More Culture:

June 15, 2017

Kevin Hart helps out a hometown buddy in new TV show

Hart's friend 'Spank' grew up in Nicetown, 'where the gansters be at'

Kevin Hart looked no further than his boyhood town to find a subject for his new Comedy Central series.

Hart features the work of friend and fellow Philadelphian Will "Spank" Horton in the premiere of "Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level," which features rising comedians. The show kicks off 11 p.m. Sunday on Comedy Central.

In the show, Hart conducts a brief interview with each week's featured comic, who then takes the stage for a half-hour special.

Horton, who wants you to call him Spank, said in a show teaser that he grew up in Nicetown.

"Where the gangsters be at. Bang-bang, y'all know what it is," Horton said.

"There's no need to threaten people," Hart responded, prompting laughter from the audience.

Hart asks Horton questions about his start in comedy and his tendency to boo standup comedians when he attended shows in college.

"I've seen you grow and develop from the comedian that at one point had the three-to-five minute sets, and those five-minute sets grew to 10-minute sets," Hart tells Horton during the interview session. 

"Take this stage and do what you do best. I'm proud of you, man. I'm happy for you."

In 2015, Horton opened for Hart during a stand-up performance at Lincoln Financial Field, with which Hart became the first comedian to headline at an NFL stadium. Horton also appeared on Comedy Central for a 2015 "Kevin Hart Presents" show as a member of the Plastic Cup Boyz.