On Kevin Hart’s new podcast, Comedy Gold Minds from SiriusXM and Laugh Out Loud, the actor and comic mines for more than just jokes from his fellow comedians. Instead, he aims to connect and facilitate intimate and insightful conversations. “It’s a world of competition that shouldn’t be competitive,” Hart says in the show’s trailer. “I’m sitting down with some of the best voices in comedy to give my listeners the stories behind the jokes they hear on stage.”
What makes Hart’s podcast so intriguing is that he’s not only speaking with fellow established comedians — like Bill Burr, Steve Harvey, and Cedric the Entertainer — but he also sits down with rising stars like Zainab Johnson and Desus & Mero.
Here are some of the best moments from the first two episodes of Comedy Gold Minds featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Desus & Mero. You can listen to the show on Stitcher, Pandora, the SiriusXM app, or wherever you get podcasts.
Hart kicks off Comedy Gold Minds with Jerry Seinfeld as his first guest. And it’s a fitting first guest because the legendary comedian and sitcom star has been talking about and analyzing comedy so much over the last few years that when the two discuss what makes a good comedian, Seinfeld is ready to go all in.
Here are the five best moments from their conversation:
1. Seinfeld learned early on he only needed to do two things everyday — “When I was younger, Kevin, in my 20’s and 30’s, I really felt like I wasn’t going anywhere and I wasn’t going to go anywhere, but I loved what I did,” Seinfeld says. “And I thought it was still pretty great being a comic…I made some money and I kind of decided I had two things that I got to do in a day. One of them is work on comedy and two is I gotta do some exercise. And I thought, if I get those two things done every single day, at the end of my life I will have money and I’ll be in good health. And I thought that’s not a bad place to wind up.”
2. The path of a comedian is a slow one — Seinfeld admits that the path to being a successful comedian take a long time, and that if someone asks him how long he has been working on a joke he’ll reply, “my whole life.”
3. Seinfeld’s Comedy Mt. Rushmore — Seinfeld tells Hart his Mt. Rushmore of comedy includes Bernie Mac and Don Rickles. Seinfeld has long been a fan of Rickles, but said in an interview with The Independent in 2018 that he recently began to idolize Mac.
4. Seinfeld writes it down. Hart memorizes — Hart admires Seinfeld for his ability to write, but says he doesn’t write his own jokes down. Instead Hart goes on stage with his jokes in his head. He uses his memory to remember what he likes and removes the material he doesn’t. He said he does the same with movie scripts. “My memory is unreal, Jerry. It’s unreal…I have never studied lines…once I read it, I understand it.”
5. Seinfeld admits he’ll never star in a scripted TV show again — At one point Hart asks Seinfeld if he misses TV. “No…Kevin. I did TV.” He says what made working on Seinfeld so intense was that he was performing for a live audience for a show that aired to 30 million people every week. He loves the life of standup too much to act in a scripted television show again.
Desus And Mero
Comedians Desus Nice and The Kid Mero have had quite the journey so far. Working their way up from Twitter jokes to podcasting to television shows on MTV and Showtime, the duo have easily established themselves as two of the bigger names in comedy today. The episode delves into the easily relatable struggles Desus and Mero dealt with, like quitting their day jobs to pursue their passions and trying to recognize the good moments when they happen.
Here are the five best moments from their conversation:
1. Mero’s relief when he learned Desus turned out to be the person he was expecting— As the comedy duo discuss their history together, bonding and finding a following on Twitter, Mero admits he was hesitant to work with Desus in real life. “Just ’cause you’re funny on Twitter doesn’t always translate to being funny in real life” Mero says. “It was very refreshing for him to be exactly who he was.”
2. Meeting Obama — Hart stops them when they almost skip through talking about interviewing Barack Obama. “I can’t let you skip by the Obama moment,” Hart says. “My mom called me crying, Kev, you hear me? In tears,” Mero tells him. “You’re considered a massive hit,” Hart reminds them. “That’s nothing to just bypass.”
3. Leaving the day job — “If you think about where we started, I had to sneak out of my office job to record the podcast,” Desus says. “Mero had to sneak out of his school job…we’ve already exceeded what people thought we would do and we’re continuing to go higher and higher and it’s just such a fun ride,” Desus says. Most listeners can relate to the mundanity of a day job and one of the most fascinating moments of the episode is Desus and Mero’s recollections of realizing when it was time to quit. “It was just to take a chance. I really hated my office job,” Desus says. “At that point, I was like, trying to get fired…so we were only getting money from the podcast. That was all the income I had coming in. But I was like, you know what let me risk this because even if this fails, at least I tried it. The worst would be for me to stay at that office job, never have taken a chance with the podcast and spend the rest of my life wondering what if.”
Mero: “I literally quit my job the day the ink was dry on our MTV contract.” His boss, the school’s principal, didn’t believe him so he sent her a selfie from the office overlooking the Hudson river and she congratulated him.
4. Desus recalls an old Kevin Hart memory — After Hart praises them for their, “serious flow of funny,” Desus returns the compliment, thanking Hart for unknowingly contributing to a great night almost 20 years ago. “Shoutout to you Kevin for, back in, I want to say like 2002, one Friday night, me and my boys, we had gotten a couple of those big Smirnoff ices and my boy came through with a little movie called Paper Soldiers. Remember that? We used to watch that religiously.” That was Hart’s first movie. Hart admits he had, “a weird road,” to success.
5. Realizing how good you have it — An extremely insightful moment from the episode comes from Hart, Desus, and Mero all talking about moments when they had to take a step back and remind themselves how good their lives were. Desus brings up how he and Mero took a private jet to Atlanta and took a picture at a Waffle House early in the morning. “The looks on our faces, it looks like we’re the happiest we’ve been in our entire lives.” He says seeing the picture made him step back and look at his life. “You gotta zoom out at least once a month,” Mero says. Hart admits he regrets not taking stock of the career checkpoints as they were happening. “As you keep checking these things off the list, well, they speed up as you get better.” He adds that as you build a following and popularity and as the years pass things move so fast and look back and wonder if you enjoyed it. “I skipped past so much of my shit by moving so fast.” At 41, Hart says he’s trying to make sure he actually notices what’s happening around him and not to take anything for granted.
— Ian Goldstein