June 06, 2022
Before Kevin Hart became a famous comedian, he worked as a shoe salesman. His store manager eventually convinced him to try performing stand up at an open mic, which began his career trajectory.
That early job is the focus of "True to Size," a new half-hour comedy series in the works at Peacock, Deadline reported on Friday. Hart will serve as executive producer on the project, which will be written, directed and produced by fellow comedian Dan Levy.
The show, which will be set in 1998, focuses on a 20-something Hart as he starts a job selling shoes at Sneaker World. The series will delve into the lives of the "family" he made from his group of co-workers, who are also trying to find their way through life.
"So amazing how life works," Hart said on Instagram to announce the project. "20 years ago I met Dan Levy (and) we were both young comics in New York City (who) loved doing stand up but we found that we also had an amazing love for sneakers as well. My younger life revolved around sneakers, from my job as a shoe salesman to my interactions with friends and family. It was all sneakers all the time and now we're developing a shoe based off of that time in my life."
Like some of Hart's recent film and television ventures — including November's "True Story" on Netflix alongside Wesley Snipes — "True to Size" focuses on Philadelphia as an obvious backdrop to the semi-biographical project about Hart's young adulthood.
Hart has spoken openly about his love of sneakers and his time working as a shoe salesman before his comedy career took off.
In a 2016 interview with Complex to promote his Nike sneaker collaboration, Hart talked about how his time working in sales made him a good choice for a shoe deal. He spoke about how, on top of his knowledge about shoes, he was able to make sales off of his personality alone.
That same year, Hart talked to Howard Stern about his early years in comedy and how his upbringing led him down a path in entertainment. He noted that he didn't originally think about going into comedy, though he knew he wanted to entertain people.
After spending just two weeks enrolled at the Community College of Philadelphia, Hart's mother – who worked at the University of Penn — told him he had one year to prove himself in the working world before having to go back to school. When he went into sales, Hart had big goals.
"When I was a shoe salesman, I didn't do things with a half-assed intent behind them," Hart said. "So my thing was, 'I'm going to be the best shoe salesman and I'm going to work for Nike (Corporate)' to spin this into something bigger."
For those looking to catch Hart in something before "True to Size" is released, the comedian's newest project, "The Man From Toronto," is out on Netflix on June 24, where Hart stars alongside Woody Harrelson. At the end of the summer, another Hartbeat Productions film will hit the major streamer when "Me Time" premieres on Aug. 26 with Mark Wahlberg.