Steve Harvey has an interesting background as compared with the history of most stand-up comedians that have moved on to much bigger things. Steve was born in rural West Virginia on January 17, 1957 before growing up in inner-city Cleveland. Harvey spent two years at Kent State before leaving college when he started working several different factory jobs and selling life insurance. In 1984 Harvey won an amateur comedy contest and after another year decided that at 28, it was time to take his show on the road. After a year on the road and putting 120,000 miles on his Bonneville, Steve Harvey began to build a reputation for his comic stage presence. His work ethic and continued travel led to name recognition and eventually several appearances on the syndicated television program It’s Showtime at the Apollo. After putting in his time at the legendary Apollo theater, Harvey got the nod to host the series while he could continue pursuing his stand-up career.
Harvey’s big break came in 1993 at the Montreal Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival. Throughout the audience were a slew of major television networks that were anxious to snap up the rising star. Although Harvey only left Montreal with what is called a developmental contract, it led to the short-lived and very important “Me and the Boys” on the ABC Network. That same year Steve Harvey started spreading his entrepreneurial wings by opening Steve Harvey’s Comedy House, a Dallas Texas comedy club. The club is just the only fourth African-American owned comedy club in the country. Harvey has continued to use his other ventures and talents to use the mediums like TV and films to improve his stand-up skills. The way he has gone against the grain by always coming back to stand-up shows a remarkable devotion to his roots of stage performing. 1996 was a huge year for Harvey when he started hosting a top rated Chicago morning radio show (from Los Angeles) Monday through Friday. On top of the radio show, his “Apollo” hosting obligations and a full travelling comedy tour schedule, Harvey incredulously took on even more duties. He signed on to become the face of the national restaurant chain Denny’s and was involved in the company’s media, including print, radio, and television advertising. The other job he signed on for was the lead in a new sitcom aptly titled “The Steve Harvey Show” where the comedian played Steve Hightower, a 70’s funk legend now trying to teach music at an inner-city high school.
Steve Harvey also toured with Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and the late Bernie mac as the Kings of Comedy. The comedy act tour would later be put together as a Spike Lee film called The Original Kings of Comedy. Steve has made his fair share of appearances in many feature films, authored the remarkably successful book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Currently he is the host of his own syndicated talk show called The Steve Harvey Show and discusses topics of the day in front of a live studio audience.