Kevin Hart returns to the stage with another hilarious comedy special, Reality Check.
After a three-year hiatus from touring due to the COVID pandemic, Kevin Hart finally returned to the stage for his 2022-2023 tour, Reality Check. For those unable to attend his coveted shows, the Reality Check special premiered on Peacock on July 6th. The 58-minute special marks Hart's eighth comedy special and his first with Peacock.
The special starts with a prop joke referencing Dave Chappelle's attack on stage over a year ago. The joke would've been utterly outdated if there wasn't a slew of pop stars getting attacked on stage or random objects getting thrown at them.
Although funny, a later joke referencing Will Smith's Oscar's slap also felt outdated. The slap happened over a year and a half ago which in news cycle time might as well have been decades ago.
However, not all the "current event" jokes felt outdated. Kevin Hart hilariously tells the story of how he felt empowered and inadequate by his ability to act as an activist during the Black Lives Matter marches.
It's when Kevin Hart goes back to the basics of his comedy that the jokes land.
Hart reveals his father, unfortunately, passed from COPD, but he insists that with the jokes throughout the years and now, he can continue to celebrate his father's life. Hart jokes about his father's resilience even on oxygen and the mean-spirited nicknames he handed out throughout his life. The best jokes were those who continued to show how much of a "character" his father was.
Even with all the hilarious jokes, there were moments of lull that I don't remember experiencing during his previous specials. In this special, Hart told jokes that tiptoe the line between funny and offensive, and as he set up for the punchline, I waited, almost annoyed that yet another celebrity doesn't have the decency to watch what they say in public. I was ready to complain about an offensive punchline, but I was pleasantly surprised each time. Kevin Hart carefully treaded that line without crossing it.
Reality Check shows how masterful Kevin Hart is at putting on a show. His joke-writing abilities are incredible. The titular theme of the special was woven throughout the entire runtime. Hart delicately treaded a line that could get him canceled and did it confidently, with the joke still landing every time. He found ways to cleverly call back to jokes from both previous specials and jokes delivered earlier in this performance. It's all meticulously thought out and engineered for maximum entertainment.