Steve Harvey has had quite a successful career as a comedian and game show/talk show host; he found enormous popularity with the raunchy “Kings Of Comedy” tour along with Bernie Mac and Cedric The Entertainer. But not many know his backstory, or the people who helped him when he was struggling to make a name for himself.
Harvey got a nice birthday surprise from one of those people on his talk show recently, and it meant so much to him that he broke down in tears in front of the audience. Rich Liss, who–along with his wife Becky–was one of Harvey’s early supporters, appeared via satellite to wish him a happy birthday, causing an emotional overload for the comedian.
“I was 26 years old, struggling,” Harvey remembered of his early days. “I didn’t have nothing and these people owned a furniture store in Cleveland. They took me in and gave me a contract with my little carpet cleaning company. When I became a comedian at 27, I didn’t have money to travel. They gave me an account at their travel agency and I ran up a bill that was $11,000 just traveling and try to make it. Those people right there, they helped me out!”
The entire exchange left Harvey–and the audience–sobbing and trying to get control. But the comedian in him quickly took over.
“Hey man, I got money now, Rich!” he said. “Matter of fact, I’m gonna send a plane to pick up you and Becky, I’m gonna fly you to Chicago to see the show. I’ve been looking for you for years.”