How Far Back in Time Would You Have to Go for Kevin Hart to Be Tall?

People used to be shorter, so…
How Far Back in Time Would You Have to Go for Kevin Hart to Be Tall?

Kevin Hart has a new heist movie out on Netflix called Lift, and I’m sure that, at some point in it, his height will be the butt of a joke. At only 5-foot-2, it makes sense that Hart’s stature would be a regular source of comedy, but what if Hart decided he didn’t want to be the shortest guy in nearly every room anymore? What if Hart got his hands on a DeLorean or one of those convoluted white Ant-Man suits from Avengers: Endgame and decided to travel back to a time when his height was the norm? After all, people used to be shorter than they are today, so there must have been a time in human history when Hart wouldn’t have needed to look up to talk to someone else. 

But exactly how far back would Hart have to go?

“It’s important to realize that our species didn’t have one steady increase in height over time,” explains Gert Stulp PhD, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “For example, the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1850, they were fairly short, with an average of 5-foot-5. So even in 1850 in the Netherlands, Mr. Hart wouldn’t be particularly tall; in fact, he’d be well below average.” 

As for the U.S., Stulp says that in 1850, people were rather tall, making Hart even shorter by comparison. 

Given that we’d need to travel back even further in time — and outside the range of Stulp’s expertise — he referred me to Dr. Jay Stock, a biological anthropologist at the University of Western Ontario. “If we consider the pattern of human variation in size and shape through time, there are various points in history when a 5-foot-2 man would have approached the male average,” he says. “To find these times and places, you’d generally have to go back to between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago in Northern Europe or in the Nile Valley.”

“That being said, and I’m sorry to say this,” Stock continues, “but there is no time in human history when Kevin Hart would be considered tall.” 

Which, of course, might be the saddest Kevin Hart short joke of all.

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