off performing at comedy clubs before moving on to theaters, with capacities usually ranging from two to three thousand seats. In contrast, arenas have the capacity to accommodate tens of thousands of people, leading to bigger profits and greater earnings for the performer. Hart has not only managed to perform in arenas but has also successfully sold out shows around the globe.
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Graphic by Holly Warfield/Forbes.

According to Forbes’ Holly Warfield, Kevin Hart has set a historical record in the comedy industry by consistently selling out large venues on his tours. Back in 1990, Andrew Dice Clay made headlines by selling out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row, which seats up to 19,000 people. Since then, only a handful of comedians, including Dane Cook, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, and Russell Peters have achieved such a feat. Kevin Hart stands out for not only playing these massive venues but also exceeding expectations by performing for crowds of up to 50,000 fans, like at his show in Lincoln Financial Field. Mark Bongiovanni comments on Hart’s impressive achievement of selling over a million tickets in a single year, something rarely seen in the comedy world.

Graphic by Holly Warfield/Forbes

Holly Warfield from Forbes created a graphic about Kevin Hart, highlighting how he has managed to attract a large fan base. With an impressive social media following of 30.7 million on Twitter and 42.3 million on Instagram, Hart can easily promote his tours. Compared to other top-paid comedians, the closest in terms of Twitter followers is Aziz Ansari with only 10.8 million, a small fraction of Hart’s following.

Hart’s massive following allows him to sell tickets for big arenas, and due to his simple set and technical requirements, he can take a larger cut of the total gross from his shows compared to musicians. According to Bongiovanni, comedians have minimal overhead costs as they do not need a band or excessive equipment, enabling Hart to profit significantly from playing in front of large crowds.

While Hart does not have any major tours planned for the upcoming year, he is still expected to rank high among the top-paid comedians in 2017. This is due to his numerous endorsement deals, including one with Tommy John underwear, and his continuous work in movies. Even if he ever faces financial constraints, Hart can always hit the road and make millions.

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