Warning: This post contains True Story spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.
There is a moment in Episode 4 of Netflix’s limited series True Story where Kid’s superfan Gene excitedly approaches Carlton, Kid’s older brother.
Gene worships Kid so much that he researched Carlton, too, and runs to the trunk of his car to show the siblings a laminated newspaper clipping from Carlton’s glory days as a high school football star. Turns out Carlton wasn’t always a deadbeat. The former cornerback once earned a football scholarship at Temple University.
Eric Newman, who created and wrote True Story, is a huge fan of the star behind Carlton, Wesley Snipes. And when it came to that newspaper clipping in Gene’s hand, Newman used an actual photo from Snipes’ first movie, 1986’s Wildcats. The high school football comedy, which also starred Goldie Hawn, featured a young Snipes as a fast-talking lothario and player named Trumaine.
“We licensed it from Paramount,” Newman proudly reveals to TVLine. “That was a get.”
The nod to Wildcats is one of several Easter eggs and meta moments the drama enjoys, with the most obvious one being star Kevin Hart playing — you guessed it — a stand-up comedian and actor from Philadelphia.
Here are a few other Easter eggs and winks to the audience of note:
Kid's Racially Insensitive Fan
You know that obnoxious fan who won’t leave Kid (Hart) alone on a first-class flight from Los Angeles to Philly in Episode 1? Well, Hart says the character, Will (Eric Nenninger), is based on a real fan who also went too far.
On the show, Will, who is white, insultingly asks Kid why he’s not flying on his own private jet and then makes matters worse by repeatedly saying the N-word when reciting one of Kid’s jokes back to him. Kid takes the high road on the plane, but exacts his revenge in Episode 5 and eventually gets Will fired from his job.
“People get so comfortable,” Hart recently told Insider.com. “And sometimes that line is just ignored.”
The New Jack City of It All
While Snipes’ Carlton is nothing like his drug kingpin character Nino Brown from the 1991 classic New Jack City, he does look out for Kid much the way Nino looked out for his closest friends. Nino also constantly asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
It’s a Biblical reference the character even said before killing his wayward best friend in the movie. But on True Story, Carlton is the wayward one, and Kid is the “keeper,” who is forced to shoot and kill Carlton to finally put an end to his mayhem.
Kevin Hart's Once Very Public Divorce
Hart was married to his first wife Torrei Hart for eight years until they divorced in 2011. The divorce played out in tabloids and on gossip sites, but eventually quieted down, although some publications still follow Torrei Hart’s dating life for reasons unknown.
Kid experiences a similar split as well as unwanted updates on possible new boos for his wife Monyca on True Story. At one point, Kid calls and yells at Monyca for flaunting her blossoming relationship in public.
There are some differences, too. Hart is remarried in real life, and his alter ego has only one son with his soon-to-be ex-wife. The two come and join Kid while on tour by the series’ end.
All Those Past Bodyguard Jokes Didn't Include Cover-ups
For years, Hart has worked his various bodyguards into his stand-up routine. He’s even included jokes about them on his social media channels.
But Herschel (Black Lightning‘s William Catlett), Kid’s hired protector on True Story, is anything but laughable. The two fight and make up and even work out on the drama. And in the end, it’s Herschel who successfully blackmails Kid into paying him $6 million to not tell the police — or anyone — that Kid murdered Ari.
Did we miss any Easter eggs you may have noticed on True Story? Drop your thoughts and observations in the comments.