Why Steve Harvey No Longer Does Stand-Up Comedy

Steve Harvey’s career as an entertainer has gone from strength to strength. He started out as a comedian and has since transformed into a top TV star, with his own talk show Steve on Watch and a hosting job on Family Feud. He seems open to almost all opportunities, but one thing he hasn’t done is a return to stand-up comedy.

Steve Harvey at an event
Steve Harvey at an event | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SteveHarveyDeals

The reason Steve Harvey stopped doing stand-up comedy, revealed

The Beacon Journal reports that Harvey quit stand-up comedy in 2012, citing his growing TV career. He reportedly gave his last performance that August at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas after working as a comedian for nearly 30 years.

Harvey, 64, gave an emotional statement at the time, in which he reflected on the progression of his career and thanked fans for their continued support. “The road to this final show has been an amazing journey doing stand-up for the past 27 years, and I can’t thank fans enough after reflecting on all those years on stage, and the unforgettable moments and jokes we’ve shared,” he said in part.

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But there could eventually be another Steve Harvey stand-up

After years away from the stand-up comedy circuit, it seems Harvey is starting to miss it. In a 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he admitted he had been “really seriously thinking” about making his return to the stage. He even had some material in mind.

“It’s just about my life, the stuff that I’ve been quiet about on social media,” he said. “I’ve been quiet about the beating I took about my divorce, which was in 2005 and has been ongoing in social media because somebody just won’t let it go. I’ve been quiet about the visit to [Donald] Trump. I kept my mouth shut about the Miss Universe thing [Harvey mistakenly announced the wrong winner at the 2015 pageant]. I kept my mouth shut about the memo that got out in Chicago. I just kept it all.”

“Well, I may have kept it long enough. But I’m only looking for business opportunities now,” he continued. “I don’t need a one-off. I probably want to do what Rodney Dangerfield did, introduce a lot of really, really tough comedians that I know around the country.”

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But at the same time, he said he was hesitant to return due to political correctness and audience sensitivities. “I’m in a sponsor-driven business, and they keep moving the line of political correctness. It keeps getting closer and closer to where you can’t open your mouth negatively,” he added. “Throw away freedom of speech. That’s out the window now.”

It remains to be see whether he makes a return to the stage. But for now, fans can keep watching him on one of his many shows.