Steve Harvey might be the modern-day Mr. Entertainment. Harvey always seems to be busy–from hosting the long-running TV show “Family Feud” to helming his popular “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” radio program to new ventures like “Judge Steve,” an arbitration-based reality court comedy TV show. He also hosts the annual Miss Universe competition. And there’s his standup tours whenever he can fit them in. He’s amassed an estimated net worth of a whopping $200 million.
But there was a time Harvey was homeless. And through all the trials and tribulations, he has learned a thing or two about the dark side of Hollywood, he said.
At the Miss Universe competition, Harvey began his career as a comedian. He performed stand-up comedy in the early 1980s and hosted Showtime at the Apollo and The Steve Harvey Show on The WB. He was later featured in The Original Kings of Comedy after starring in the Kings of Comedy Tour. His last stand-up show was in 2012.
Today, the former star of the hit TV series “The Steve Harvey Show” and author of the 2009 best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment,” is a seven-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and a 14-time NAACP Image Award winner.
But in the late 1980s, Harvey was homeless for three years. He slept in his 1976 Ford when not performing gigs that provided a hotel, and he showered at gas stations or swimming pool showers and lived on balcony sandwiches, People reported.
Harvey had just gone through his first divorce and was making just $50 a week while he pursued comedy.
Harvey told People that during the hard times he heard God tell him, “If you keep going, I’m going to take you places you’ve never been.”
“Everybody has a moment when they turn back, when you say to yourself, ‘This is too much,’ I had it on several occasions.” And, when Harvey realized that he’d hit his lowest point he still found a way to get through it. “I sat down and started crying, but a voice said, ‘If you keep going, I’m going to take you places you’ve never been.’ It was like God said, ‘Don’t quit, you’re almost there.'”
After three years of living out of his car, he got a job as host of the talent competition TV show “Showtime at the Apollo.”
This led to “The Steve Harvey Show.””I’m running from homelessness. I can’t ever be in that position again. If my show gets canceled, I’ve got three more. I don’t have any free time, but I have 12 jobs.”
He hit another bump even after he got on his feet. Harvey found out his deceased financial advisor had not been taking care of his tax bill and Harvey found himself in debt to the IRS to the tune of $25 million. Harvey doubled down on work to pay off the massive debt.
Throughout his career, he has also learned a lot about the culture of Hollywood.
“Hollywood is as racist as ever,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. He also recently said in a video posted on Twitter that it is the land of excess.
“Hollywood is a tough place to survive…it’s just sin…it’s too much temptation; they have it at your feet and they put it in front of you to control you as a talent,” he shared. “They’ll throw big parties and they know you’re on drugs, they’ll have your favorite drugs at the party. They know you like women, they’ll have plenty of women at the party. They get you into this trap, so they can control you.”
He added that the way to survive is the “have a lot of God in you. The only thing that saved me is my mama’s prayers.”
He continued that he was challenged by God. God “took everything from me twice, made me homeless, two divorces..I started listening to Him…got my head on right…and turned my life around…all of it changed because of a relationship with God.”
Steve Harvey in Atlanta, Sept. 17, 2020. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP)