Comedian Kevin Hart has a TV show and a hit movie, but he still loves to do stand-up comedy. He’s doing two shows at KeyArena Saturday, Sept. 12.

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Kevin Hart is like your funniest friend, the guy in the bar who has you laughing until you cry, even if you haven’t started drinking yet. Just don’t ask him to stand up for you if you get into a fight.

As he explained in his “I’m a Grown Little Man” show in 2009, “I’m not a fighter … Two black eyes isn’t gonna get us home. One of us has got to drive.”

That joke is typical of Hart’s wry, self-deprecating showmanship, which will be on display when his “What Now” tour stops for two shows at KeyArena Saturday (Sept. 12).

Concert preview

Kevin Hart

7 and 10:30 p.m. at KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; 7 p.m. show sold out; 10:30 p.m. show, $45.50-$161 (800-745-3000 or

The comedian and actor has managed to keep making fun of himself even as he’s achieved stardom and wealth. He’s done it through versatility, hard work and a rare Everyman appeal that permeates everything he does — especially impressive when his self-driven empire includes comedy, film and his own TV series.

His nearly 15-year career in movies and TV has established him as a major box-office draw. Last year’s buddy-cop comedy “Ride Along,” co-starring Ice Cube, grossed about $154 million.

But he keeps returning to stand-up, to the delight of his fans.

“That’s my favorite Kevin Hart,” Hart recently told Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.”

And why not? A couple weeks ago, he drew a crowd of 53,000 for a show in Philadelphia, his hometown.

Not bad for a kid whose tough upbringing included a mother working hard to make ends meet while his father, a cocaine addict, was in jail.

He doesn’t try to hide his flaws or troubles. Instead, they’re fodder for his jokes — witness the name of his 2011 tour: “Laugh at my Pain.”

His BET mockumentary series, “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” revolves around the fictionalized Kevin Hart’s scrabble toward the top of the Tinseltown elite. The show overflows with guest appearances by everyone from Janet Jackson to Katie Couric, and it’s all an excuse for a barrage of jokes that, more often than not, target Hart himself.

That kind of openness, combined with a widespread social-media presence and his everywhere-at-once movie and TV career, gives audiences the feeling that they know him. He draws thousands for his pop-up 5K “Run with Hart” events. (He has scheduled one for Seattle at 9:34 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 12 at Gas Works Park.) Many of his international fans found him through YouTube, and he has 21 million followers on Twitter.

As he told Stewart, “People that become fans of yours are very familiar with you, your type of content, what you do. So when it comes to stand-up, people are paying this money for these tickets because they know the guy they’re coming to see. It’s not a guess.”