The West Virginia native counts his blessings every day.
Steve Harvey is everywhere. The omnipresent comedian has earned himself the nickname as the busiest man in show business thanks to the fact that he can be seen on Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, Little Big Shots, his Facebook Watch talk show Steve, his radio program, and as the host of the Miss Universe pageant. Harvey is so busy entertaining audiences that according to his website, Harvey’s smiling face is broadcast into the lives of 178,000,000 viewers in the U.S. each year—that’s reportedly over 55% of the total U.S. population. He really is everywhere! But how much do you know about the man whose face is on your TV?
Here are 11 things to know about the man you can’t escape:
1. His first name isn’t Steve.
On January 17, 1957, little Broderick Stephen Harvey was born in Welch, West Virginia. While he was reportedly named after Highway Patrol actor Broderick Crawford, he preferred to be called Steve.
2. His mother was a Sunday school teacher.
While his father, Jesse Harvey, worked as a coal miner, his mother Eloise Harvey, taught Sunday school and raised her son in the church. His faith has always been important to him and he promised God that if he ever made it as a star, he would help spread the word. That’s why Harvey ends every show by sharing his gratitude with the audience.
3. He had no plans to be a comedian.
He was encouraged to perform at an open mic comedy night in 1985, and when the audience loved him, he realized he had found his calling. The next day he reportedly quit his job and committed to his new dream.
4. His road to success was not easy.
You know the saying, ‘Don’t quit your day job?’ Well, Harvey ignored that advice and following his dream made for a few incredibly tough years that left him homeless. Harvey revealed to People magazine that he was homeless for three years while trying to make it as a comedian. “It was crushing,” he told the magazine. He lived in his car and traveled around the country looking for his big break.
5. His big break came at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater.
In 1990, Harvey entered a national comedy competition and won. In the afterglow of his big win, he came to the attention of the producers for Showtime at the Apollo, which he was asked to host. That was the big break he had been waiting for and Harvey jumped at the chance.
6. He is vegan.
Concerned about his heart health, Harvey was inspired to go vegan after meeting Beyoncé. According to Radio.com, Harvey explained on his NBC talk show Steve, that going vegan had helped bring down his cholesterol.
7. He doesn’t do stand-up anymore.
He is such a popular TV host and author that he doesn’t have time for his first love: stand-up. According to his website, after 27 years on stage, his final act was at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2012.
8. Networks give him special privileges.
Harvey is one of the only hosts to appear on competing networks at the same time. People just really like him—even network execs.
9. He has hosted Family Feud for 20 years.
Harvey surpassed original host Richard Dawson‘s tenure as the longest-serving host in Family Feud history. According to his website, with Harvey at the helm, the show became the first nationally syndicated TV series ever to increase its ratings for seven consecutive years.
10. He is the author of four books.
Despite his many, many jobs and family obligations, Harvey has found time to write four best-selling books– Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man; Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve; Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches; Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man–which have been translated into 30 languages so people around the world can read his words, insights, and advice.
11. He believes in giving back to the community.
Harvey does not take his success for granted and believes in paying it forward. According to his website, The Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation helps over 3,000 families each year through mentoring programs, education, and financial assistance. Funds for the programs are raised through Harvey’s and others’ donations, an invitational golf tournament, and their online store.