Originally created 12/20/97

Comedian's Augusta show debuts on HBO tonight



Steve Harvey says it would be difficult to commit suicide in Augusta because he hasn't seen any buildings higher than two stories here.

While Mr. Harvey's facts may be a little off, the comedian's humor hits the mark in his first HBO special, Steve Harvey: One Man, filmed in July at Augusta's Bell Auditorium.

In the show, which debuts tonight at 10, Mr. Harvey touches on some hot topics, including religion, racism, Tiger Woods and Ebonics.

"Did you know that Ebonics changes every week? If you have an Ebonics dictionary, it better be in pencil," said Mr. Harvey in an audio excerpt from the show available at the HBO Web site www.hbo.com.

The one-hour special airs again on Tuesday, Thursday, Dec. 31 and Jan. 8 and 11.

Mr. Harvey also stars in his own TV show on the WB network and is host of the syndicated Showtime at the Apollo.

No stranger to Augusta, having performed at the Comedy House Theatre on Washington Road several times, Mr. Harvey decided to stage the HBO special in Augusta, rather than a larger city because of a receptive audience.

While probably best known as the host of Showtime at the Apollo, Mr. Harvey feels standup comedy is his forte.

"I think this HBO special will show the rest of the country and overseas a side that they are not familiar with," Mr. Harvey said in an interview before the show's filming on July 12. "I think they will see I am a greater standup than anything else."

In 1992, Mr. Harvey gave a motivational speech at a local youth detention center, and earlier this year he spoke to Augustans Together, a group devoted to improving race relations -- a topic he explores frequently on stage.

The youngest of five children, Mr. Harvey's standup routine is more a collection of stories and observations based on childhood experiences than a string of jokes. But he has some observations about current events and celebrities as well.

Describing the reaction to Tiger Woods' stunning victory at the 1997 Masters Tournament, Mr. Harvey said there were some long faces around town. "I saw a whole bunch of white people looking like somebody shot their monkey," he said.