(Originally published at http://blackworthy.com/strahan-harvey-the-new-black-men-of-daytime-tv/on Sept.17, 2012)
The last frontier of white bread entertainment in daytime television has recently been invaded with some colorful personalities. The open secret that former NFL player Michael Strahan would be selected as the co-host of Live! with Kelly was almost anti-climatically revealed during the season premiere; now rebranded Live! With Kelly and Michael. On the same day, Black radio host Steve Harvey made his debut as the host of his own network daytime talk show.
Now, this isn’t a shock and awe attack with Flavor Fav (nor would it be imaginable as desirable for most Blacks) but the appearance of Strahan and Harvey to the talk show circuit is almost a minor miracle. Previously, the morning hours have only been visited by “safe” Black interlopers like Bryant Gumble, Al Roker and Wayne Brady. However, political conscious and well-adjusted these gentlemen are, their TV persona has been “non-threatening”. But these brothers; Strahan and Harvey even have facial hair!
Strahan as a pretty large sized former NFL player and Harvey as the former comedian thrust decades ago into the national eye via the raucous HBO Def Comedy Jam hopefully represent a presentation of Black men without being neutered. That means they are likely to venture into subjects with not only a Black perspective but do it with charm and, yes, sex appeal.
Prior to the official announcement about the debut of Strahan and Harvey, the Shadow League penned “Brothers Gonna Work it Out“ highlighting the time has arrived for voices and viewpoints these men are likely to bring. Furthermore, the Grio, remarking about the daytime developments asserts that the hires reflect a fracture in the image of the Black man as scary and oversexed.
Over forty years ago, there was the 1968 controversial television kiss between Harry Belafonte and British pop singer Petula Clark. But now, as evidenced by the second nature smooch shared by Strahan and Ripa upon his entering the set last week; maybe (finally) a kiss is just a kiss.