Steve Harvey wants to give you some advice.
In a nutshell, that was the main theme of the premiere installment Tuesday of Harvey’s new afternoon talk show.
The show, titled simply “Steve Harvey” (probably because he previously had a sitcom called “The Steve Harvey Show”), became one of the first new syndicated talk shows to premiere in the new TV season just now getting underway. “Steve Harvey” premiered Tuesday on various stations (and at various times) around the country (in New York, where we watched it, it’s airing at 3 p.m. weekdays on NBC-owned WNBC-TV).
Harvey, 55, is the comedian (“The Original Kings of Comedy”), sitcom star, game-show host (“Family Feud”) and radio personality who became a best-selling author in 2009 when he wrote an advice book about relationships — ostensibly aimed at women — called “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” The book sold 3 million copies, and it appears to have led directly to Harvey getting offered this opportunity to join the daytime talk fray, which is traditionally aimed at women viewers.
So, on the debut of “Steve Harvey,” the host was full of advice for people — among them, a man who has been proclaimed the “worst dater in the world” for the faux pas he commits on dates (something he — and others — have chronicled on-line); and a young mother who shares every bit of embarrassing information (with photos) about her young children on-line.
Brief videos of three of this “worst dater’s” dates were shown, and he was then critiqued by Harvey (while the women he dated joined them on stage). Certainly, giving dating advice to this guy was like shooting fish in a barrel. Among other suggestions: Don’t wear shorts to a first date, don’t tell a blonde woman you’re on a date with that you don’t especially care for blondes, and don’t strike up a conversation about poop (something this guy did on one of the dates).
For the mother who posted photos on the Internet of her four-year-old son sitting on the toilet, Steve’s advice was fairly direct: Don’t do it — mainly because when this kid gets older and his peers find out about this and other photos she posted, her son will be consigned to a life of torment. It was unclear if this mom would cease sharing in this way.
Our take on “Steve Harvey”: We wish Steve Harvey luck, and based on his track record in so many other arenas in the entertainment biz, we see no reason that, based on his winning personality, he shouldn’t thrive as a talk-show host. Just one thing, though — as we all know, the longest-running “talk shows” in daytime tend to traffic in edge-of-your-seat confrontations, from the brawls on “Jerry Springer” to the paternity tests on “Maury.” It remains to be seen if “Steve Harvey” can hang in there doing a much tamer show.
Still to make their debuts in the talk-show arena: Ricki Lake, Jeff Probst and Katie Couric — all next Monday (Sept. 10).