Comedian Kevin Hart received a standing ovation when he accepted the award for Favorite Comedy Act at the E! People's Choice Awards Sunday night. It was the first time Hart made an official public appearance since he was involved in a serious car accident on Sept. 1. Hart is reportedly still undergoing physical therapy and moved gingerly as he accepted the award from Robert Downey Jr. at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California.
"First and foremost, I thank God, because I definitely don't have to be here," Hart said before another round of applause broke out. "Being that I am, that makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate the things that really matter. Family. I want to thank my wife, my kids. They really stepped up to the plate for me."
"I also want to take the time to thank the People's Choice Awards, just for this. This is amazing," Hart continued. "But more importantly, the people, man. You have no idea the effect that 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. This is special. They all are. I do not take them for granted. Thank you so much. God bless everyone in this room. Peace."
Hart suffered serious back injuries from the car crash. He was a passenger in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda when his friend, Jared Black, lost control of the vehicle. Black's fiancee, Rebecca Broxterman, was also in the car and was not seriously injured.
The Jumanji: The Next Level star was quiet about the crash for more than a month before he finally spoke out about it in a lengthy Instagram video post on Oct. 29.
“After my accident, I see things differently. I see life from a whole new perspective. My appreciation for life is through the roof," Hart told his fans. “I'm thankful for my family, my friends. I'm thankful for the people that simply ride with me and have been with me. Because you stood by me, my fans. I'm thankful for all of your love and support."
"So don’t take today for granted because tomorrow is not promised,” he added. “More importantly, I’m thankful for God. I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for simply still being here. The road to being a bigger and better version of me. Looking forward to an amazing 2020.”
Hart will next be seen in Jumanji: The Next Level, which opens on Dec. 13.
Photo credit: E! Network