How Ellen DeGeneres Talked Steve Harvey Into Hosting 'Little Big Shots'

by Raphael Chestang 4:03 PM PDT, April 08, 2016
Playing How Ellen DeGeneres Talked Steve Harvey Into Hosting 'Little Big Shots'

Steve Harvey had turned down multiple requests to host NBC's newest kid show, Little Big Shots, but it was one call from executive producer Ellen DeGeneres that changed his mind.

"At first I said no, because I just didn't have time to do another show," Harvey told ET. "They kept telling me the idea and they just kept calling, and calling. I just kept saying no. Finally Ellen called and told me how much it paid, and so here I am," he joked.

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Harvey was already the host of two other shows -- his eponymous talk show and Family Feud -- before adding Little Big Shots to his plate. While the new gig may seem like Harvey's overloading his schedule, the strategy has been successful. Averaging 12.5 million viewers per week, Little Big Shots is NBC's most-watched Sunday night entertainment show in a decade.

The 59-year-old comedian explained to ET why he was the perfect person to take on the gig.

"First of all, the show was so built for me, because I know how to talk to kids, because I've had kids in my life for 33 years," said the father of four. "I don't pay any attention to the cue cards. You know they prep the kids: 'Mr. Harvey is going to ask you this and you say this.' I keep trying to tell them you can't prep an 8-year-old."

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Harvey's quick wit and sage advice has turned him into one of America's favorite television personalities. He's won an Emmy for Family Feud and two Emmys for his Steve Harvey show, and this year he has been honored with more nods. He's been nominated for Steve Harvey and Family Feud again for the 2016 Daytime Emmy Awards!

"Somebody told me one day, 'Man, it seems like everything you touch turns to gold,'" Harvey said. "I said, 'No, I just don't touch everything.' That's all it is. I've just learned that everything is not for me."

The next project Harvey feels is for him is a business reality competition show for ABC. The West Virginia native, who cut his comedy chops in Cleveland, Ohio, has come a long way from his first big hosting job for It's Showtime at the Apollo.

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"I finally got TV people to believe what I've been telling them all along: Stop putting me in the black box," he said. "Just put me on TV! People are going to like you. They don't care what color you are, if they can relate to you. Funny ain't got no color on it, man! Everybody just wants to laugh!"

Little Big Shots airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.