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Comedian Steve Harvey is a radio and TV show host who has also written relationship advice books.
Actress-Director Rain Pryor talks about how her father Richard Pryor was a comedy pioneer with his raw stand-up performances and honest critiques of race.
Actress-Director Rain Pryor talks about her father Richard Pryor's comedic influences including Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Gleason and Bill Cosby and the comedians who have been inspired by him like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Steve Harvey.
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While Harvey's role as the Kings of Comedy's M.C. remains the most iconic performance of his career, the comedian used the fame that came from the movie as the foundation upon which to build a virtual one-man multimedia empire.
In 2000, he launched a daily talk radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show. Originally aired only in Los Angeles and Dallas, the show eventually gained national syndication and a New York City flagship. It now airs every day on dozens of stations nationwide. Harvey won Radio & Records magazine's national Syndicated Personality/Show of the Year award in 2007.
Even while transforming himself into a major radio personality, Harvey continued to pursue work in standup and acting as well. The Steve Harvey Show on the WB went off the air after a six-year run in 2002, but Harvey soon took on other projects. He hosted a short-lived reality-show contest, Steve Harvey's Big Time, which aired on the WB from 2003-05. He made his big-screen acting debut in a minor role in 2003's The Fighting Temptations, then won larger supporting parts in You Got Served (2004), Johnson Family Vacation (2004) and (as a voice actor) in the animated Racing Stripes (2005).
Finally, and perhaps most unexpectedly, in 2009 Harvey became a bestselling author of relationship advice books. Growing out of a segment on his radio show in which he served up hilariously blunt advice to women callers frustrated in their relationships with men, Harvey's books seem to be based on the general principle that men are dogs and women need to treat them accordingly. While critics dismissed Harvey's advice as little more than a collection of overblown stereotypes, fans took to his blunt, comedic approach to self-help for the lovelorn. Both Harvey's debut, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man (2009), and its follow-up, Straight Talk, No Chaser (2010), broke onto bestseller lists.
In 2010, Harvey won another iconic TV role, taking over as host of the venerable game show Family Feud. On Family Feud, Harvey found a very agreeable niche. Not only does he get to flash his quick wit and try out new material on a nationwide audience, but he also gets to work with everyday people. "The producers are going, 'Wow, you really know how to handle everyday people,' and yeah, because really I just got this money I got recently," Harvey explains. "I've been an everyday person for 38 years." He enjoys appearing on screen alongside ordinary folks, saying he loves "watching regular people become stars for a day."
A born-again Christian, Steve Harvey has been married three times. He has twin daughters, Brandi and Karli, from his first marriage, and a son, Wynton, from his second. He enjoys spending time with his large, blended family (his current wife, Marjorie Bridge Harvey, whom he wed in 2007, brought three previous children of her own into their marriage). Steve Harvey is also the proud head of a charitable organization, The Steve Harvey Foundation, which offers mentoring programs to young men.
Harvey explains his current focus on family and charity: "I'm 53, I'm thinking about the responsibility of being a father, and my listeners, and I've just gotten to a place where it's got to be more than jokes. I know it sounds corny, but I'm starting really to think about my life in terms of 'What are they going to say about me?' Do I want it just to be said this guy was a king of Comedy? Well, it's not enough. Been there, done that. The sense of wanting to do something meaningful is upon me now."
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From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
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