More than two months after the A-list star suffered severe injuries in a car accident, Hart made his first official appearance at the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards on Sunday.
Robert Downey Jr. presented the award for Comedy Act of 2019 to Hart, who expressed gratitude for the ongoing journey he’s taken to restore his health.
Kanye West’s “Stronger” couldn’t have been a better song for Hart to walk out to as the entire audience gave him a standing ovation. “First and foremost, thank God because I definitely don’t have to be here,” Kevin shared. “Being that I am, it makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate the things that really matter. Family. I want to thank my wife and kids, who really stepped up to the plate for me.”
Hart also thanked his loyal fans, concluding, “You have no idea the effect you have on us as entertainers your energy, your support. It means the world and I truly want to thank you guys for being there for me in my difficult time.”
In the early morning hours of Sep. 1, the 40-year-old comedian was seated in the front passenger side of his vintage sports car, which was being driven by his friend, when it veered off the road and crashed into a ditch off of Mulholland Highway in Los Angeles. Authorities later determined that rapid acceleration by the driver caused the accident.
Hart underwent surgery on three spinal fractures and remained hospitalized for 10 days. His rehabilitation, which he documented in a dramatic video posted to his Instagram, is expected to continue for upwards of a year.
“When you’re moving too fast and you’re doing too much, sometimes you can’t see the things that you’re meant to see,” Hart shared at the time. “But after my accident, I see things differently. I see life from a whole new perspective. My appreciation for life is through the roof. I’m thankful for my family, my friends. I’m thankful for the people that simply ride with me, have been with me, cause you stood by me. My fans—I’m thankful for all your love and support. So, don’t take today for granted, because tomorrow’s not promised.”
Hart is nominated for two more PCAs: Comedy Movie Star of 2019 and Animated Movie Star of 2019.
The incident took place at 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 1 on a notoriously dangerous route leading into Malibu, Calif. The 40-year-old comedian was seated on the front passenger side of his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda when it veered off Mulholland Highway, went through a fence and landed in a ditch.