After months of discussion and media hype, “Think Like a Man,” a highly entertaining romantic comedy inspired by Steve Harvey’s New York Times best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” opens today in theaters nationwide.
Featuring a strong ensemble cast, “Think Like a Man” is directed by Tim Story of “Barbershop” fame, and follows four beautiful and successful women, all looking for love. There’s Kristen (Gabrielle Union), who’s in a longtime relationship that appears to be going nowhere; Candace (Regina Hall), a devoted single mother who is looking for a good, stable man; Lauren (Taraji P. Henson), a successful “Type A” businesswoman who is actively seeking a man who is “on her level,” and the sexy Mya (Meagan Good) who has dated a string of opportunistic losers — the latest being the silly and immature Alex (Chris Brown).
The ladies are dealing with the usual suspects when it comes to the men in their lives - Zeke, the smooth playboy (Romany Malco), Michael (Terrence J), the hopeless “Mama’s Boy,” the complacent, commitment-phobic Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) and Dominic (Michael Ealy), the hardworking guy with limitless potential, who often gets overlooked because that potential has yet to be realized. Despite the women’s angst, this band of merry men thinks that life is great — except for their pint-sized pal Cedric (Kevin Hart), who is going through a messy divorce, and never lets any of them forget it.
Just as their frustration becomes unbearable, the ladies see Steve Harvey on TV discussing his new book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” and are instantly intrigued. They race to buy copies of Harvey’s “self-help” book, and immediately put his plan into action. His advice works like a charm until the guys discover that they are being “played,” and that it was another man who sold them out.
The clever and engaging screenplay was written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, although that appears to mean very little to Philly’s outrageous Kevin Hart, who will do or say just about anything, forcing his cast mates to deal with the fallout. Fortunately, he was working with a group of professionals who rather enjoyed the challenge of managing an out-of-control scene stealer who would improvise during his scenes, talk non-stop, dissolve into tears without warning and physically threaten folks who were almost two feet taller and about 100 pounds heavier than he.
For me, and apparently for the rest of the ladies in the house, the most captivating couple was Lauren and Dominic, the controlling over-achiever and the struggling dreamer who has yet to arrive. Versatile Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson sizzles as Lauren, who drives the best cars, drinks the best champagne and is waiting for a man who can top her impressive six-figure income to show up.
The cerebral and sensuous Michael Ealy does a slow burn as Dominic, a sincere, ambitious guy who parks cars and works as a waiter while pursuing his dream of becoming a professional chef. One day while parking an expensive car for a customer, he encounters Lauren, and against his better judgment (along with his friends’ bad advice), allows her to believe that it is his. A relationship develops and the sparks fly until Lauren discovers that it’s all based on a lie. Can she love a man based on his potential, or will she find it impossible to “lower” her standards?
Tim Story does a brilliant job of directing this superb ensemble which includes sassy veteran Jenifer Lewis as Michael’s overbearing mother, and Steve Harvey appears just enough for the audience to associate him with his book. There are countless cameo appearances in the film, and you will have a great time pointing them out, particularly when you finally get to meet Cedric’s estranged wife.
Featuring an engaging story, a beautiful, talented cast, and Kevin Hart’s hilarious hi-jinks, “Think Like a Man” was definitely worth the wait, and for those who still have not seen enough of Taraji Henson at the conclusion of the movie, she is featured in all her natural glory in “Allure” magazine’s “Look Better Naked” photo spread hitting newsstands April 24. (Rated PG-13)
Celebrity Sound Bytes: Michael Ealy, on why good guys are often overlooked: “Guys like Dominic get overlooked because it starts when you’re young — high school. I have this theory that if young girls looked at the 3.8, 4.0 GPA instead of athletes ... when I was growing up in Maryland/D.C., it was drug dealers ... they had the cash, they had the clothes, the swagger, but it’s the guy who was getting the 4.0 who’s running American Express right now. That’s the difference. It’s all about everybody having to evolve. Women have to start out as girls, and they have this fascination with what’s flashy. The same thing with guys. At the end of the day, I think women overlook guys like Dominic because their priorities are not in the right place.”
Steve Harvey: “Every man can change, and every man eventually will change, but there is only one woman that we will change for.”
Thomas Miles, a.k.a. Nephew Tommy, grew up in Houston, Texas, with an eye to becoming a serious actor. In fact, he enrolled as the fist African-American Theater Arts major at Texas A&M University.
There he was mentored by Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Gordone and later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company of London.
“But it’s funny how fate sometimes steps in and opens other doors,” says Miles, who has managed to use his acting abilities to do successful stand-up comedy. He’ll be showing off that talent when he takes the stage at Helium Comedy Club March 14–17.
Today, Miles has built a career that encompasses radio, television, film and more. A talented thespian, Miles has starred in more than a dozen stage plays and a number of independent film projects. But now one of his best-known efforts is as co-host on the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show that puts him in front of a live radio audience of more than eight million listeners daily.
“After I graduated from Texas A&M I went on the road and started doing stage plays,” Miles recalls . “That really helped me hone my craft. And during that same time, in the summer when there was a hiatus, I found out I could really do stand-up with very little effort.”
And then, in ’97–’98, Miles got a call to open up for Luther Vandross, something that was supposed to last for a week and ended up lasting for years. Miles recalls that call from Vandross’ manager inviting him to stay on. “That was a true blessing for me at the time, and I wound up staying with Luther for three years. He even took me on tour with him to Europe.”
When Vandross decided to take some time off (he died during that time), Miles decided to move back with some pals in Los Angeles, as well as hang out with his Uncle Steve, who is the brother of Miles’ mom Kate.
“One day Steve’s manager called me and asked if I’d like to go on the radio with Steve for about a week or two. I told him I would but that I was looking forward to going back on tour with Luther,” Miles recalls. Well, I went on the radio, clowned around, and it a became a hit. All of Los Angeles was talking about it.
“You know,” Miles continues, “it’s amazing how God gives you something now that you’re going to need later on. And you don’t even know it while it’s happening. So that’s how me and Uncle Steve got on the radio together. People seem to love the crazy stuff that we put out there on a daily basis.”
Miles adds that people seem to really enjoy his “Nephew Tommy” routine. “I represent the common man, the guy that’s on the come up.”
And while he’s very happy with the way his life has turned out, he says that he still would like to do more films. “I think the main problem is that people see my comedy and don’t realize I’m really a trained actor,” Miles volunteers. “I get bit parts here and there, but that’s not enough for me.
“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be in films, and I’m hoping that’s where my future lies.”
To further that ambition, Miles has even written a film specifically for himself. “I’m hoping to get the green light and start shooting this summer.”
Today, he offers some advice for others out there who would hope to follow in his footsteps. “First,” he says, “If you can get everybody’s attention while clowning around, there’s some kind of talent there. But you have to learn to channel it in the right direction. And you just can’t quit. There will be days when nothing works right for you, but just stay with it. Determination and persistence is the key.”
For times and ticket information, call 215-496-9001.
Philadelphia vocalist Destinee Maree is one of four finalists heading to Las Vegas to perform at Steve Harvey’s 10th Annual Hoodie Awards, taking place August 2–5 at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.
A Philadelphia native, Destinee Maree will perform at the State Farm Freedom Friday Party, competing against Scarlette W., of Camilla, Georgia; Ashley W., of Little Elm, Texas; and Siergio, of Atlanta for a $10,000 prize. The glitzy event, hosted by Sheryl Underwood of “The Talk,” will feature performances by Charlie Wilson, Anthony Hamilton, Lenny Williams and Cupid.
“This is a first for me. I can’t believe it!” said Destinee, who earned her way to the glamorous affair as a participant in the State Farm “Sing Your Way to the 2012 Ford Hoodie Awards” competition, held during “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” broadcast locally on WDAS-FM. Contestants across the country were required to sing live on the air, and listeners voted for their favorites.
Making the Vegas trip with Destinee will be her mother, Angel Scruggs, who actually surprised her talented daughter by entering her in the “Sing Your Way to the 2012 Ford Hoodie Awards” competition, submitting an MP3 of Destinee in the qualifying round.
“We are humble yet excited!” said Scruggs. “The icing on the cake is that the world heard Steve Harvey and the Morning Crew lose their minds with every note she hit. She killed Patti LaBelle’s ‘If Only You Knew!’” Destinee will give a repeat performance on the song at the final competition on Friday, Aug. 3.
While Destinee, who has never been to Las Vegas, is looking forward to the entire Hoodie experience, she is most excited about having her first close encounter with Steve Harvey.
“With all my heart, I want to see my family’s reaction to Steve Harvey’s reaction when he hears me sing,” she said. “We’ve been listening to his ‘Radio Star’ segment for years, and every time we hear him say, ‘I’m looking for a singer! Somebody who can sing! I want soul music!’ my mom has always said, ‘Well, if Steve hears you sing, he’s gonna love you!’ So now this will be confirmation of what she’s always believed.
“I mean, to get approval from somebody of his stature would be an honor,” Destinee continued. “Even when he heard me sing that morning, he said those nice things about me. That was an honor. So I’m looking forward to meeting him and singing for him, and having my family see me perform for him.”
The brainchild of comedian/media personality Steve Harvey and television/radio producer Rushion McDonald, the Hoodie Awards, which have grown steadily in popularity and profile since its inception in 2001, honor local businesses, religious and neighborhood leaders, churches and high schools for their contributions and excellence within their own neighborhoods. The award show, best described as “the Oscars with an urban flair,” features a diverse and “ultra talented” group of celebrities, actors, athletes and recording artists who present 12 non-traditional awards to the stars of our neighborhood.
The 12 categories are Best Church, Best Beauty Salon, Best Community Leader, Best Barbershop, Best School Teacher, Best High School Coach, Best Soul Food Place, Best High School, Best Car Wash/Detail Shop, Best BBQ Restaurant, Best Nail Salon and Best Church Choir.
As the talented and determined Destinee Maree prepares for her biggest gig thus far, she is grateful the support she has received, and said in conclusion, “Thank you so much! I’ve had nothing but warm wishes, and people saying very nice things to me. I can really feel the support. I’m not really a social network person with Facebook and Twitter - I’ve gotten a little warmed up to it in the last couple of months - but now when I look on Facebook and Twitter, I see so many people have such nice things to say about me. And people who, for so many years, we tried to catch their attention, now they’re calling us. We don’t have to chase them down, and you call and they answer the phone on the second ring instead of leaving messages for weeks. So I just appreciate anyone that paid attention to me, because for so long, no one did.”
NEW YORK — Steve Harvey played hard-to-get before deciding to become a daytime television talk-show host.
The veteran comic, whose new show debuted on Tuesday, Sept. 4, was first approached about a show three years ago when his first book, "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," was on the best-seller lists. The television production company Endemol thought the idea of Harvey giving women advice from a man's point of view made a perfect theme.
Harvey said no, thanks.
One of the original "Kings of Comedy" thought late-night was a better place for him on TV. Daytime is more sedate. He had a thriving stand-up career he wasn't ready to give up and a popular morning radio show broadcast across the country. Harvey also thought his suitors were trying to limit him.
"They just wanted to make a relationship show and I didn't think that was rich enough," Harvey said. "I don't think you can do five years, five days a week just talking about who likes who."
Harvey instead signed on as host of the game show "Family Feud." His success there made producers want him more, said David Goldberg, chairman and CEO of Endemol North America.
Goldberg tried again, and this time sealed the deal. "Steve Harvey" is Endemol's first-ever talk show in the U.S., and it is competing in a tough market with new talk shows also starting this fall starring Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst. A partnership with NBC's top stations, where Harvey's show will air back-to-back with Ellen DeGeneres, gives him a fighting chance.
Harvey now feels more comfortable with the idea of trying daytime. He should: There are few surer routes to riches in the television business than a successful syndicated show.
He said he also feels more comfortable asserting himself in molding the show's direction.
"Look, I was leery about being able to maintain who I am," he said. "Not so much the edginess, but I really wanted to be frank on TV. I really wanted to say what I say. I'm happy if you're a guest on my show, but if you sit over there and say something that I don't think is cool for me or my listeners, I've got to reserve the right to say so. Just because you've got this book doesn't mean you're right about everything."
Harvey said he has pushed show producers to go beyond the theme of his book in exploring ideas. One that he's borrowed from his radio show is about forgiveness, asking people carrying a longtime grudge to unburden themselves.
Overprotective parents, adult children who have moved back in with their parents and people who share too much information about their children online are among the topics addressed on "Steve Harvey" during the show's first week.
Harvey, a father of seven, can draw on plenty of experiences.
"I've been unemployed, homeless, had a lot of jobs, been dirt-poor and out of it and been pretty successful," he said. "Married a few times, bad credit, good credit, tax troubles, no tax troubles. I've just about been through it all. Never been a drug user, but other than that, I've had a pretty nice slice of life."
He wrote his book on the advice of his daughters, who would be mortified when Harvey would give the third-degree to their dates but have come to learn — even if it took some time — that dad's assessments were spot on.
The young don't have it figured out yet, but life repeats itself, he said.
"You can text a girl, you can Skype a girl, you can Facebook a girl, but guess what?" he said. "You're going to eventually have to take her to dinner. You're going to have to look across the table and you're going to have to know what to say. That's really what it comes down to, and that never changes."
Harvey, 55, is a comedian, but as a talk-show host is not trapped in that persona, Goldberg said. The show "really is aimed to entertain, for people to have fun and for people to always come away with something," he said.
Harvey faces a crowded marketplace, but will be helped by the pairing with DeGeneres and an aggressive promotional campaign that included advertisements during the Olympics, said Bill Carroll, an expert in the syndication market for Katz Media. The persona he's helped create through his books should also benefit Harvey. "You have to have some other reason to spend time other than 'he's a likable guy,'" he said.
Carroll wasn't particularly concerned with Endemol's rookie status in the genre. It's a worldwide company with plenty of successes in the U.S., including "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," ''Wipeout" and "Big Brother."
"I liked Dave Goldberg immediately," Harvey said. "I knew they had never done a talk show before, but they know how to win."
The show will be recorded in Chicago in the same building where Harvey will broadcast his radio show starting at 5 a.m. local time. When that's done, he'll work out, take a meeting and prep to record one or two talk shows. Harvey will keep doing "Family Feud," which records in Atlanta during two intense months of work in the spring.
He officially retired from live stand-up shows after an Aug. 2 performance in Las Vegas. It was, Harvey said, the hardest career decision he's ever made.
"How do you give up something that has defined you for 27 years?" he asked. "And you've been successful at it. I can go and sell out an arena in any major city in this country and earn a living. I'm going to stop doing that and take a shot at doing a TV show?"
Yet he figures he's accomplished all he can in the stand-up realm, and it's hard to keep it going with all the travel. "I had to let something go to fit something else in," he said. -- (AP)
It has been a banner year for comedian and radio host Steve Harvey, of "The Steve Harvey Morning Show," airing on WDAS-FM. He is having a blast as the host of the enduring game show "Family Feud," and "Think Like a Man," the feature film based on his New York Times bestseller "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," grossed $91 million at the box office. As if that were not enough, his syndicated daytime talk show, "The Steve Harvey Show," which debuted on Sept. 4 on NBC, had the strongest premiere since "Dr. Oz" in 2009. Now with the show up and running for two weeks, Harvey weighedin on its early success.
"I'm pretty blessed. That's all I can say," Harvey said during a recent interview. "It made me feel really good that people would buy into what I'm trying to do over here so quickly. That was nice, and the numbers are holding strong and everybody over here is happy, so I'm pretty comfortable."
While the numbers speak for themselves, Harvey, also an executive producer of the show, gave his personal assessment of the first two weeks on his new job, saying, "So far, so good. I'm really proud of the show. I think it's something very, very different from regular daytime TV, in that there's a very, very male perspective. It's not geared toward men, I just think that it's really great that women hear from a man on a lot of issues, because women have traded a lot of information over the years. It would be good to hear it from the male side - maybe something they can consider. And then, it’s funny, it's inspirational, has a lot of information on it, but it's funny!"
Even so, in the competitive and rapidly changing world of daytime television, Harvey, who is producing his show in Chicago where Oprah Winfrey once reigned supreme, realizes there is always room for improvement.
"Nobody's over here settling. Not by a long shot," he said. Our focus is real people. We just do real people. We don't really do celebrities. We'll have some every now and then, but that's not the focus of the show. So it's just finding the great stories to tell. Finding the stories that people can relate to. I think that's the challenge for us, since we're not going to do celebrities."
The male perspective has suddenly become much more prevalent in daytime television, and Harvey acknowledged another high-ranking newcomer to the talk TV game: former NFL great Michael Strahan, who recently made his debut as the co-host of "Live! With Kelly & Michael," taking the big chair next to the diminutive Kelly Ripa.
"I was watching him when they were trying out all those different guys," said Harvey. "I thought that Michael Strahan was hands-down, far and away the most congenial, very likeable and smart. And he looked the most comfortable. And I think it's great for daytime TV.
"Daytime TV has to look more like America," Harvey continued. "Daytime TV just can't be all white women, and daytime TV has changed where it's a little bit more inclusive, so I think the inclusion of a lot of different people in daytime is smart. I applaud him for being on that early morning show. I'm glad he's not directly up against me!"
Harvey, who recently retired from stand-up comedy after 27 years in the business, closed with a word to his fans, saying, "I really want them to watch this show. Even if you're working, DVR it, TiVo it, do whatever you can, but have your TV tuned in to NBC, Channel 10, up against 'The Talk.' Come on! Let's go! You're going to have a wonderfully good time, and if you know anybody who's not watching, have them watch and record it. This is a really, really good show, and I think you're going to see some things that you don't normally see in daytime TV."
The red hot Steve Harvey, a recent People’s Choice Award winner, will host the 44th NAACP Image Awards, celebrating the accomplishments of people of color working in the fields of literature, music, television and film. The festive gala, which also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors, airs live from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles at 8 p.m., Feb. 1 on NBC.
“I’m honored to be hosting the 44th NAACP Image Awards, and celebrate the variety of film, TV, literary, music contributions and special honorees this year. We’re live on stage, got great things in store for the night!” said Harvey.
Esteemed actor and All-State pitchman (“Are you in good hands?”) Dennis Haysbert will be the “in-show announcer” for the evening, and according to the organization, the dazzling list of presenters includes Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Wanda Sykes, Tony Goldwyn, Cedric the Entertainer, Keke Palmer, Tyler James Williams, Meagan Good, Laz Alonso and Lamorne Morris. In addition, Gladys Knight, Wyclef and Common are scheduled to perform.
In a special presentation, Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Howard will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award, presented to individuals in special recognition of their efforts to utilize their profession to promote diversity and community involvement.
Kerry Washington, star of the hit ABC drama “Scandal,” will receive the NAACP President’s Award, chosen by NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, and bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include Van Jones, President Clinton, Soledad O’Brien, Ruby Dee, Muhammad Ali, and most recently, the Founding Members of the Black Stuntmen’s Association.
“For the first time in 40 years, we have a Black woman playing the leading role in a primetime drama on network television. Kerry Washington is a modern trailblazer,” states Jealous. “Her talent and will have taken her to heights we have not seen in years. She extends the tradition of women like Ruby Dee, Cicily Tyson and Lena Horne. Rather the seeing her professional success as cause for political silence, she has chosen to use it as a platform for social change. Her championing of the rights of women around the world, and her early work to campaign for President Barack Obama are examples of her willingness to be a politically active and risk-taking woman in real life even as she plays one on TV.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the “premier advocates for civil rights in their communities,” conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
When Steve Harvey, one of the Original Kings of Comedy, set out to give his daughters some advice on handling men, he never imagined that the result of his fatherly counsel would be a New York Times best-selling book and the inspiration for the one of the most highly-anticipated movies of the year. His provocative volume, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” caught the attention of none other than Oprah Winfrey, so captivating the former daytime diva that she had Harvey on her popular talk show twice to discuss its content.
Equally captivated was Rainforest Films producer Will Packer, who approached Harvey about adapting the book for the big screen, and as a result, the vibrant romantic comedy, “Think Like a Man,” is now open in theaters nationwide.
“Everywhere I went, I would see women with this book and it intrigued me, so I had to find out about it. I read the book,” says Packer. “I didn’t know Steve was giving away all the secrets. After my initial reaction of ‘Steve, what are you doing?’ I thought this would make a really good movie.”
When I recently sat down with the dapper Steve Harvey at Philadelphia’s posh Ritz Carlton, he clearly was basking in the glow of the film’s positive buzz. He was in town for the Philadelphia premiere of “Think Like a Man,” and was also scheduled to broadcast “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” from the studios of WDAS-FM the following day.
When asked why “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” which sold three million copies, was so successful, Harvey’s answer was quite simple. “The book is the truth,” he said. “I wrote the book purely as a father, so I’m going to tell them the real deal, ‘cause I don’t want no guy hurtin’ my daughters. So I’m, ‘Okay. This is how dude really thinks.’ So the book was written really, a father talking to his daughters. This is what I would tell my daughters about the slick stuff they’re gonna run into. Okay, cool. Women needed that more than I really knew.”
The book was also inspired, in part, by a regular feature on Harvey’s popular syndicated radio show titled “The Strawberry Letter,” in which women often seek help with their man problems. Their questions gave him an indication of how desperately women in general were in need of his advice. Even so, the success of “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” was quite unexpected.
“I’m just as surprised as anybody else,” said Harvey. “You write a book, you don’t expect to be as big as it [is]. A huge book in the literary world is 200,000 copies. [I sold] three million books! My goal, when I wrote this book, I just wanted to be on the best-seller list at number seven, ‘cause that’s three up from the bottom [of the Top Ten]!”
There are those who would dispute Harvey’s credibility as a “relationship expert,” and for those, he had a quick response saying, “This is my third marriage. What the hell do I know about relationships? I know about men all damn day!
“All of the dudes in this movie, including (Philadelphia comedian) Kevin Hart, is what the whole book was about — is that the woman is oftentimes the missing link, and when the right woman comes along man, the (expletive deleted) is like, ‘Jackpot!’“
Harvey also hosts the game show “Family Feud” in addition to his other daytime duties, and has appeared in the feature films “You Got Served,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Johnson Family Vacation.” But his on-screen participation in “Think Like a Man,” directed by Tim Story, is minimal.
“I’m not a movie star, and I even told Will, ‘Hey man, don’t feel like you have to put me in this movie,” Harvey said. “I sold it for a lot of money, and I’m making money off the film. I’m OK. I want the movie to be a hit.’ So I’m in the movie, but the star of the movie, for me, is the book.”
Harvey believes that “Think Like a Man” has something for everyone, and having screened this romantic romp for the “Grown & Sexy,” I’m inclined to agree.
“Everybody I’ve talked to loved the movie!” he said in conclusion. “The three comments are ‘It’s funny,’ ‘It’s very touching,’ and ‘Oh my God! I was in there!’ Every man was in there somewhere, and every woman is in there somewhere. You’ve all dealt with it.”
Steve Harvey, comedian/actor/writer/radio and TV host will take the stage at the Liacouras Center on Saturday, Nov. 5. But be on notice: Harvey, one of the “Original Kings of Comedy” — alongside Cedric The Entertainer, the late Bernie Mac and D.L. Hughley — says this will be his last comedy tour.
“I want to leave while people still want to see me,” he says. “I’m 54 years old and I’ve been doing comedy exactly one-half of my life, and I always wanted to go out on top. I don’t want to wind up back in comedy clubs trying to hang in there. I really like doing the Liacouras Center and other places like that, but right now I’ve decided to spend my time on other things.”
Some of those other things include his nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” preparing for his upcoming NBC TV talk show set for 2012, his mentoring program and, of course, his stint as host for TV’s widely popular “Family Feud.” Harvey has served as host for the past two seasons and is now beginning his third.
After many years on the air, Harvey thinks the show remains so popular because anybody can play along. “It’s not like “Jeopardy,” which is a great show, but I can sit and watch that show for two weeks and never get one right answer. On the other hand, you don’t have to be a Harvard graduate to play ‘Family Feud.’ The whole family can play it together.”
Additionally he says, “I think I’m good on the show because I like dealing with ordinary people,” Harvey says. “Appealing to everyday people is how I made the bulk of my living. I’m great at observing. That’s my comedy style. I deal with observational humor, observing everyday people and writing jokes about them. So this show is really good for me because I’m a down to earth kind of a guy anyway.”
Harvey insists “it’s easy for me to relate to ordinary people because I’ve been a working man most of my life and had so many different jobs. I also like to meet people who get so excited about winning $20,000. I get that. People who’ve wanted to be on TV their whole life. I get that, too. I’m able to use all my God-given talent and apply it to the show. And it’s worked out so far.”
In fact, after a slow start, success does seem to have worked out well for Harvey. Born in West Virginia, Harvey’s family later moved to Cleveland. After attending West Virginia University, Harvey spent his early twenties working at a number of jobs including insurance salesman, postman, even wannabe professional boxer, without managing to find his true calling — until he got on stage and did stand-up for the first time in 1985. Several years later, he came close to hitting the big time by making it to the finals of the Second Annual Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search.
But his big break came in 1993 when he took over as the host of “Showtime at the Apollo.” His hosting duties lasted until 2000, but he did other things as well. In 1996, he got his own sitcom, “The Steve Harvey Show,” which gained a mostly African-American audience and stayed on the air until 2002. In 2000, he launched a daily talk radio show, did some TV and film work, and also became a best selling author of relationship advice books, including “Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man,” which is being made into a feature film.
“And the topic of relationships will be the topic of my new talk show,” Harvey explains. “It’s not that I’m an expert on the topic of relationships. In fact, I’m still trying to figure my wife out. Instead, my show will be about empowering women, delving into the positive side of kids, marriage and so on. And it will not be celebrity-driven but deal with regular people who never cancel on you. I never had a family cancel on ’Family Feud,’ but celebrities cancel all the time, and I can’t be sitting around here hoping they show up.”
For times and ticket information, call (215) 204-2400.
The comedians rule this week on “Live! With Kelly,” with D.L Hughley, one of the Original Kings of Comedy, co-hosting, and Philly native Kevin Hart stopping by to wreak havoc while promoting his upcoming feature film “Think Like a Man,” inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling “self-help” book.
On Tuesday, April 17, Hughley joins host Kelly Ripa for a chat with actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and iconic anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall, who stops by to talk about the new DisneyNature film, “Chimpanzee.”
Then, on Wednesday, April 18, Ripa and co-host Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” welcome actress Olivia Wilde as well as Hart, whom according to Steve Harvey, was the first male cast in the highly anticipated “Think Like a Man,” which opens nationwide Friday.
“He’s a genius,” Harvey said during a recent visit for the Philadelphia premiere of “Think Like a Man.” “He’s going to be funny. He’s going to be irritating, but he’s going to be funny,” “I’ve been doing this professionally 27 years. I’ve been the dude that was the funny man all the time. I figured it out. Slow down, wait ‘til they cut you a check, be funny then, and you’ll be a lot less irritating. Kev don’t give a damn! He’s young, he’s feelin’ it. This is how he makes his money, and it’s cool.”
“Live! With Kelly” airs at 9 a.m. weekdays on 6abc.
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center’s Aquatic Center accepted a donation of $25,000 from Ford Motor Company on Wednesday August 22 to enhance the center’s aquatics and competitive swimming program. The Salvation Army Kroc Aquatics (SAKA) Center, at 4200 Wissahickon Avenue, has been providing swim lessons and offering competitive swim opportunities for children since 2010.
The contest was a part of the Ford’s “Random Acts of Fusion,” a new social consumer program which aims to introduce the all-new Ford Fusion to millions of Americans through a series of unexpected events. The donation was made on behalf of Philadelphia resident Verna Weeks, who submitted an essay in July about what the Kroc Aquatic Center brings to Philadelphia. Weeks’ two children participate in the SAKA swim team with head coach Jim Ellis.
“I first heard of the contest through an email generated by comedian Steve Harvey’s website, which coordinates the Hoodie Awards, an event recognizing neighborhood-based leaders,” Weeks said. “The email asked if you had $25,000 to give back to the community what would you do? I immediately thought about Coach Ellis and the swim team, because my two children always spoke very highly of him and the program.
“The essay wasn’t anything spectaculiar. This is a great program and what Coach Ellis does for these kids is truly amazing. It feels great that my essay won the contest. I always told Coach Ellis that whatever I can do to help the kids, I will.”
Founder of the nationally recognized Pride, Determination, and Resilience (PDR) swim team and the inspiration for the movie “Pride,” Ellis’ career of teaching the importance of swimming to children has been his life’s mission.
“Having access to swimming programs not only gets at-risk kids off the streets, it inspires them to lead healthy lifestyles and have goals and dreams,” Ellis said. “SAKA brings in a diverse group of people across the Delaware Valley. With the funds received from the donation, I hope to acquire state-of-the-art training equipment, which will allow us to train the team’s 50 swimmers using an electronic monitoring system. We need to be in the game like our competitors are in the game. If we are unable to attain the equipment, I’m hoping to use the funding for scholarships.”
Ellis’s past swim students have gone on to top universities around the country, competed all over the world, and earned spots on the USA Swimming all-time top performers list.
“We are continuing to build the program,” Ellis said. “We have young swimmers who have been ranked number one in the country for their age group. My goal is to grow the program to 100 swimmers and continue to help kids reach their dreams. We are currently preparing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. We are committed to giving these young swimmers the best opportunities that we can.”