Steve Harvey - Early Life and Stand-Up Comedy Beginnings - 26/Mar/2024

Steve Harvey – Early Life and Stand-Up Comedy Beginnings – 26/Mar/2024

## The Multifaceted Career of Steve Harvey: Comedian, Host, and Entrepreneur

Steve Harvey is a name that resonates within various facets of the entertainment industry. From stand-up comedy to television hosting, acting, writing, and even branching into the realms of entrepreneurship and philanthropy, Harvey has built a brand that transcends traditional celebrity roles. His charismatic personality, distinctive voice, and unique humor have endeared him to millions of fans worldwide. This article will walk through his diverse career path, highlighting his numerous achievements and roles he has played in shaping modern entertainment.

Early Life and Stand-Up Comedy Beginnings

Steve Harvey’s journey to stardom began like many other comedy greats; through the trials and tribulations of the stand-up comedy circuit. Born Broderick Stephen Harvey on January 17, 1957, in Welch, West Virginia, he was the youngest of five children to a coal miner father and a mother who was a Sunday school teacher.

Harvey’s early life had its share of challenges. He struggled with a severe stutter as a child, but it didn’t deter his dream to be on stage. After attending West Virginia University and holding down various jobs post-college including insurance salesman, mail carrier, and autoworker, he finally hit the comedy stage for the first time in 1985 at the Hilarities Comedy Club in Cleveland, Ohio. This debut marked the humble beginning of what would become a prolific comedy career.

The Rise to Fame: King of Comedy

Harvey’s comedic talent started to get recognition in the late 1980s and early 1990s as he performed on various stages across the United States. His big break came in 1990 when he became a finalist in the Second Annual Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search. This helped propel him onto the national stage and land him a role as host of “It’s Showtime at the Apollo,” giving him increased exposure.

His stint on ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’ tour in the late 1990s along with fellow comedians D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac solidified his status as a comedy heavyweight. The tour was later turned into a film directed by Spike Lee that documented these performances and showcased Harvey’s ability to resonate with live audiences.

Television Hosting and Steve Harvey Show Fame

Beyond stand-up comedy, Harvey demonstrated versatility by transitioning to acting and hosting. The “Steve Harvey Show” which ran from 1996 to 2002 was his breakout television role – a sitcom where Harvey played a high school teacher imparted life lessons with humor.

Harvey expanded his hosting role to include programs such as “Family Feud” starting in 2010. With his dynamic approach, he injected new life into the show – becoming one of its most-loved emcees- and revitalized its ratings significantly. In addition, from 2012 to 2016 he hosted his own daytime talk show “The Steve Harvey Show”, discussing various topics with genuine relatability. His work as a game show host earned him several accolades but also once mistakenly announcing the wrong winner during the Miss Universe pageant in 2015; an incident that surprisingly furthered his fame due to his classy handling of the situation thereafter.

Books and Motivational Speaking

Steve Harvey is not only a presence on-screen but also on bookshelves with best-selling titles under his belt. His self-help book “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,” published in 2009, offers relationship advice from a man’s perspective and has won him plaudits as an unofficial relationship guru. The book inspired two successful movie adaptations: “Think Like A Man” (2012) and its sequel “Think Like A Man Too” (2014).

Pairing literature with live experiences, Harvey has also become known for his motivational speaking events where he combines humor with earnest life coaching aimed at guiding audiences towards achieving personal success.

Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy Efforts

Aside from entertainment, Steve Harvey has unparalleled endeavors in business receiving recognition for his philanthropic efforts through The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation wherein they provide outreach to underserved communities by focusing on youth education and empowerment.


  • Broderick Stephen Harvey was born on January 17, 1957, in Welch, West Virginia.
  • Started his stand-up career in 1985 at Hilarities Comedy Club in Cleveland.
  • ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’ tour was significant in raising his profile in stand-up comedy circles.
  • The self-help book “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” sold millions of copies worldwide and proceeds were turned into two movies.
  • He revitalized “Family Feud” starting in 2010 with his energetic hosting style.
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  • Image description: A portrait shot captures Steve Harvey wearing one of his signature stylish suits complemented by a broad smile – picture encapsulates his outgoing personality that has made him an endearing figure on stage and television alike.