Steve Harvey Tells An Awesome Story About Breaking Into Hollywood When He Was Still Homeless

Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey is easily one of the most recognized and beloved celebrities in all of Hollywood. From his (brutally) honest stand-up routines to his delightful hosting duties on Family Feud, there’s plenty for audiences to love about his work. But he wasn’t always the star we know him to be today. Like so many before him, Harvey had to find a way into Hollywood, which certainly isn’t easy when you’re first starting out. Recently, he recalled his first big break, which came at a time when he was actually homeless.

One of Steve Harvey’s earliest jobs in the entertainment industry came when he was tapped as the host of It’s Showtime at the Apollo. And as Harvey pointed out on his Instagram stories, landing the gig was difficult because at the time, he didn’t have an agent or a home address:

'Let me have your phone number.' I gave him my phone number. I went to my hotel and he called, and he said, 'We're going to tape three weeks in a row. We'd like to make an offer for you to be the host of Amateur Night on Showtime at the Apollo.' I said, 'Yeah, I'll do it. He said, 'No, we have to talk to your agent, and we have to determine the fee.' [I told him], ‘I don't have a fucking agent. I don't give a fuck what the fee is. When you said 'fee,' motherfucker, I'm in, 'cause I'm homeless. And fee? I don't give a shit what it is.’

Most of us probably would’ve reacted in the same way had we been in Steve Harvey’s position. At that point, the amount of money didn’t even matter to him. What did matter, though, was a chance to gain some steady employment and some exposure. Harvey’s story is a good reminder of the grind that so many in the entertainment industry have to endure in order to reach success.

So many of your favorite stars had to deal with plenty of obstacles on their way to stardom, and one of the biggest challenges was likely getting over rejection. Oscar winner Brie Larson auditioned for several major film franchises throughout her career and didn’t manage to land them early on. Outlander’s Sam Heughan also faced a number of rejections early on. But ultimately, the actors persevered and found their breakthrough roles.

Steve Harvey’s role as a host on Showtime at the Apollo would lead him further into television as the star of his own show, The Steve Harvey Show. He would also tour with The Original Kings of Comedy, which became the highest grossing tour in history. He’d also find some success in the film industry before making TV has steady home as arguably the most successful host in Family Feud’s history.

It goes without saying that Harvey has solidified his placed within pop culture. I mean, if you’ve reached the point in which you’re being regularly parodied on Saturday Night Live, you’re an icon.

Steve Harvey definitely seems to recognize just how fortunate he is to be in his current position. And based on his body of work, we should also probably be thankful that he didn’t give up.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.