Steve Harvey tells AARP why he's about to have a blissfully happy new year and also about his TV show Fox's New Year's Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square.
You're 62, older than most hosts of year-end shows — yet ratings soared 98 percent when you started hosting Fox's New Year's Eve show. Does this prove the power of grownups in showbiz?
You can get a younger guy, but God has given me enormous talents. I'm pretty seasoned, and I can satisfy all the age groups. We've got Maria Menounos, the NFL's Rob Gronkowski, LL Cool J, Gordon Ramsay, Will Arnett, and the Village People trying to set a record for the world's biggest “YMCA” dance. If you can deliver people a good time that evening, I mean, why not tune into them?
Maria got married on live TV on last New Year's show. Will she marry someone else this year?
No, I think Maria might be done. I know I'm not marrying anybody else.
What lesson did you learn in the past decade?
I'm probably at the apex of my career right now. Ten years ago, I started Family Feud, wrote the book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Then the movie came out. Seven years ago, I started the talk show, I retired from stand-up, I've added Miss Universe to the arsenal, and it's my third year doing Fox's New Year's Eve. So I've just learned how to always just keep reinventing myself. Never get stuck in one place!
What are you looking forward to in the next decade?
I think this next chapter my life — what I'm calling the second half of my life — I'm looking for a more global presence. I'm in Africa right now. Tomorrow one of my dreams came true: I got the international rights to do Family Feud in Africa, so I'm shooting in Johannesburg, Family Feud South Africa, and I'm going back in January to do Ghana. My popularity over here seems to be a little bit more nuts than I thought it was. I just bought the AXS TV network with Mark Cuban — we might be doing something with the NBA this year — and my talk show that was taken off NBC is back in an unprecedented deal on Facebook Watch. So the next two years, I'm looking pretty good.
What's your own New Year's resolution?
My New Year's resolution is to be able to see my shoelaces when I look down. I can see the tips of my shoes, but I want to be able to look straight down and see the bow in my shoe laces. That's my goal for 2020.
How about for the next decade? What's your 2020s resolution?
My resolution for the decade is, within 10 years my wife and I will have sent 10,000 kids to college on full paid scholarships. That's the most important thing. We're going to take our mentoring program globally: Dubai, Africa. I'm going to need some money to get that done. So I'll probably hit billionaire status within the next three years. There's a surefire way to know that I have a billion dollars: You won't see me on TV anymore.
Seriously, do you envision retiring?
I love my job. It's not hard labor like I grew up doing. I can't imagine sitting at the house doing nothing. I don't know that I'll ever retire completely. I look at guys like Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg — they just stay active. I watched a lot of people retire, and they just sort of wither away. I don't think I want that for myself. I want to stay mentally sharp, physically fit, and with grace from God, I'll make that happen.
Do you have health tips to stay young?
I try to eat 80 percent healthy and 20 percent what I want to. I'd love to eat 100 healthy, but that's not realistic, ‘cause too much stuff I like has sugar in it: ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. If they come out of the oven hot, I'm gonna eat them even if I just finished working out. So I just try to eat 80/20 healthy, take the green drinks, get my blood work done four times a year, get my prostate checked. Make sure ain't nothing going crazy I don't know about. I'm trying to come up with a cure to get rid of stomachs. You can keep the other fat; I just want to reduce this stomach.
Anything else we can expect on this year's New Year's show?
I got a couple of skits that I'll be prerecording, some spoofs of Fox shows that are going to be pretty funny. It should be pretty entertaining and heartwarming throughout the night. Y'all don't want to miss that! But I ain't gonna make it to a smaller stomach by New Year's Eve. So I'm just gonna wear a bigger coat.
Where to watch: Fox's New Year's Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square (Fox, Dec. 31, 8-10 p.m. and 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET); Steve on Watch (Facebook Watch, premiering Jan. 6).