Entertainment

A Legend Retires: Steve Harvey Quitting Stand-Up at Hoodie Awards in Vegas

Thu., Aug. 2, 2012 10:44 AM EST
by Terry Shropshire

"The Kings of Comedy"; The comedy tour and movie that launched Harvey into the comedy stratosphere

Steve Harvey just doesn’t have time anymore. He has an ever expanding media and entertainment empire to look after and stay actively involved in. So he is giving up stand-up comedy for good.

At the 10th annual Hoodie Awards in Las Vegas, sponsored by Ford, Harvey will give his final standup performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, celebrating the end of almost three decades in the genre. Harvey is preparing to add a daytime talk show to his quickly expanding media empire that already includes a ridiculous amount of positive fortune: host of “The Family Feud,” host of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” the author of two #1 New York Times bestselling books, including Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man, which was adapted into a blockbuster motion picture, and founder of the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation that specializes in developing urban youth.

But fans who can’t get to Vegas still have a chance to experience his hilariously biting humor via a live pay-per-view telecast available on cable systems around the country. The two hour special farewell performance, for which Harvey will be introduced by fellow comedian and friendly morning show counterpart Rickey Smiley, Steve Harvey’s Grand Stand-Up Finale will air live from Las Vegas on cable Pay-Per-View August 2, at 11 PM EDT/8 PM PDT. After the live show, fans will still be able to access the special via cable PPV for several months and also on Video On Demand beginning on August 3. The show is available in both standard and high-definition.

In addition to that, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, cable’s Free On Demand category is now featuring short video pieces of a conversation with Mr. Harvey and rare clips from his stand-up career, including reflections on his longtime career and being called a “King of Comedy.”

“[Stand-up] is a lonely place,” Havey says in reflection. “Comedy is crazy because it’s the one thing you can’t take a lesson for. I could take a lesson in being a cameraman, a soundman, an actor, a skydiver. I could take pilot lessons, voice lessons, acting lessons, scuba diving, bungee jumping, kayak, piano, drum lessons. But there’s no schooling for comedy. It’s only God-given. I appreciate it, man.”

Harvey has repeatedly credited his wife, Marjorie, with helping to center and ground him, giving him a solid launching pad for getting to the next realm in entertainment

Harvey, who has mellowed in recent years in temperament, even as his ambitions have gone into overdrive (if that makes sense) adds:  “The road to this final show has been an amazing journey doing stand-up for the past 27 years, and I can’t thank fans enough after reflecting on all those years on stage, and the unforgettable moments and jokes we’ve shared. It’s been a wild ride over these years on stage, radio, TV and more, and taking the stage for my final show, I will have a special blowout performance in store for everyone in Las Vegas and watching at home that will be bigger than any show I’ve done so far.”

The King of Comedy alum’s uninterrupted upward trajectory is all the more remarkable because, unlike Eddie Murphy, Harvey was not allowed to let his comedic brilliance blossom while in grade school.

“I wasn’t a class clown because my mother made sure of that,” Harvey says with conviction.

Harvey first attended Arsenio Hall’s alma mater, Kent State University, before going back to his West Virginia birthplace to finish his education. Even still, Harvey drifted like a hotdog wrapper on the ocean and was unsure of what he was good at. “I have no skills at all whatsoever,'” he told the ABJ.

But then he found that comedy and the stage fit him like one of his tailored suits. “There is no class for this,” he said of comedy. “You can’t go to school and pick it up. You can’t be taught timing. … It is strictly from God.”

Tags: , , , , , ,