Bob Stromberg and Steve Harvey/NBC photo by Ron Batzdorff
Considering how many shows Steve Harvey hosts these days, meeting him shouldn't be such a big deal. But Minnesotan Bob Stromberg, co-creator and star of "Triple Espresso," still came away from the experience a little dazzled.
Stromberg, well known locally for the highly caffeinated cabaret show as well as his award-winning autobiographical piece, "Mr. Wonder Boy," got the opportunity to share the stage with the omnipresent comedian during a taping for NBC's "Little Big Shots: Forever Young" which airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Stromberg, who turned 65 on Monday, showed off hand shadows on the series that spotlights talent who have passed the age of 60. He used Harvey as a "volunteer," just as he would an audience member during one of his own shows.
"When I bring a guest on stage, it becomes clear to them right away, that it's my show. Don't mess with me," Stromberg said by phone Tuesday. "This was an interesting change for me. It's Steve's show. This time, I was the straight man. It was an adjustment for me."
Stromberg, who recorded the appearance over Easter weekend in Los Angeles, said he came away impressed with Harvey, although he doesn't pretend to have gotten to know him.
"He's as nice a guy as you could be, but it became clear that you probably don't want to be chatty with him ahead of time," Stromberg said. "He doesn't want to get to know you ahead of time. His whole thing is being spontaneous. That's what he's good at."
The national spotlight doesn't mean Stromberg is abandoning his baby. "Espresso," which debuted in Minneapolis in 1996 before going on to be produced on stages across America and Europe, may make a return to the Twin Cities during the holiday season. A location has yet to be determined.