Kevin Hart says he couldn’t point out his grandfather on a picture if he saw one. He never knew his dad’s dad. What he does know is that whoever he was, it affected how he raised (or not) Hart’s father, Henry Witherspoon to be absent throughout the comedian’s childhood. But don’t we feel like we’ve known Witherspoon well before Hart’s documentary “Don’t F**K This Up” debuted on Netflix Friday, December 27? It’s because Hart has always included the antics of his father in his stand up routines. From tales of drug use to embarrassing visits to his school, Hart paints a picture of his dad that was opposite of his mother’s structured parenting style. His parents never married, and Hart recalls they split when he was six or seven. And then there was the time he felt living with his father would give him more freedom, but he soon realized the grass was not greener on the other side. The separation from Hart’s mother led his dad to be mostly out of his young life.
Arriving home, Hart tells his 11-year-old son, Hendrix that Nike sent him something good as they both walk from the car into the house. The actor and comedian does acknowledge the need to prioritize his time because it’s easy to get caught up in the business, realizing that pieces of him matter most to his family. Hart knows he is giving his children what he didn’t have growing up, and that is a present father on top of being an in-demand star. Wife, Eniko, mother to Hart’s youngest young son Kenzo “Zo,” says he’s a good dad, loving and has a really good heart. “It’s why I fell in love with him.” Then there’s his only daughter, Heaven, who is 13. Both she and his oldest son are from his first marriage to comedian Torrei Hart. Before he attends another business meeting or readies himself for a show, Hart is simply a dad seen sitting in the middle of the living room. His arms outstretched to hold Zo or hound his teenage daughter to remove a splinter from her foot along with fitting in a workout session with his firstborn son. What you see is a family man at the height of his career trying to be everywhere at all times with no more than two to three hours of sleep.
“Where am I supposed to sleep,” says a young Hart in the docu-series when he arrives at his dad’s place. “And who (the blank) is Boom Boom, Bug Bug, and Jack-Jack?” This funny part of the clip Hart showed in animation. He shares his dad had a lot of kids though he acknowledges he was not aware of some. “My dad had a habit of throwing you in a situation and expecting you to be okay without you having any knowledge of what to do.” He remembers the time his father threw him into the deep end of the pool and told him to swim. His words to a scared Hart, “You better not (blank) drown.” Altogether his dad was a different type of conversation.
Hart says he is not emotionally damaged as a result of his dad’s past behavior, sharing he’s worked out any pain he’s felt through his comedy. Today, he wants to make his father’s days on earth the best, like giving him more money than he asked for to purchase a device that will help him breath better. You see a glimpse of their father and son relationship when Witherspoon jokes he can ride a bike for ten minutes or do twenty-five pushups. The family is visiting him in Philadelphia at this time, and Hart and his brother Robert both break out in laughter when their father tries to prove he can do the pushups. But it doesn’t look like anyone counted up to twenty-five to help him (laughs). With no animosity of the past, Hart’s focus is to make sure the people who depend on him are taken care of, namely the individuals he works the hardest for, his children.
Don’t F**k This Up is currently showing on Netflix.
By La Tasha T.
Feature photo: Netflix