The cameras focused on the family. The children sat in rows while Steve Harvey and his wife sat off to the side. It was a special dedication show for the famous comedian.
One after the other, they took turns sharing their fondest memories. It was all smiles until Harvey’s stepson took center stage. The mood instantly changed.
Steve Harvey is best known for hosting Show Time at the Apollo and Family Feud.
He’s also famous for his big smile and even bigger heart. But, what most people don’t know is that the comedian’s past wasn’t always laughs and giggles. There were some very dark, trying times – things that would greatly affect his future.
The first pitfall was when two of his gigs fell through and he suddenly found himself homeless.
It started as a couple-month plan of living in the back of his 1976 Ford Tempo. He used a small cooler as a fridge and showered at gas stations. Rock bottom would come three years later … when he was still living in his vehicle.
Night after night, either freezing or sweating through the thin blankets, there wasn’t much hope.
He took any jobs he could while still trying to pursue his dream job. One national comedy search contest ended up his ticket out of the car, but into more trouble.
Winning the grand prize moved him into hosting at the Apollo.
It was the start of fame and fortune but it also signaled the end of his first marriage. Apparently, the spotlight had affected Harvey and he spent more time on his career than his family. The papers hadn’t even gone through, and he was already living with his new girlfriend.
The new union felt like a second chance, after all, she met him during his career and would have a better idea of what to expect.
More children came into the picture, in addition to the ones from his previous marriage. Sadly he would end up divorced again nine years later … and it got messy.
Rumors circulated that it got so bad that Harvey “broke some court rules” and had been unfaithful.
Smear campaigns became the new normal in his life. Mary’s bitter rampage of being a broken victim was relentless. What many didn’t know is that Harvey had already met the woman that would become his third wife.
Marjorie had come in late during one of his sets, instead of making fun of her, he said to everyone, “I don’t know who this woman is, but I’m going to marry her.”
Nothing had come of the encounter until after his second divorce and the two reconnected and started dating.
Merging the new family with his old one wasn’t easy.
He was quoted as saying to them, “Look, you don’t like it? Deal with it. I don’t need y’all’s permission.” Fast forward to the 2015 birthday feature, and the camera panning to the step-son Jason. It was his turn to share his feelings.
“You gave me your last name, and that’s the unthinkable.”
What started as a serious moment, turned into something heart-warming. It wasn’t the years of adjustment Jason talked about, rather the love and dedication Harvey had given him. The confession kept going and the comedian couldn’t hold back the tears.
“If only you knew the true amount of love that I have for you… I need for you to know that now. It don’t get no better than you, Dad. You it,” he said.
Harvey’s past might have been full of turmoil, but it had taught him something important. Something that changed his life.
It turned out that Harvey had used his past experiences to reshape how he lived, how he dealt with his fame and money.
“Before a man can be of use to a woman… he’s got to know who he is, what he does and how much he’s going to make.” There was also Marjorie’s influence…
“Everything I have… is because of this girl right here.” It had been a hard road, but the two found each other.
Harvey finally understood what a healthy, loving relationship should be. It was also the realization of what a good match and happy home should be. The rest of the family had their own memories to share.
One was the blending family riding their new Christmas bikes around the living room.
Another was one son’s experience of having his first cigar with his dad. It was an emotional bloom of fond memories of road trips, Disneyland, and wedding dances. Finally…
The sharing wrapped up with stories of father-daughter dates and advice about boys, a surprise visit to another son’s art show, and the overwhelming love he showed his wife.
True, his past was hard, but he learned from it and made something beautiful.