Who has the biggest comedy empire: Dave Chappelle or Kevin Hart?
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Who has the biggest comedy empire: Dave Chappelle or Kevin Hart?

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Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart are widely known as kings of comedy. "The Chappelle Show" became a social phenomenon and cemented Chappelle's place in comedy history as one of the all-time greats. Kevin Hart is no slouch either—between his tours, movies and everything else under the sun, he's built a comedy empire that places him at the top of the food chain. Hart pulled in $87.5 million between July 2015 and June 2016—even beating Jerry Seinfeld. But who has the biggest comedy empire?

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#TeamDaveChappelle
#TeamKevinHart

Dave Chappelle defined comedy for an entire generation of Americans. His irreverent humor fundamentally pushed the boundaries of comedy and confronted people with uncomfortable realities. Pitchfork's Dean Van Nguyen wrote about the impact of Chappelle and his groundbreaking show:

Harnessing the savage spirit of his stand-up, “Chappelle's Show” ridiculed celebrities, crowbarred open racial taboos, and exposed the cultural woes plaguing America. The series debuted with Chappelle playing a blind white supremacist who doesn’t know he’s black. Season two finished with Black Bush, a skit that butchered George W’s presidency. Every episode in between was a shotgun slug to the chest, but not so loud that you couldn’t hear the laughter.
Dave’s legacy is undeniable—not just in comedy, but also in music. “Chappelle's Show” moved to a hip-hop beat. Rappers were the co-stars, and live music was stitched into the show’s ethos. The star would walk out to the sound of socially-engaged rap duo Dead Prez; it’s not hard to imagine that his love of politically-charged, conscious rap fueled his most daring sketches.

Kevin Hart has built a comedy empire. His work ethic knows no bounds and it's reflected in his countless movie appearances, tours and constant hustle. GQ's David Hochman wrote:

Hart has his eye on the fitness market, more comedy tours, more movies, more ownership. His grind, as he likes to say, is relentless. "I honestly have never seen a guy with this much energy and drive," says Hart's manager of 16 years, Dave Becky, whose client roster also includes Louis CK, Amy Poehler, and Aziz Ansari. "When Kevin got too big for clubs, he said let's do theaters, let's do arenas, let's do stadiums, let's do outer space." When I ask Hart at breakfast if he could be the first billion-dollar standup, he doesn't think twice.
"I believe so," he says. "Why not?"
...
"Kevin kills it in whatever he does, whether he's hosting SNL or being awesome at the Justin Bieber roast or talking so honestly about his shortcomings and flaws, but with hilarious bravado, like he does in his standup and movies," Apatow says. "He's built something no one else has in terms of his business, especially his social media, and that's because even when Kevin's being very funny, he's very serious about this ride he's on."
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