Steve Harvey came to TCA to talk about his new daytime syndicated show, debuting next month, taped in Los Angeles and cleared in more than 95% of the U.S., on NBC-owned TV stations and other station groups.
Naturally, he was asked if he would write a memo to his new staff along the lines of the infamous one he wrote to the staff of his previous, Chicago-based daytime talker The Steve Harvey Show, which has wrapped after five seasons.
“I learned two things from that email: No. 1 I can’t write, and No. 2 I should never write,” Harvey joked.
He said he wrote that memo a year before it was leaked by, Harvey says, a staffer who “got pissed” when they were not offered a job on the new show.
“I was OK until I saw it on CNN and then I knew I was in a lot of trouble,” Harvey said. “It’s not a big deal to me,” he insisted, saying, “I’m not a mean-spirited guy. I’m a congenial guy.” He likened the memo to coming home to a house full of kids and telling them, “you just need a moment.”
“I thought it was cute. You all did not.”
In May, Harvey said he wrote the memo because he “didn’t want to be in this prison” of his office anymore.
In the memo, he told his staff: “I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway.”
He also warned, “do not attempt to walk with me.”
Other talking points:
“Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED,” he advised – the all caps is his.
Also: “My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me.”
The memo came up again while discussing the name of his new program.
It’s called Steve.
One TV critic worried her friends already say they are watching Steve in daytime, when they mean Steve Wilkos’ program.
“I’m the black dude with the bald head,” Harvey explained, by way of distinguishing him from that other Steve.
“A lot of my friends don’t work, and say they are watching Steve, the critic persisted.
“Your friends need a job,” Harvey suggested.
“They’re retired,” said the critic.
“Oh. I’m sorry. They’ve earned their time off,” Harvey answered, turning the conversation over to his new EP Shane Farley.
”That’s a tough one. I do not know how to handle that one,” Farley told the critic.
“I’m going to say nothing, because all the jokes running through me are going to be worse than that damned memo,” Harvey joked.
An NBCU publicist scurried to the stage to end the session.
Steve premieres in national syndication —” the publicist began.
Black Bald Steve,” Harvey corrected.