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CHICAGO, Ill. — In a rare moment of pure surprise and genuine emotion on live T.V., “Family Feud” host and comedian Steve Harvey broke down in tears after receiving a phone call he wasn’t expecting from an old friend on his talk show “Ask Steve.”

In a special birthday edition of the show, Harvey was informed by his producers that he had a surprise call waiting on the line. The second he got a glimpse of Rich Liss’ face on a T.V. monitor, the comedian broke down in tears.

“This is Rich Liss from Orlando, Fla.,” Liss said. “Do you still love me, baby?”

Liss was calling to wish Harvey a happy 56th birthday, but as it turns out, the Orlando, Fla. resident had provided much more than a simple birthday wish to Harvey 30 years earlier.

Liss and his wife Becky helped get Harvey on his feet back when he was 26 years old. At the time, he was a struggling comedian running a carpet cleaning business.

“I didn’t have nothing,” Harvey said, choking back the tears. “These people took me in.”

Eventually Harvey answered Liss’ question, saying, “I love you, man.”

Liss, who was also clearly emotional, responded.

“I love you too, man,” he said.

Harvey went on to explain that Liss allowed him to open up an account in his name at a travel agency. Harvey said he racked up a $11,000 bill that Liss never made him pay for.

“I got money now, Rich,” Harvey said. “I’m going to fly a plane out to Orlando to pick up you and Becky. I’m going to fly you out to the show. I’ve been looking for you for years, man. You guys bailed me out, and I never forgot it.”

Harvey finally found some success in show business at the age of 36 as the host of “Showtime at the Apollo,” later getting his own talk show before being asked to take over “Family Feud.”

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