Wildman Steve was a rare and unique voice, and his “tell it like it is” style of comedy has proven to be timeless and powerful. Since black comedy went mainstream in the 1970’s, it seemed to be largely about telling racial stories and jokes to white audiences, while white comedians haven’t dared to tell similar jokes. There is something refreshing and honest about Wildman Steve’s work, and though he does address some political topics such as busing, and makes biting comments about Nixon, Lester Maddox and George Wallace, race is not the focus of his work. Steve’s humor and belief in humanity transcend racial boundaries, in much the same way that the universal appeal of jazz, blues and gospel music have helped bridge the gulf between blacks and whites. The indomitable spirit of Wildman Steve marks him as a universal voice of comedy, who can help us all laugh and feel better.
Steve passed away on Sept 1 2004, and to the end he was as funny as ever, and those of us who loved his sense of humor and outrageousness hope to spread the word about this great man.