I Know You’ve Heard About My Reputation
Comedian, radio personality, romance expert, fashion plate, and mustache dye enthusiast Steve Harvey and Gospel music’s Diddyesque lightning rod Kirk Franklin are, out of the kindness of their hearts
, giving you the opportunity to watch them ply their trades on the same bill for one easy payment of $39.50 or $49.50. The show, which brings to mind the tradition of mildly related service pairings offered by Black businesses, think Ray’s Laundromat and Video Rental Store and Larry’s Auto Repair and Candy shop, is expected to be a hot ticket. Steve Harvey was a part of the most successful comedy tour in North American history, and Kirk Franklin has sold more records than any other gospel artist in The Soundscan Era. Nielsen launched Soundscan in March of 1991. Steve and Kirk are betting that they are the next Chicken and Waffles, and not the next Jay Z and Robert Kelly.
Steve has already noted that it will be difficult for him to make it through the show cleanly. Here is an excerpt from one of the tour’s press releases:
“…It’s going to be funny just watching me trying to get thru this show cleanly. I’m probably going to remind you of somebody you know.”
The tour kicks off in Atlanta Georgia on March 19. Other cities that are set to be blessed with the presence of Steve Harvey and Kirk Franklin are Tampa, Memphis, Jacksonville, Nashville, Shreveport, Louisiana, and Charleston, South Carolina.
It has been nearly seven years since another pair of Titans, Robert Kelly and Jay-Z attempted to bring their talents together for a colossal tour. The result of Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s Best of Both Worlds tour were a mixed bag of pepper spray, possible gun play, hurt feelings, and disappointed fans. I doubt that Mr. Harvey and Mr. Franklin’s egos and entourages will clash to the point where the seven or so city tour will have to be cancelled, but since I am not one to break Murphy’s Law, I will explore the foolery possibilities that this tour provides if one of The Original King’s of Comedy is reduced to being just another opening act for God’s Property.
The first two shows of the tour in Atlanta and Tampa feature only polite applause for Steve, accompanied by smatterings of nervous laughter. The softer comedic material prepared for The Gospel Comedy Tour 2011 is experiencing a slow agonizing death on stage, and and Steve’s entertainer’s ego can’t handle it. He watches from backstage while Kirk’s brand of gospel fusion brings the audience close to ecstasy, and player hates. For the show in Memphis Steve decides to do something drastic. He decides to tap into the power of sex.
Steve adds a fresh coat of dye to his mustache, puts on a cerulean suit with a seductive plunging neckline from his signature line of suits, adds a pair of matching Stacy Adams wing-tip style shoes, and completes the visual feast by leaving the top three buttons of hi shirt unbuttoned; tastefully exposing his taco meat. Steve then decides that his new look needs a hot introductory song to add a cherry on top of the dashing figure he is cutting. He goes with The Time’s “Giggolos Get Lonely Too”. Steve went back and forth about whether or not to use an Oran Juice Jones track with the same name, but felt that the old heads in the audience would respond better to the heartrending vocals of Morris Day. Steve’s material kills in Memphis. The audience rolls in the aisles.
Kirk Franklin is immediately incensed. Steve attempts to calm Kirk by making the argument that “Giggolos Get Lonely Too” is about the redemptive powers of love, and since God is love the song is about God. “It’s the transitive property baby.” Kirk rebukes Steve any way, and declares that Satan, in the guise of Steve Harvey, is in the fight of his life, and will not destroy this tour. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated. “What you did out there tonight was not Christiany at all.” Steve replies, “ but it was funny. And to a comedian that is all that really matters.”
From then on the two men become flirt with becoming bitter enemies. Steve continues to add raunchiness to his set. The Nashville show feature four unbuttoned buttons, and Shreveport saw him pantomime smacking a booty like a “real mack.” When the last show in Jacksonville comes around Kirk has had enough. He tells Steve that he will kill his mic if he does not come back to the flock. Steve’s response was to come out to the Muddy Waters classic “Hoochie Coochie Man”. Kirk and two members of his entourage storm the stage during Steve’s set waving bibles, which rattles The Original King of Comedy. “They are waving bibles at me like I am some kind of devil. I can’t do a show with this kind of foolishness.” And with that Steve storms off, and takes with him all the hope and potential dynamism that a duo of Steve Harvey and Kirk Franklin could have provided the masses.