‘I Thought I Was Tall’: Kevin Hart Says He Realized He Was Short After Standing Next to NBA Players

Kevin Hart is satisfied with his height and has no plans to join in on the growing popularity of limb-lengthening surgery.

The comedian has been known to crack jokes at his own expense when it comes to his 5-foot-2 stature. From his TV shows, comedy specials, and movies, there is not a missed opportunity for him or a cast member to make a wisecrack about him being short.

Joel Embiid, Kevin Hart
NBA player Joel Embiid and comedian Kevin Hart. (Photo: Kevinhart4real/Instagram.)

Still, Hart claims he has never aspired to be more than his limbs would allow. “I never wanted to be tall,” he told Logan Paul on a recent episode of the “ImPaulsive” podcast. In fact, Hart claimed that he did not realize he had a vertical deficiency until he was around professional athletes. 

“I thought I was tall before I got around tall people! My crew was all the same size, and I thought, ‘This is good! We killing it!’ Then I got around tall people, and I was like, ‘Oh s—t, this is different. The NBA ain’t happening,’” joked the “Die Hart” star.

As the men broached the topic of people undergoing surgery to add inches to their stature, Hart exclaimed, “It’s the stupidest s—t ever! Nobody’s going to think you got a growth spurt! You clearly got the work done!”

According to Penn Medicine, reconstructive surgery can require both the femur and tibia to be broken in multiple places. A magnetic rod is then placed in the leg, allowing it to be stretched out over time.

Hart said that while the procedure is not for him, he ultimately hopes that society can get to a place of self-acceptance.

“I really hope and pray that this thing of acceptance and looking for it from others calms a bit, and we’re not looking for acceptance from people you don’t f—king know and people who don’t have value to you,” he said.

“One thing i learned from Kevin Hart. Accepting yourself as who you are is important,” wrote a fan in reaction to the interview. Another person commented, “His commentary about leg extensions had me rollling.”

A third person felt seen by Hart’s comments about his height. They wrote, “‘At one point I thought I was tall until I got around tall people.’ Being 5’2, I felt that!”

In 2014, Hart spoke with Oprah Winfrey about not having a bruised ego in regards to his height. “I’m beyond confident. I’m not cocky, I’m so confident. I’m confident in who I am. I’m confident in the person that I am,” he told the OWN Network founder.

While the interview is nearly a decade old, it seems the box office juggernaut has remained firm on his stance of embracing himself, even when he does not measure up to others. “I don’t believe in change, in doing things to manufacture my body to appeal to what I think people might like,” he explained.

“This is it; this is what I was given… This is it for me. This is what I’m going to ride out. How do you not embrace it? You get one life. One life. I’m going to embrace mine,” continued the Laugh Out Loud Network founder.

As for his self-deprecating take on comedy, Hart said it is a tool to trump those who think his clowning his height can give them leverage of sorts.

“Anything that a person thinks they can say, I disarm you of it by saying it myself. I did it in all of my standups, so you can’t address it anymore. … Take my talent seriously. If you give people the opportunity to look at you with a squinted eye then they will,” he told Winfrey.

Hart’s talents have certainly been taken seriously as he forays into more dramatic roles. He received high praise for his acting chops in Netflix’s crime thriller “True Story,” starring opposite Wesley Snipes, in 2021.

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