Steve Harvey is the man!
I’ve been watching this media workhorse since I was a teenager and he was headlining his WB sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show. He was Steve Hightower back then. I could recite ‘When the funk hits the fan’ and everything. I’m also huge fan of his radio show, especially the Strawberry Letter, so I knew that one day I had to meet Uncle Steve.
I got the chance last year when I attended his Act Like A Success conference in Atlanta, GA. Two of my girlfriends had joined me for the trip and we had a blast. But, apart from seeing him on the stage, I didn’t get up close and personal.
My recent trip to Los Angeles changed all of that.
I had gotten tickets to Steve’s daytime talk show and took my travel buddy and best friend, Ebonique to the show.
We arrived early at the Universal Studios lot and were first in line. While waiting in line, I noticed a few producers walking around checking out the guests. One of them, a man named Jake, approached me and Ebby and asked if we were interested in playing a game with Steve. Hell yeah! Well, for me at least. Ebby hates being put on the spot.
Jake pulled out a tablet and asked me to look at some of the celebrities and identify them. He wanted to make sure I knew celebs. I did. All of them.
He asked if he could take a picture of me to give to the producers, which I was accustomed to after my experience on the Wendy Williams show. He then told me there was no guarantee that the producers would choose me. I heard what he said, but I didn’t believe him. On Wendy’s show, the producers said the same thing. So, I was accustomed to the okey doke.
Ebby and I then headed to the Steve board to take photos with his iconic moustache. Fifteen minutes later when we were lining up to go inside, Jake came back to announce that I had been chosen to play the Shadow of a Doubt game with Steve. I was beyond excited!
He introduced me to my competition, a lovely older lady, and took us inside to get our make-up touched up, sign waivers and tax documents.
TV is very heavily produced. Jake went over the game’s rules with me and my competitor about eight times. He wanted to make sure that our energy remained high throughout the competition, especially since we weren’t going to play the game until the end of the show.
Strangely enough, while I was excited, I wasn’t nervous. I was just eager to meet Steve.
I have to say, everyone on the show was so incredibly professional and friendly. Every one. They treated us like we were the stars and it felt so genuine.
What I loved the most is that the entire show was fire, from start to finish. The music really got the crowd pumped up. In addition to that, the producers knew that we were sitting in the audience for hours, so they made sure to give us a snack, which was most appreciated.
The studio was huge. A lot of times, studios look enormous on TV, but when you get inside, they’re these tiny boxes. That was not the case at Steve’s show. Everything was big.
When Steve finally came out, the crowd went wild. He really connected with the audience and spoke to us the entire time, cracking jokes and answering questions and cussing. The man can cuss.
As the show started winding down, the producers signaled for me to come to the stage and we went over the game one more time. Then, we walked to the platform.
Steve looks the same, but I had no idea he was so tall. I figured he was about six feet tall, but he is about 6’3”. He was very nice. He introduced himself, shook my hand and asked me how to pronounce my name. He nailed it. Not an easy feat, as someone is always jacking up my name.
During the game, I had a hard time figuring out the first celebrity. That game is harder than it looks, and boy did Steve straight clown me. It was so funny. I wish they had aired that version. But, the show edited it and the final version is what you see below.
I had a fantastic time hanging with Steve. I learned that he truly is a hard worker with tremendous faith. I admire that. One of the things I remember him telling the audience is that when he was down on his luck and homeless, he promised God that he would also praise Him in public and speak of His greatness. He continues to keep his word.
Steve has no idea how much he has inspired me, particularly as someone who works on radio and aspires to write books one day. I hope the third time I get to meet him, I am on his morning show reading the Strawberry Letter. That would be fire!