For Kevin Hart, it’s all about the kids.
The comedian will take the helm of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s telethon that was hosted for decades by the late Jerry Lewis. The event, which has been renamed “The MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon,” will take place Saturday for the first time since 2010.
The pivotal moment is not lost on Hart.
“It’s just an amazing opportunity. With Jerry Lewis the man’s history speaks for itself. What he was able to do with his telethon and the money he was able to raise, it was unbelievable, the numbers are astronomical,” Hart told CNN in a recent interview. “To have the opportunity to revive it, change it and still, of course, fulfill the cause at hand as well as bring some awareness to other things that are going on, I just felt it was a great moment.”
The two-hour event will stream online and feature several of Hart’s celebrity friends, including Don Cheadle, Stephen Curry, David Beckham, Gabrielle Union Wade, Kelly Rowland, Robin Thicke, Common and Michael B. Jordan.
Hart, who welcomed his fourth child just last month, told CNN that being able to bring laughter to children and their families during a difficult time is what it’s all about.
“It’s a bonus for me because it’s different than anything I’ve done at this point in my career,” Hart said. “Kids are your future and some kids are put in positions that others aren’t and given things that they have no control over … if you have the opportunity to be a reason of hope or a reason of happiness for a child and that child’s family, that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal, changing a kid’s narrative.”
Hart said he’s beginning to notice more and more how his two older children are learning the importance of giving back.
“I pride myself on being a father,” he said. “I have great kids. I have loving kids and I think to me that’s the best sign of good parenting from me is seeing my kids love the way they love … When I told my kids what I was doing, the fact that they knew I was raising money and what I was raising money for it was like, ‘Oh dad that’s cool.’ My kids are very funny. It’s always, ‘Can we come? and How can we help?’ I love that I’m shutting them down more for that offer than I’m not. I love that it’s at least a question that they want to be a part of that and they want to help. They’ve always been like that.”
Hart said, particularly now, he is grateful for the opportunity to spread some joy.
“Laughter, I feel, heals all wounds and during that moment when you laugh. Regardless of what you’re going through in life, it’s forgotten. Whether it’s five seconds, 10 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes,” he said. “Laughing is powerful. So being able to provide that and do it all over the globe, is a significant blessing and one that I do not take for granted.”