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Why Kevin Hart and Don Cheadle's exchange about age is going viral

See the stars talk age in a “Hart to Heart” clip that has fans wondering just how serious the funnymen were.
Hart to Heart - Season 1
Kevin Hart and Don Cheadle talk age and the meaning of “damn!” in a now-viral clip from Peacock’s “Hart to Heart.”Peacock
/ Source: TODAY

Kevin Hart’s new series “Hart to Heart” has been billed as an “unplanned, unscripted, unfiltered” talk show, and now, just one week after its release, a portion of it can be called viral, too.

Earlier this week, one viewer shared a clip from the Peacock series on Twitter that showed what appeared to be an awkward exchange between Hart and guest Don Cheadle, when the host responded to the actor’s age with a loud “damn!” Or was it “daaaaaaamn”?

(Peacock is part of our parent company, NBCUniversal.)

In the middle of sharing a story, the “Avengers” star made an aside, noting, “I’m 56 years old.” Without missing a beat, Hart’s “damn!” rang out, leaving Cheadle with a not-so-amused expression on his face.

Hart apologized, but his guest’s face remained dour.

“Just understand, I did not mean it the way it came out,” Hart replied.

“We’ll take a poll on how you meant it with people here later, after the show’s over,” Cheadle shot back.

The men then launched into a back-and-forth as they tried to parse exactly what sort of “damn” Hart delivered, because the one he uttered as he tried to defend himself wasn’t exactly the same as his first try. Or, as Cheadle plainly put it, “These are two different ‘damns.’”

The clip has since been shared more than 20,000 times and has over 70,000 likes, and as the replies to it prove, many seem convinced it was a display of bad blood between the beloved stars.

“He looked like the words actually hit him in the face,” one said of Cheadle’s reaction.

Another tweeted, “It was so uncomfortable to watch.”

For others, the “damn” debate raged on, with comments like, “He said ‘damn!’ like ‘you’re old’ while I was thinking ‘damn! Don looks good!’” and “Yeah, that was not 'damn' . . . that was multisyllabic 'dayyuummm.'

But fans of the funnymen have no need to worry. As those who tuned into the full episode already know, the exchange wasn’t a case of age-related offense. It was simply an example of deadpan banter between two great performers who also happen to be great friends.

In fact, at the top of the episode Hart and Cheadle mentioned that their friendship has lasted more than 20 years, and Hart dubbed it “a good relationship.” And the tone of their humor became clear from the start, as the “Fatherhood” star kicked off his questions with, “Drugs, do you do ‘em?”

When they finally got around to the age bit, it went even further than the now-viral portion shows, as Hart teased his pal about the fact that, despite being 56, he’s “still here, still kicking, still walking” and that his “knees are still working — no noise!”

Before they were done, both men broke the schtick long enough to share some big laughs. But if anyone needs more convincing of the good nature behind it all, Cheadle tweeted his own response.

He wrote, “(Kevin Hart) and i need to do a movie together asap! i think this is my favorite interview ever. ‘damn!’"