Kevin Hart has built a career around being funny, but the comedian and actor revealed his childhood wasn't a laughing matter. On Tuesday (Jan. 12), the Ride Along 2 star stopped by The Howard Stern Show to share painful memories about his father's drug addiction and the power of forgiveness.
The 36-year-old Philadelphia native grew up with his mother, brother, and a father who suffered through a long battle with drug addiction. Hart revealed his father dabbled in serious drugs like heroin, crack, coke, and more.
Hart even remembers an incident during one of his birthdays as a kid, when his dad stole $20 from a birthday card that was given to him as present. Through the ages two and eight, Hart admits his father did the best he could for himself and his family before his addiction took over his life. Despite his rocky childhood, Hart said he wouldn't change a thing about it.
A photo posted by kevinhart4real (@kevinhart4real) on Jan 12, 2016 at 1:21pm PST
"If my dad hadn't been around and didn't do drugs, I may be handling my success differently," Hart told Stern. "I may be on drugs, I may be searching for something. The way I look at it now, I'm such a great father because I don't want to make the mistakes that my dad made."
With the help of his older brother Robert, who served as a father-figure to him growing up, the two helped their dad toward recovery road. Today, Hart has a very strong relationship with his father, admitting he doesn't care about the bad choices he made in the past.
There is one family member that Hart says he owes his strength to: his mom, Nancy. He credits his mother for holding the family together while his father fought addiction and while he was in and out of jail. Nancy emphasized the importance of school and made sure to keep her children off the streets.
Hart describes himself as a "happy guy" and assures listeners he's not one of those comedians who uses humor as a coping mechanism for depression. He believes in finding the positive in every negative situation.
"I don't understand people who hold grudges," Hart said. "Do you know how much time and energy it takes to hold a grudge?"