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Steve Harvey takes on audience members

Steve and Marjorie Harvey. Photo by Philip Shone, www.pshone.com

Steve and Marjorie Harvey. Photo by Philip Shone, www.pshone.com

Steve Harvey doesn’t take static from the audience – especially when he is working for free.

The comic, author and radio host served as emcee of Fine Art + Fashion Thursday night. The party and fashion show at Neiman Marcus benefited the National Black Arts Festival.

From the beginning Harvey adopted the relaxed, freewheeling tone that fans of his comedy shows know and love.

“If you can’t really hear or see me, that’s the size of your donation,” he quipped.

He admitted that although organizers had sent him a script ahead of time, he hadn’t bothered to read it. He asked for help pronouncing “High Museum” and joked that he has never mastered the art of reading from a script while maintaining periodic eye contact “Y’all pray for me!” he said.

Artist Radcliffe Bailey with his wife, actress and author Victoria Rowell. Photo by Philip Shone, www.pshone.com

Artist Radcliffe Bailey with his wife, actress and author Victoria Rowell. Photo by Philip Shone, www.pshone.com

The event honored artists Radcliffe Bailey and Danny Simmons Jr., designer CD Greene and handbag designer Jada Loveless, along with emerging talents Azede Jean-Pierre, Nathaniel Keith and Stephanie Waldrip.

Praising Greene’s snappy combo of houndstooth jacket and top hat, Harvey said he used to have a closet full of similar duds until his wife Marjorie made him discard them in favor of  a more subdued wardrobe.

“I miss you, man!” Harvey cried to Greene. Gesturing to his classic navy suit he said, “Now look at me!”

While most of the crowd seemed to revel in Harvey’s cutting up, at some point during the event he apparently detected a chill among a few in attendance.

“I’m comfortable with me,” he said. “Some of you have not made the necessary adjustments to deal with me. To the eight of you who looked at me like I stink, let me assure you I feel the same way about you. Go on and live your dull, rut-driven lives.”

On the bright side, the experience may have given him fodder for a new bit.

“I could have made this into an HBO moment!” he said.

It was impossible to tell from our vantage point, at the photographers’ stand at the end of the 70-foot runway, who Harvey was referring to, and most of the audience had seemed to be enjoying the evening.

Event chair Sandra Baccus, who joined him on stage a few times. clasped Harvey’s hand at one point and led the crowd in applauding him. She noted the Harveys’ eager and generous support of the NBAF and thanked Harvey for donating his talents for the evening.

And Harvey, who received a thunderous standing ovation at the event’s conclusion, is still happy to be here.

“Since my wife and I have been in Atlanta we’ve met some of the nicest people,” he said. “And y’all know how to dress up!”

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

49 comments Add your comment

HARVEY FAN

March 18th, 2011
11:17 am

dandydawg

March 18th, 2011
11:27 am

Yea.. you are first and without me.. you would be the only one!!!

Talented 10th

March 18th, 2011
11:50 am

Some may have issues with Steve Harvey but he and his wife understand their role as a couple with influence. Giving your time and money to worthy causes is always noteworthy; I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done in the past. The Harveys don’t have to do it; however, I’m glad they do. More importantly, my husband and I admire the fact that they do it as a COUPLE.

Lynn Green

March 18th, 2011
11:51 am

Mr. Harvey and his wife Marjorie are beautiful people. I get the chance to see him often – as I work in the same building as his foundation. He is a comedian – yet a serious man about his business. Hats off to you Mr. Harvey and a tap of a Christian Loubutin shoe to you Mrs. Harvey :)

Lynn Green

March 18th, 2011
11:52 am

Correction of spelling please – Christian Louboutin*

rock steady freddy

March 18th, 2011
12:01 pm

Does Steve do any charity work that would benefit other races besides blacks? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Same as Warrick Dunn; he gives houses to 98% black folks and 2% whites. They both are racist, just like the majority of black people, and yet whites are labeled the racist, lol.

Chancey77

March 18th, 2011
12:16 pm

I advise ‘rock steady freddy’ to look up the definition of racist. Using his twisted logic, if I only give to women’s organizations, then I am a sexist. Or, if I only give to children’s organizations, then I am an ageist. Common sense sure isn’t common…

Arnesta Hayes

March 18th, 2011
12:17 pm

Hell white folks been racist for centuries, so what if we are racist, we have every right to be.

What’s your excuse?

nypeach

March 18th, 2011
12:17 pm

the icy attitudes might have come from the rift between him and his ex wife who claims his current wife was his mistress during their marriage. Also, ex-wife didn’t have the best legal representation during her divorce and got skunked. Should have gotten her own lawyer, but relied on his. Go figure.

Marie

March 18th, 2011
12:17 pm

Steve Harvey — you’re NOT FUNNY dude. There that explains the chilly reception some folks at this event were giving you.

Loving This Opp!

March 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

rock steady freddy – you have got to be kidding.

@nypeach – if those in audience were peeved over the rift between him and his ex-wife, then they need to GET A LIFE!

Ima Maekit Rein

March 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

Hey rock steady:

In case you didn’t notice those people are black. You wanna trade places with them, with their granddaddies? Do you have any concept of what it’s like to be a member of a group that is subject to institutionalized discrimination?
Your comment suggests that you are either trolling or incredibly stupid.
The only kinda white guy who would have a problem with a black celebrity supporting charities that cater to black people is a low-class white trash moron.

tmc2

March 18th, 2011
12:30 pm

Several issues with the “clown” that so many brothers and sisters hold in such high esteem:

1. the comment about the amount of people’s donation being related to whether they can hear him or not. How silly! Everyone can’t afford to give the max.
2. How can a grown man need help pronouncing “High Museum”?
3. What makes him think that the people who don’t support him are living dull lives. Just because they don’t agree with you and your lifestyle, they have to be dull and in a rut? Pleeeeeeez
4. The only positive thing about the article was that his wife made him stop wearing them clown suits — but, unfortunately, he’s still a clown.

Nya

March 18th, 2011
12:33 pm

im glad he only gives to blacks, if we dont support us who will? sure not the children and grandchildren of the people who kidnapped our ancestors. its funny how white people can even find a problem with a black man doing things for the charity he chooses.seems like anytime a black man does what he wants its a problem, even our President. well I got news for you, we are free to do whatever we want and if we dont want to give white people money we dont have to, as a matter of fact yall still owe us. when the last time a white showed up in the projects for charity?? alright then thats what I thought, go back to the caucus mountains where you came from and where you belong.

shar

March 18th, 2011
12:34 pm

@ nypeach:

uh during the divorce HIS lawyer was actually THEIR lawyer who acted on their behalf. So the issue that the ex got nothing while Harvey got everything says the representation was fine cuz he worked it so that Harvey came out on top. go figure that.

tmc2

March 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

@ Shar – unfortunately the ex-wife was naive to believe that his lawyer (whom he had before they were married) would be honest and fair to her. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. But someone named “Karma” will catch up with that lawyer and Steve.

WLG

March 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

Freddy, do you support anyone at all with community service?

GRACE

March 18th, 2011
1:11 pm

Steve need to write a book called “HOW TO DIVORCE YOUR WIFE & CONVINCE HER IGNORANT AZZ TO USE YOUR LAWYER” Steve pulled something off that Donand Trump, Larry King, Michael Jordon & a ton of other rich men were NOT able to do. That is why his ex wife is bitter. To lose your husband to the mistress and be broke is a hard pill to swallow.

Dexter

March 18th, 2011
1:13 pm

Do Not Allow Yourself To Become Upset By People or Thigns!! THEY ARE POWERLESS
YOUR REACTION IS THEIR ONLY POWER DON’T GIVE ROCK STEADY FREDDY OR OTHERS LIKE HIM YOUR POWER
They are only attention seekers!! Simply ignore them and they will move on!!!

Dexter

March 18th, 2011
1:15 pm

By People or things

Savannah

March 18th, 2011
1:23 pm

The ajc can post a story about the sun or moon and somehow a moron will figure out a way to add race to the story or contribute a racist comment. I’m so fed up with people like rock steady freddy hiding behind a computer to express thier negative viewpoints. I bet you don’t have the courage to express your childish opinion out loud. Go read a book and learn something positive coward.

Cutty247

March 18th, 2011
1:26 pm

His current wife used to hang with the dope boys up in Memphis. She’ll be dropping him in the coming years for the next fresh thing.

DHD

March 18th, 2011
2:00 pm

I have NEVER seen a black comedian do a routine that did not involve race. It doesn’t bother me. Redd Foxx was my favorite. Just an observation.

Michele B

March 18th, 2011
2:03 pm

I am not a big Harvey fan but to be fair, his ex-wife’s claims of being left with no money, the current wife caused divorce, etc., were addressed and proven false when a judge allowed the release of a limited amount of sealed divorce court documents. I read it about a month ago and he was on the View talking about it as well. The court documents showed she received lots of money each month for several years in addition to a lump sum payment of seven figures and 3 homes. Also, the court documents showed she sent their son to live with Harvey by putting the son on a plane and not notifying Harvey that she was sending their son to live with him. The judge ordered his ex-wife to remove her videos, the divorce documents did not support the statements she made in her videos and radio interviews.

It’s good to see him donate his time.

Real Trey

March 18th, 2011
2:19 pm

Steve Harvey had a woman that was in his life when he didn’t have a penny to tie his shoes. Steve Harvey left that woman once he got wealthy, meeting a more younger and beautiful woman. Steve Harvey being wise about relationships and pouring his ideas on about man in his books missed something. Steve Harvey is nothing but a cheating dog and a joke that has played the African American community with Christianity; he is with a woman that is only with him for his money and title. It is very important that we learned that Steve Harvey is a man, who did a man thing that is talk about in word of God. Steve Harvey comment he made to the people that looked at him funny, let’s me know that he has a lot of issues with himself. I don’t care what the man on the blog said about race, because he is nothing but an idiot trying to get attention. The question is will Steve Harvey apologize to that woman that stood by his side when he had nothing? Hurt people hurt people; that’s why as a people we should never envy what people have, because you never know who they had to walk over to get wealth. PEACE & LOVE!!!!!

DUH

March 18th, 2011
2:19 pm

Hey Nya, those responsible for the kidnapping of your ancestors were black. Know your history, it was Africans who sold other Africans into slavery. No one owes anyone anything. Slavery was a horrible blot on our country’s history and things are still not rosey for many African Americans but the attitude of entitlement solves nothing. Educate your young, learn proper English and you can be a success in this country just like our President.

Denise

March 18th, 2011
2:34 pm

I do not care for Steve Harvey because of hisinsensitive remarks helikes to make and make it seem as if it is part of his routine. He isn’t that funny, he isn’t handsome and he is not the best dressed person in entertainment. To say that the people that can not hear him are seated according to their monetary donation is a slap in the face that is totally ignorant. It reminds me of a time when I attended a free gospel concert and one of the performers did the same exact thing in front of the entire audience. TASTELESS is what I call it, not classy.

GRACE

March 18th, 2011
2:55 pm

Why do you all entertain racist

Trypout

March 18th, 2011
3:05 pm

Sounds like a lot of people on here take life too seriously. He’s a comedian who gets paid to tell jokes. Stop making his “act” about his “life.” Also, we only know the story that the media tells us. We were not in Steve and his ex’s marriage. Only God knows who is telling the truth and He will deal with them accordingly. In the meantime, let’s all stop being so judgemental and take the time to laugh at ourselves.

Don

March 18th, 2011
3:11 pm

I am a person of color and i dont like Steve Harvey, he is not funny and been Divorce 1000 times but try to tell women act like a man think like a woman give me a break!!!

Chef Roc

March 18th, 2011
3:31 pm

We must first understand the type of profession Steve Harvey is in. His job is to entertain and make people laugh. That is why he was brought in to emcee this program. Let keep the focus on the benefit and not the funny man. He does alot for people of all walks of life. The media will only show you what they want you to see. God has blessed him to be in a position to help others through his organization. So my question is besides judging what are you doing.

Vivelena

March 18th, 2011
3:32 pm

I want to believe that it’s NOT true that he and his ex-wife used to sleep in the car while he went from gig to gig to preserve gas money!! — And now he seemingly treats her like crap! Please say it’s not true!!

ATLbound

March 18th, 2011
4:11 pm

Hi-five Dexter! You are sooo right, however, sometimes weI just have to put “ignorant” folks in their place, you know? Haha!

nonogood

March 18th, 2011
4:12 pm

The wife that is complaining is the 3rd wife. No she did not stick with him through the ruff times, when they got married he was already on the road to big dollars. She is just mad because he ride didn’t last long!

FYI She only made that video to promote the authors of the book she is holding……

JiMiFLiX!

March 18th, 2011
4:39 pm

…at the end of the day, all this talk about Steve Harvey, his wife, ex-wife, his bawdy behavior, his past, present, future, racism and whatever else you would like to throw into the mix…., I failed to see one world complimenting the National Black Arts Festival, Neiman Marcus, fashion, or any other concept/entity that had anything to do with the supposed purpose/nature of this event! Now THAT’s a pretty sad commentary about why anyone should continue support this organization with their time, energy, effort, money, patience and goodwill…!

Wasn't He Just Preaching on TBN?

March 18th, 2011
4:44 pm

Steve Harvey was just on TBN this past weekend calling himself preaching. I guess his ’salvation’ is just for TV.

“Steve Harvey Schools Church Folks on TBN” on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu2eCwvMCk0

Peggy

March 18th, 2011
5:14 pm

Oh, please, Steve preaching??? Everyone in the entertainment industry know that Steve has the biggest manufactured images that a fixer can buy. His current wife has a past than can not big hidden for too long. As someone stated above the current Mrs. Harvey was a bottom bytch to a drug king pin. She loves money & Steve was her latest prey.

brooke

March 18th, 2011
5:38 pm

They should of given him the cold shoulder, side eye stare, eye roll and everything else, snake.

brooke

March 18th, 2011
5:40 pm

As they say “A hit dog will holler”.

Gerard

March 18th, 2011
6:01 pm

Steve, you are not even close to funny, and never have been. Get a life and take better care of your women, dude!

tyrace

March 18th, 2011
6:37 pm

love all people but some struggle more then others. But as americans we have to find a way to come together and love all americans and all the world. like micheal jackson said we are the world the human race. But there alot of bitterness in america.

d

March 18th, 2011
7:02 pm

honestly nobody cares bout these booshy a/ss niccas

Gary Osbourne

March 18th, 2011
7:20 pm

Who is Steve Harvey to consider himself an expert on relationships. I read where he encouraged younger women to date older guys, come how does that help a 22 year old college student like myself. Its already bad enough the beautiful girls won’t date us, unless wer’re millionaires. You would think a black man in his position would understand, how it truely is for black man. STEVE HARVEY IS A TRUE SELL OUT!

jesse james

March 18th, 2011
8:12 pm

Whoever can throw the first stone at the Harveys,,,please let me know…get your pebbles out…silly rabbit tricks are for kids…petty petty petty

falconfan44.

March 18th, 2011
8:18 pm

Steve Harvey is a snake oil salesmen…….and an unfunny one at that. He tells jokes with no punchlines and talks for 45 minutes about sucking on mints with his grandma at church. HILARIOUS

no comment

March 18th, 2011
8:34 pm

I just want to know how do you find out about such events BEFORE I see them on the ajc?? I know tickets were sold to this event but how/where do you know when/where to buy them?? I want to get out and mix and mingle this summer.

carolyn

March 18th, 2011
11:47 pm

i’ve always thought of the NBAF as a classy event….with the like of steve harvey performing (at a fashion show no less), i suppose that has changed. wish he’d just stick to preaching on the religious network to those who are seriously searching for something.

?

March 19th, 2011
11:53 pm

Why is it that there are so many who still struggle with writing proper English? Maybe that is why the Atlanta and Georgia schools are so far behind others not to mention the education in the USA????

TTL

March 21st, 2011
8:55 am

Steve has a beautiful wife and he seems to be happy. I can applaud that. That is actually good news for a change. A lot of people think that he is funny and laugher can be a great medicine. No need to blast the man for his past life. He and Marjorie are charitable and they are free to spend their money as they choose.