Towering talent and top US comedian Steve Harvey is a multi-hyphenate who has spun gold from hosting TV shows, writing books, and spearheading podcasts. But he’s still not great at getting names right. The world-famous entertainer, 65, gamely stumbles on how to pronounce this journalist’s name right upon our meeting in Abu Dhabi, but he doesn’t stop trying until he gets it right. Now here’s a man who made a spectacular blunder during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant, which saw him announce the wrong winner. He notoriously named Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, who was really the first runner-up, as the winner instead of Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. The epic misfire was an embarrassing fiasco from all angles, but Harvey is one of those rare talents who won’t shirk from speaking about that “life-altering” moment in his career.
“I asked God to increase my global brand and he made me the host of Miss Universe in 2015. He had me say the wrong name and in 48 hours, my name was Googled 4 billion times. I became the most Googled person on planet Earth … but I didn’t appreciate the way God did it,” said Harvey with the kind of open laughter that comes right from your belly. But the self-made billionaire, who was born poor and wears his faith on his fashionable sleeve, felt that misstep helped him toughen up as a person and humbled him instantly.