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If you ask me, Steve Harvey segment was a silly test of local dignity

Oh, the things that people will do to get two minutes of national TV time.

That’s what came to mind while watching the Buffalo segment of “Ask Steve” Wednesday afternoon.

I was almost as embarrassed for promoting the segment of “Steve Harvey” in this blog on Tuesday as I was for the three attractive young women representing Western New York by asking the silly questions for a humorous segment taped outside the Buffalo History Museum April 21 on a warm, windy day in which Buffalo looked beautiful.

Of course, I realize that this is all done in good fun. But you would hope the questioners would leave with their dignity intact.

Shannon started it off in an interview with local radio and TV personality Janet Snyder by telling Steve she is a nanny for a little girl who has started calling her “momma.” Shannon said she is “terrified” that the young girl would do it before the parents who have hired her and can’t wait to hear the girl call them “mommy” and “daddy.” Shannon wanted to know if she should keep the child quiet in front of the parents.

Before I get to Steve’s advice, I will give some of my own.

It isn’t a good idea to go on national television to ask a question like that. After all, this is Buffalo and somebody may be watching who will tip off the parents. The first 15 minutes of the program in which the Buffalo segment aired had a nice daytime rating of 2.2. About 30 percent of the audience left in the next 15 minutes when the rating dropped to a 1.5.

Before he answered the question, Harvey playfully asked Shannon what tactic she would use to keep the infant quiet that didn’t lead to prison time.

Cue laughter from a studio audience in Chicago that appeared to be entirely composed of women.

Then Harvey told Shannon to look for another job.

Vanessa was up next, determined to set a daytime record for the use of a slang term for breasts. She told Steve that her mother recently shocked her by revealing that hers had been enhanced. Vanessa was thinking of doing it as well and wondered if Mother’s Day would be a perfect time to tell her mom she joined the enhancement club.

First my advice: It isn’t a good idea to ask that question on national television because someone watching may tell your mother before Sunday. Or write about it.

This was a softball question for any comedian.

“Yes, do it,” said Steve. “That will work for me. I don’t know whose show you thought you were calling.”

Cue audience laughter.

Before Lisa could get the third question out, Harvey gave all Buffalo women some love.

“Did you all just get good looking chicks in Buffalo?” he asked. “Where did you find these models from?”

I hadn’t heard women referred to as chicks on television since chicken wings were first served at the Anchor Bar.

Snyder tried to answer Harvey by saying “this is representing the 716. Bring your show here Steve. I’ll show you all the girls in Buffalo.”

Snyder might have been better off referencing chicken wings to entice Harvey since he didn’t look familiar with WNY’s area code.

Sure enough, Lisa had the chicken wing question. It seems it is her favorite thing to eat and guys that she dates aren’t impressed when she orders the messy item. She asked Harvey for advice how to be more ladylike when she eats the wings.

The program wheeled out some wings for Harvey, who was dressed in an attractive gray, pin-stripped suit, to demonstrate.

“There is no ladylike way to eat chicken wings,” stated Harvey.

That would have been my advice as well.

He then stretched to make a point that it is best to keep the wings far away from you so the sauce doesn’t get on your clothes. He added that men get a pass for eating with their baby finger sticking out.

“It is the only time men are allowed to stick baby fingers out when they are eating wings," said Harvey.

Cue audience laughter.

I would guess by now that Shannon still has a job if the parents who hired her have a sense of humor, that Vanessa’s mom couldn’t be more proud, and that Lisa has her two minutes of TV fame to talk about on her next date when she orders a messy serving of chicken wings.

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