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Nick Cannon Started Wild ‘N Out to Help Kevin Hart ‘Pay His Rent,’ Now Hart’s Worth More Than Him

Comedian Kevin Hart’s net worth might be approaching a half a billion in 2024, but two decades ago he was struggling to make ends meet, trying to provide for his young family and leaning on friends like Nick Cannon to help him out.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 24: Nick Cannon attends The Los Angeles Mission Legacy of Vision Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

The father of 12 shared details on how he helped the now-box office giant out while talking about the early days of “Wild ‘N Out” in an interview on “The Diary Of A CEO” with host Steven Bartlett in 2023.

Helping Hand

After explaining his options as a young entertainment star at Viacom, graduating from Nickelodeon and going into MTV, he said they were offering him show opportunities. While they knew his star power based on his career as a child star and emerging actor, they did not understand the variety show concept that combined comedians and hip-hop stars.

Cannon said because the suits at Viacom didn’t get his idea, he decided to fully fund his pilot with $100,000 of his own money. He rented out a comedy club and invited his comic and rapper friends to participate in this improv exercise that would become the longest-running show on MTV and the longest-running hip-hop show in history. The brand is also worth an estimated $1.3 billion, according to the “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” actor.

Now, approaching its 21st season, the California native said that for him he simply wanted to create something fun that would help his friends out financially.

“I didn’t think ‘Wild ‘N Out’ would be the billion-dollar conglomerate that it is because I was just creating a show to give my friend’s jobs,” he said. “Because Kevin Hart needed money to pay his rent.”

Adding, “I was the only one that was seeing some success out of our generation at the time, and I was like ‘Oh let me shine a light on these dudes that are way funnier than me, that are way more talented than me, and then I built a business out of it.’”

Now, Hart is the friend that is on top of the game.

With an estimated net worth of $450 million, he is regarded as one of the most bankable movie stars in Hollywood. In addition to being talent, he is also a skilled businessman creating securing a nine-figure investment in his production company.

In 2022, Hart secured a $100 million minority investment from Abry Partners for his new venture, Hartbeat, formed from merging his companies Hartbeat Productions and Laugh Out Loud.

The new investors are granted a minority stake and two board seats. Peacock remains a part of this new reconfiguring of his portfolio as a shareholder.

Since Hartbeat has emerged as a competitive production company, Hart and his team have put out productions like the FX comedy series “Dave” and the movie “Night School,” featuring Hart and Tiffany Haddish.

Hart, who once needed help from Cannon, his $50 million friend, is now selling out major arenas like the Barclay and Madison Square Garden and enjoying an 85 percent stake in his business Hartbeat, which based on its $650 million evaluation could boost his net worth up to an unverified $552 million.

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