Style Observer

SO Moments With Steve Harvey

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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“I've been fly so long, I can't help it...I can't help it. I'm a be fly 'til I die” - Steve Harvey

US comedian, TV personality, author and motivational speaker Steve Harvey stepped out in a Dolce & Gabbana Alta sartorial suit and Tom Ford leopard wilton chain loafers - Mustique for his exclusive one-on one with SO.

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American comedian, two-time Emmy Awards winner for daytime television, author and motivational speaker Steve Harvey on...

Jamaica... Beauty and coffee, my favourite coffee is Jamaican Blue Mountain

Success... It's your own interpretation; you have to define what success is for you.

Love... Love, you better find it before you die. But you can't give what you never had, that's Earth, Wind and Fire: 'You want my love and I betcha, you want my love and you can't deny, you know it's true but you try to hide. You turn down love like it's really bad, but you can't give what you never had. You want my love, I betcha.'

Family... Everything to me. It's the only reason I wake up now; I work for my family. I got everything I ever wanted. I ain't missing nothing. It's all about family.

Faith... Essential, you can't make it without God. You can try (laughs), you ain't gonna make it without God. You can try, you can do your best, you know something you might even get a little bit, but you ain't gonna have it for long.

What's next... Well, it has already begun. My son recently said, “Dad, you've accomplished everything, what else do you want to do?” I want to become one of the premium motivational speakers in the world and change people's lives, show them how it's done!

Black excellence... Black excellence = Steve Harvey!

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Davina Bennett, Miss Jamaica Universe 2017:

You know who shoulda won? Miss Jamaica!

Let me tell you something, the biggest uproar I have ever seen in the history, since I've been doing that show, was when that girl didn't win.

Listen to me, nobody could believe it. That girl with that afro from Jamaica.

That chick was bad to the bone, she was the baddest chick there. I went up to her afterwards because all the girls gathered around (see, y'all don't get to see this). All the girls gathered around her and was hugging her because everybody knew she was going to win. Miss Jamaica, that chick was so poised, so polished…all the girls knew she was going to win. I couldn't believe it, I went up to her afterwards and told her, I said, I don't know what happened. What I should have done was announce her name!

Yes! That's what I should have done... I should have just said 'Miss Jamaica' and walked my ass off, that's what I should have done, since they always think I'm messing names up!

I'm doing a Family Feud Africa this year. So I'm visiting Johannesburg and Ghana this year, I bought the international rights to Family Feud, so I'd love to add Jamaica.

I ironed my shirt this morning and my suit because I don't like when people mess my clothes up. You know, it's a part of my brand. I'm very particular about my brand.

My mom was a Sunday school teacher and would say: If you can't come dressed up for the Lord, what you come in here for? You all dress up to go to parties and clubs, but you can't dress up for the Lord. So we had to wear a tie to church and I was always happy to dress up. I thought it was sharp.

Another thing my mother shared was that every woman loves a well-dressed man. So I said, okay, I want a woman.

I was influenced by both of my parents. My mother taught me about God and faith and prayer. My father was the opposite. He was a hard worker. He showed up. He was at home every night. But my father was a tough, tough guy. He fought and taught all of his sons how to fight. He never talked to me about God. Not one time. His whole thing was, be a man. Do what you say you going to do. Honour your mother. Don't cuss in front of your mother. Don't talk back to your mother. I couldn't do none of that. I've never talked back to my mother. As long as she lived, I never did. My father was funny. He said, We don't do back and forth in this house. 'We just do forth. No talking back'. So you know that was the foundation, him being a hard man, a hard worker and a fighter and my mother the spiritual one. The combination of who I am today.

My family was three boys. My oldest brother passed, but it was three boys and two girls. I was the youngest.

Nothing is greater than my faith, nothing. I ain't the best Christian in the world, but who is? I ain't met a great one yet.

See this gift? This gift of comedy is a dangerous gift. Because when you young and you got this gift, you don't know what it is. I just stayed in trouble. I stayed in trouble because everything was funny to me. I just said what I thought, it didn't matter who was listening.

I mean, you know, it wasn't so much jokes. It was just my mind was so sharp it manufactured thoughts right away, and I just said it. That was my gift. It wasn't that I was funny, it's just that I can manufacture thoughts instantly and, you know, after I got a little older, like high school, I discovered that I can be funny. With this quick quip. And then I went off to college and a girl named Ida Washington told me, she said, you wasting your time down here. She said this college school has nothing for you. I was a freshman when Ida Washington told me that, and I began to think and always wanted to be on TV. But this gift I didn't know what to do with it. I just didn't, I didn't know that it would turn into this for me.

I flunked out of college because I wasn't a good student. I was never meant to be a good student. I just, I didn't have direction. It was boring to me. I couldn't stay focused. They weren't talking about nothing I wanted to hear. I didn't like Shakespeare... I didn't even think his writing was that good! I really didn't. ... So I struggled and I flunked out of school.

I went to work for a motor company, just one of the many jobs.

On how it all started... I was writing jokes for this guy named AJ Jamal and got paid US$10 per joke. I didn't know what he was doing with them. He would say, hey, man, see this right here? This is what I'm going to say. What would you say and I'd change it. So every week I was making $70 to $80 writing these jokes for this dude. One time I was over at his house dropping off the jokes and this girl came over and said, 'You the one writing these jokes for him? He's the funniest dude at the Comedy Club. I said he's the funniest dude where? And she said, the Comedy Club'. I said, What is that? She said, 'You ain't never heard of the Comedy Club and you write jokes?' I said, Nah. I want to be on TV, but I don't know how to get there. She said, 'Tuesday night, come with me. And I'm going to show you and I want you to sign up. And then I want you to do it the next week'. So she picked me up and drove me 40 minutes to this Comedy Club called Hilarious. The date was October 8, 1985. I walked in, and signed up for the following week, like she told me, and I was sitting there watching the 10 guys go up, and I was mesmerised. She said, 'Why aren't you laughing?' I replied, Because I knew every joke they were telling and I know what they should have said to make it funny. So I just sat there.

Anway, they called the tenth guy who wasn't there and proceeded to go to the next week's list. My name, Steve Harvey, was called... I didn't realise it was me.

'They talking about you,' said the lady who brought me there. They kept clapping and I ran up on stage. And the first joke I would ever said is, Amen. Y'all can stop clapping. I ain't supposed to be here. I'm on next week's show. It was an all-white audience and they start laughing. And then she just yell out, 'Tell them about when you used to box,' because I was telling her the story. And I told a story about this youth name Bernard Taylor who beat me in his boxing match and how hard he hit me and I did a whole routine. And then I did another joke and walked offstage. They bought us up for a clap-off and out of the 10, I won $50. They paid me $50 I got in the car. I cried all the way home. When asked why I was crying I said... It ain't for the $50; I'm born tonight. I know what I'm gonna do the rest of my life. She said, 'You gonna be what?' And I said I'm going to be a comedian. 'How you gonna quit your job to be a comedian with just $50?,' she asked. I don't know, I responded, but I'm gonna be famous. I told her that. I quit my job the next day and have done nothing else since October 9, 1985.

I would have told my younger self not to blow my twenties. You know what happens to people? We blow our twenties, especially dudes. We just blow our twenties, man, doing bull crap. Running chicks, partying and faking.

So I spent all of my thirties doing what I should have did in my twenties, then I spent all of my forties being what I could have been in my thirties. Next thing you know, I looked up and I was 50.

If I could go back and change anything I would have redone my twenties, I would have been rich long time ago which would have been a lot better than being poor. Yeah, I'm allergic to poverty; I have discovered that...I got a serious problem with poverty... It itch! You ever been sitting around scratching and wondering what's wrong? It's because you are poor! Poor makes you itch; I ain't going to lie to you.

On comedian and actress Mo'Nique... Well, Monique and I have been friends for years. For years, we have, like, a brother-sister relationship. The mistake was we shouldn't have had that conversation public; we should have had that conversation privately because we are able to talk to each other that way but, you know, she didn't do any pre-show interviews so she came out. I didn't know what we was gonna talk about. She has a residency in Vegas and we were promoting the residency in Vegas, and then she brought up the whole thing that she felt I didn't support her when she was going through her hard times.

I told her I apologise. Yes, I should have been there but in actuality, I mean, what could I have done? It was water over the bridge at that point and then as we started talking… see, the problem with the interview was the interview was actually about 58 minutes long; we had to edit it down.

So since Mo' Nique and I have a relationship I edited out the stuff that I thought would have been most harmful, you know. I didn't want stuff that was said about certain celebrities and stuff out there, so I took it all out.

What was left put me in a bad position and I got ate up for it on social media. They took the 30-second sound bite and said I said that you can't sacrifice your money for your integrity. But had you seen the whole interview, she kept saying that the thing she did was for her integrity and I was really just saying the way you go on about it if you call that integrity, you slamming this person and that person, if that's your integrity, you can't let that get in the way of your money, but that didn't come out.

I've been nothing but a person of integrity my whole career. You can't find one incident in my life where I wasn't a person of integrity. There's not a man living that can come up to you and say, Steve Harvey messed me over to get what he got. There ain't a soul, there ain't one man on this earth and you ain't never heard no man say that.

My father raised me that way. One rule of manhood and I've taught it to all my sons is, do what you say you're gonna do, period! That's all. If you do what you say you're gonna do they gotta respect you. Your wife has to respect you, your children will respect you, your co-workers will respect you. Number one, do what you say you're gonna do. If I tell you I'm coming, I'm coming, you better believe, look for me. Look, I've been in this business 30-something years. Do you know I've missed my call time twice? Once my car broke down in Asheville in Knoxville, Tennessee, I couldn't get to Asheville, North Carolina. At one time a thunderstorm wouldn't let me get into Birmingham, Alabama. Twice in 30-plus years! If I tell you I'm coming, I'm coming. They told me is bad weather in Jamaica this week. Don't fly over there... I'm here!


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