A longtime standup comic in addition to his work in television and radio, outspoken funnyman Steve Harvey has time and again proven his dedication to changing the public perception of African-American humor by means of his unique gift for humor. Though his universal truth-style and observant eye have gained Harvey a loyal following with his top-rated show on the WB, Harvey still vocally articulates his frustrations with the racial sliding scale of prime-time success.
Harvey grew up in Cleveland and began his career as a standup comedian in the early '90s. With his popularity leading to a long-running stint on television's popular Showtime at the Apollo a few short years later, Harvey's small-screen career was soon on the rise and he next landed a leading role (as well as a People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series) in television's Me and the Boys in 1994. With his own series, The Steve Harvey Show, close on the horizon, the comic's influence was gaining even more momentum in addition to a wider audience. And though he would earn four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his show, Harvey was quick to point out that that doesn't necessarily entitle him to the perks of a role in a more Caucasian-oriented sitcom. One of four black comics featured in director Spike Lee's The Original Kings of Comedy (2000), Harvey was soon joined in prime time by fellow King Bernie Mac when Mac debuted his own namesake television series in early 2001. In addition to serving as host of KKBT-FM's The Beat, Harvey frequently takes part in speaking engagements in which he stresses the importance of goals and the dangers of drugs to impressionable youths.