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Jokes dumb, advice humdrum on first ‘Steve Harvey’ talk show

Steve Harvey talks about authoring books during taping Steve Harvey Show NBC Tower 454 N. Columbus Dr. Friday August 24

Steve Harvey talks about authoring books during a taping of the Steve Harvey Show at the NBC Tower, 454 N. Columbus Dr., Friday, August 24, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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2 to 3 p.m. weekdays on WMAQ-Channel 5

Updated: October 6, 2012 1:45PM

In Tuesday’s premiere of his self-titled talk show, Steve Harvey said there’s nothing he likes better than giving out commonsense advice.

Problem is, the advice doled out in this daytime chatfest isn’t as much commonsense as it is no-brainer. And while the stand-up comic’s hourlong show could occasionally be described as fun, I wouldn’t call it funny — despite repeated camera shots of audience members belly laughing and clapping like their palms were on fire.

Harvey, who said he wants his multi-topic show to focus on real people and real issues, welcomed a guest dubbed The Worst Dater in America. Clips of the guy with women on various dates showed him putting his foot in his mouth in a way that came off as credible as an email from a Nigerian bank.

Harvey’s tips for him and other unlucky-in-love men: Think before you speak. Show some respect. Mind your manners. This is the kind of stuff you see written in chalk on a kindergarten blackboard; I expect more insight from the author of two best-selling books on relationships.

A parenting-related segment on “over sharenting” resulted in equally banal advice about the hazards of posting unflattering photos of your kids online. (Bottom line: It’s embarrassing.)

Episode descriptions for the rest of the week indicate there’s more where this came from. Topics include extreme parenting and women who take too long to get ready.

“Steve Harvey” is filmed in Chicago and I’d like to see it survive, both for the sake of the local economy and for Harvey, a personable guy who comes off well on camera. But the daytime playing field is only going to get more crowded next week with the launch of three new talk shows. Spouting ordinary advice to ordinary people isn’t going to cut it. That’s just common sense.

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