Talk Show Host Tavis Smiley Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Tavis Smiley  has what could be deemed the perfect talk show host name — upbeat and amiable — but growing up, he was often the butt of belittling schoolyard jokes.

Tavis Smiley (Photo Credit: Twitter @TavisSmiley)

“When I was a kid, I hated my name,” says the Midwesterner whose childhood pipedream was to play first base for the Cincinnati Reds. “Tavis Smiley. I got teased so much. It was Travis, Tayvis and Smiley became Smelly and ‘Oh, you’re Tavis Smelly.’ So I hated it as a kid. But, lo and behold, years later you’re a TV guy and it works.”

Indeed it does. Hatched in 2004, Smiley’s eponymous PBS talker kickstarted its 11th season in January. The show, recipient of four NAACP Image Awards, has featured a wide and varied swath of high-profile guests, from Maya Angelou to Cornel West, from Ethan Hawke to James Taylor.  “The first time we met, we just hit…

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