By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr.
AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Hart will keep his comedic candor going with SiriusXM. But this time he’ll bring along more recognizable figures from outside the comedy realm.
The satellite radio company announced Wednesday that it has signed Hart and his entertainment company, Hartbeat, to a multi-year deal. As part of the deal, the superstar actor-comedian will continue to curate content involving comedy and culture on his Laugh Out Loud Radio channel.
“At the end of the day, this is a great partnership,” Hart said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “When you put yourself in a position to create partnerships that will last and can grow, those are the big wins. You’re looking at a relationship that has evolved, that is growing and going in the right direction. I think this is one where the hard work has been put into the growth of the station and the platform is just paying off.”
Hart will host his podcast “Gold Minds with Kevin Hart,” a rebranded show that will premiere its new season Wednesday on SiriusXM. Some comedians will still occasionally appear on his show, but he’ll feature more conversations with notable figures including Emmy winner Jason Bateman, “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, actor-rapper Method Man, filmmaker Neil Burger along with broadcast journalists Anderson Cooper and Stephen A. Smith.
In the “Gold Minds” premiere, Hart will speak with Coogler about his career journey, working with Michael B. Jordan and receiving guidance from Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker, Sylvester Stallone and Christopher Nolan.
Hart said he felt compelled to rebrand “Gold Minds” because he wanted to expand beyond comedy to a “larger pool of individuals with interesting stories.”
“I’m going further to entrepreneurs, big businessmen, TV personalities, amazing actors, actresses, directors. It’s expanding,” he said. “There’s a volume of people out there that should be talked to, and there’s not a volume of people that can truly access them properly and execute after getting to them. I think I’m one of the few that have this opportunity and I’m taking advantage of it. I want people to enjoy these authentic conversations.”
Hartbeat will produce the slate of new programs including “Love Thang with Punkie Johnson” and “One Song with Diallo and Luxxury,” hosted by HBO Max’s “South Side” co-creator Diallo Riddle and music producer Blake “Luxxury” Robin. His channel will exclusively release the late comedian Bernie Mac’s first-ever solo standup special.
Comedian Nathaniel “Earthquake” Stroman will return to Hart’s channel for the fifth season of his show “Quake’s House.”
Hart along with The Plastic Cup Boyz — including Joey Wells, Will “Spank” Horton and Na’im Lynn — will continue to host “Straight From The Hart.”
“Kevin has become a cornerstone of SiriusXM’s comedy programming, and we’re absolutely thrilled to deepen our relationship with Kevin and the whole Hartbeat team,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s president and chief content officer. “As they’ve proven time and again, they have their finger on the pulse of the new, exciting, diverse voices in comedy, and our audience has clearly responded.”
When Hart signed his first deal with SiriusXM in 2018, he envisioned at least a decade-long relationship where can have a “significant stance” and create his own “version of identity.”
“When I look at what Howard Stern has been able to do over the years throughout his career and how he developed into an amazing entity, I say to myself ‘How do I do the same? How do I follow suit?’” Hart said.
“In doing it, you got to make sure that you’re willing to put in the time. This isn’t a two-year plan, a three-year plan. This is a 10 year overall commitment knowing what it will take to get to the place where you want to go. This is well planned out. I’m trying my best to execute it.”