Yes, Steve Harvey really is everywhere, all the time


Somehow, the concept of "overexposure" doesn't affect Steve Harvey. No matter how often we see him, we're still happy when he pops up on anothr show. Currently, that's "Showtime at the Apollo" in prime time, others in the daytime. Here's the story I sent to papers:

 

By Mike Hughes

Running a few
minutes late, Steve Harvey offered an apology and an understatement.

“I've got a bunch
of jobs,” he said. “They overlap sometimes.”

You think? At 61,
Harvey makes Ryan Seacrest look like a slacker. He has:

-- Five primetime
shows at various times of the year. The current one is Fox's
“Showtime at the Apollo,” at 9 p.m. Thursdays, Others –
especially strong in the summer – include “Celebrity Family
Feud,” “Funderdome” and “Little Big Shots,” plus its
spin-off, “Forever Young.”

-- Three daily shows
year-round -- “Family Feud,” a morning radio show and the “Steve”
talk show.

-- And occasional
specials, from award shows to Miss Universe.

It's no way for a
guy to start his 60s. “My friends go play golf twice a week,”
Harvey said. “They do all this other stuff. They're actually at
home barbecuing in the middle of the week.”

And he's on a plane,
between Los Angeles and New York. He used to base the talk show in
Chicago, but that was a bit much.

“I do not miss
6-below-zero,” Harvey said. “I'll tell you what drove me out of
Chicago was the year before last, they invented a new cold and it's
called the vortex.”

Harvey does this by
avoiding preparation. “That's how I do all my shows,” he said. “I
don't meet the families on 'Family Feud.' I don't come to rehearsals
(or) meet the kids at 'Little Big Shots.' The thing that attracts
people to me is my authenticity.”

At times –
including when he read the wrong winner for Miss Universe – the
underpreparation can be a problem. More often, Harvey's instinctive
reactions are part of the charm.

The rest is work
ethic. This is a guy who was a coal-miner's son in West Virginia and
then a blue-collar kid in Cleveland. He held various day jobs and
sometimes slept in his car, while struggling in comedy.

Harvey had some
success at that, hosting and then owning a comedy club in Dallas. But
the big break came when he tried the Apollo Theater in the early
1990s.

“It was probably
one of the scariest nights I've ever had,” he said. “It's such a
tough place to play.”

Over its 117 years,
this Harlem theater has been known for audiences that will boo an act
off the stage. “I went out, got a standing ovation, and my
television career was born,” Harvey said.

He was brought back
as guest host of the syndicated “Showtime at the Apollo” and
then, from 1993 to 2000, as host. When Fox brought the show back –
first as specials, then as a series – he was hosting.

Is there anything he
isn't doing? For now, Harvey plans no more books, no comedy tour and,
he says, definitely no movies.

“If you blow my
face up 25-feet high, it doesn't look good,” he said. “You've got
to keep me out of theaters .... My face, 25 feet tall, it's scary.”