Kevin Hart plays to 53,000+ at Philadelphia stadium for new stand-up concert film: What Now tour

Kevin Hart attracted more than 53,000 fans on Sunday to his stand-up performance at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, which he recorded for a future concert film to hit movie theaters in 2016.

It’s by far the biggest stop on Hart’s What Now tour, which continues with arena stops in September across the Rockies into the Pacific Northwest. He said afterward of his hometown triumph, “I was beyond happy.”

Here was Kevin Hart earlier in the day Sunday at soundcheck, “It’s the calm before the storm. You see it. I’m at my soundcheck. I’m in a damn football stadium. I’m about to set this bitch off on fire with jokes, Philadelphia! We got 84 cameras! I’m shooting a special with 84 cameras!”

The calm before the storm…. #Philadelphia #WhatNowTour #MakingHistory #ComedicRockstarShit

A video posted by kevinhart4real (@kevinhart4real) on

Much of the buzz post-show among comedians was as much about how many fans got kicked out of Hart’s show for violating the rule banning cell-phone use during it, as on the monumental size of his drawing power.

Kevin Hart’s stand-up performance in his hometown stadium was the biggest solo headlining comedy
show since July 4, 2009 — when Larry the Cable Guy similarly went back to his home in Nebraska to record a stand-up special, “Tailgate Party,” for more than 53,000 at the University of Nebraska’s Memorial stadium.


As Larry the Cable Guy recalled today for The Comic’s Comic: “53 thousand give or take a hundred. And I thank them! GBR!! it was so awesome and nerve wracking at the same time. First stand up to do it. I’m proud of it and also 😁 glad it’s over!”

Would you believe the acknowledged World Record for largest audience for a comedian, though, is held by a German? Mario Barth, who attracted 67,733 to the Olympiastadion in Berlin on July 12, 2008.

How many other stand-up comedians can you recall who have headlined stadium-sized crowds?

I know Chris Rock played on the big stage at Bonnaroo years ago, but that was part of a weekend festival lineup.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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