Comedian Kevin Hart clearly feels a bit of remorse over his last tour, “Laugh at My Pain,” skipping St. Louis.
At the end of his hour-long show Friday night at the Concert Club at Scottrade Center, Hart made reference to that omission, and said because of it he made sure St. Louis made the cut this time.
Hart, who came off a little less manic than expected, seemed to have a lot to explain to his sold-out crowd.
Eschewing the path many urban comedians take nowadays, talking about the latest celebrity messes, their own sexual exploits and targeting audience members, Hart stuck with one thing only, his own divorce and current dating situation.
That’s all to his credit, leading to a show that was definitely focused and on track. But the show might’ve also benefitted from a bit more diversity of topics.
Taking the stage amid smoke, blaring rap music and pyro shooting upwards, Hart told the crowd the fire, cribbed from seeing it at the Kanye West and Jay-Z "Watch the Throne" tour, clearly signaled he was a big deal.
He claimed to be the first comedian to sport pyro, and cued bursts of fire all night at very random moments.
After his flaming opening, Hart told the crowd he was happily divorced (not unlike his character in the new movie “Think Like a Man,” though he didn’t make the connection), so happy after splitting from his wife that he’d walk through parks talking to himself and feeding pigeons.
If he’d still been married, he said he’d never be able to feed pigeons in the park since no wife would believe that, and went though a hilarious re-enactment of a phone conversation in which he was trying to convince his wife he was really feeding pigeons, not having an affair.
Much of the concert was extended tales of he and his wife, told with much animation and accompanied by the occasional tangent or unexpected drop-ins (cue the flames).
He said when it came to his marriage, he was an admitted liar, but cheating wasn’t the problem. The problem was lying about the cheating. His bit about pulling his best friend into his lies was funny, as was the story about the one time he wasn’t lying and was able to gloat in it.
A routine about the night his mate spied on him by hiding in his car trunk was a scream. He opened the trunk, they saw each other, and she jumped out of the trunk like jack in the box and ran. She beat him home, then denied she was ever there.
He detoured late in the set, addressing the bad luck he has had with bodyguards, such as the one he advised him to play dead in the middle of a nightclub shooting, and another who feared he could fall victim to a sniper at Applebee’s.
Hart also revealed a curious fear -- that of “bums” on the street using their fingers to flip his lips after he denied them spare change. He said such occurrences lead to “bum bumps” on his lips, and envisioned a gang of bums lip-flipping him.