Hollywood stars can be larger-than-life characters, but the biggest name in comedy is a relatively little guy. Over the last five years, Kevin Hart has gone from short jokes to long money, from pint-sized laughs to big-time box-office hits, from tiny budgets to huge paydays, from Death of a Dynasty to Ride Along.
Well, you get the idea. The guy is really successful.
In 2014 and 2015 alone, the motormouthed funnyman has been the go-to comedy box-office star; appearing in rom-coms like About Last Night and Think Like a Man, as well as buddy flicks like The Wedding Ringer and Get Hard. In Hollywood, if you want funny, in 2015 that has come to mean you want Kevin Hart. He’s following in the footsteps of guys like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, while carving out his own niche as the hyperactive little loudmouth persona he’s developed on screen.
And he’s leading the way for a generation of millennial comics who are primed to take over the mainstream. Comedy addicts and Web surfers simply looking for a good laugh can tell you the most humorous one-liners are only a click away.
Issa Rae is an actress and producer, known for “Exhale” (2013), “The Choir” (2013) and “Protect and Serve” (2015). A New York Times best-selling writer, Rae penned The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and has worked on Web content for Pharrell Williams and Tracey Edmonds.
YouTube: 192,868 subscribers
Wayne Colley is “a humble guy from the small town of Millen, Georgia, wishing to make sure he provides not only a stable life for his seven children, but also a lasting, faith-based legacy!”
Hometown: Millen, Georgia (176 miles south of Atlanta)
Facebook: 1.3 million
Roland Powell is a series regular to the MTV2 shows “Guy Code” and “Hip Hop Squares.” He adopted the stage name “Lil Duval” to pay homage to his birthplace, Duval County, Florida. He’s appeared in music videos for T.I., Big Kuntry King, Yung Joc and Young Jeezy. He is currently filming Meet the Blacks, in which he plays Cronut.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson
Born in Mississippi, brothers Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson are one big hit. Their breakout and most famous YouTube video, “Ratchet Girl Anthem (She Ratcheeet),” garnered more than 44 million views. It landed them a record deal in 2012 with Archive Entertainment and an album, LOL, which has been downloaded 70,000 plus times, nationwide performances, and a mixtape, Ratchet Du Soleil. Their YouTube channel has more than 200 million views. Emmanuel has scored roles in MTV2 “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out,” Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, and the ABC network series, “Nashville.”
YouTube: 1,335,964 subscribers
Hannibal Buress was born in Chicago and moved to New York City in 2008. He is an actor and writer, known for “The Eric Andre Show” (2012), “Neighbors” (2014), and “Saturday Night Live.” He began performing stand-up in 2002 while attending Southern Illinois University. In October 2014, Buress’ Bill Cosby joke went viral. During a stand-up act at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, he ranted, “It’s even worse because Bill Cosby has the f—in’ smuggest old black man persona that I hate,” Buress said. “He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the ’80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”
He’s released three acclaimed comedy albums, including last year’s Live from Chicago. And this spring, he’ll finally star in his own series on Comedy Central.
Handle: @Hannibal Buress
Story by rolling out staff
Cover Image by Kareem Kenyada