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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Steve Harvey: One Man (1999)

"I'm from the ghetto. I'm gonna always be from the ghetto. Can't nothing change that."
- Steve Harvey

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: September 16, 2004

Stars: Steve Harvey
Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (contains adult language)
Run Time: 0h:57m:23s
Release Date: August 10, 2004
UPC: 024543137856
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ CBB- C+

DVD Review

Entertainer Steve Harvey has earned considerable acclaim and countless fans over the years with his down-to-earth demeanor and affable personality. He's starred in two successful network sitcoms—Me and the Boys and The Steve Harvey Show—and hosted It's Showtime at the Apollo for seven years. His resume also includes several major film credits and a succesful standup comedy career. This DVD provides the hour-long special Steve Harvey - One Man, which took place in Augusta, Georgia. This feature showcases Harvey's typical act and depicts his ability to connect with the largely African-American crowd.

Harvey reached a broad audience with his appearance in Spike Lee's The Original Kings of Comedy documentary, which also included classic sets from D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. I reviewed that film upon its initial DVD release, and found Harvey's moments enjoyable without attaining the biggest laughs. He effectively discusses topical issues from his own unique point of view, which stems from growing up poor in Cleveland, Ohio. Sometimes he pushes the "average guy" persona towards its breaking point and stresses it too much, but it never appears overly transparent.

A considerable amount of Harvey's material compares whites to blacks in generally obvious fashion. None of his statements are offensive, but they do offer the typical stereotypes that comedians have been using for decades. The topics include weekend activities and the reaction to getting fired, and while they do hold elements of truth, the issues just aren't very interesting. Harvey spices up the performance with silly faces and physical movements, but he can only do so much with limited material. It's a shame that he doesn't stretch himself towards a more unique discussion and uses the same tired racial comparisons.

Dressed in a sharp yellow suit, Harvey utilizes plenty of odd facial expressions, changes of vocal tone, and odd movements to generate humor. Unfortunately, these activities cannot disguise the mediocre material, which falls well short of the best stand-up comediens working today. Harvey's infectious personality has earned him considerable success and a popular Los Angeles morning radio show. However, this release only provides a moderate level of entertainment. Given his numerous accomplishments, it stands as a significant disappointment.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Steve Harvey: One Man utilizes its original 1.33:1 full-frame transfer, and there are no significant defects present. Few chances exist for impressive visuals in a comedy show, so its effects are limited, but everything looks decent. The colors are solid and present Steve Harvey effectively throughout the feature.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: This feature is presented in Dolby stereo sound, and the dialogue is always understandable. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about the audio, but it does provide an acceptable listening experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Cedric #1, Cedric #2, Alex Thomas, Dave Chapelle, Michael Colyer, D.L. Hughley, Bruce Bruce, Adele Givens, Terry Bros.
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. HBO Comedy Half Hour Special
Extras Review: Although it could be treated as part of the main feature, I've included the 30-minute HBO special under the extras. This show marks a slight improvement over the main performance, as Harvey is a bit sharper this time. It appears to take place during the '90s, as he spends considerable time speaking about the OJ Simpson trial. While a bit dated, this material does provide for some of the set's more entertaining moments. Harvey once again wastes time talking about his regular-guy background in the ghetto, which gets old pretty quickly. I'm not doubting the validity of his claims, but he tends to beat the audience over the head with this topic. Harvey still falls short of being hilarious here, but this feature does offer another option for his numerous fans. This disc also includes nine trailers for other entries in the comedy series.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

I'm guessing some of my difficulties in enjoying Steve Harvey: One Man could stem from cultural differences. However, I've seen Harvey in other performances that would far superior to this one and very enjoyable. The main problem here lies with material that doesn't match his best work. Fans will obviously enjoy it, but if you're unfamiliar with Harvey and are just looking for exceptional comedy, this release is probably not the best choice.


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