Showtime at the Apollo (formerly It's Showtime at the Apollo) is a syndicated music television show, first broadcast in September 12, 1987, and is produced by the Apollo Theater. The show features live performances from both professional and up-and-coming artists, and also features the Amateur Night competition made popular at the famous Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, where the show is recorded.
While there is also a live version of the show every Wednesday (which is the original Apollo Amateur Night competition that has been running for over 70 years), the taped version of the show for television usually airs on weekends.
Many famous R&B, soul, and hip hop performers have appeared on the show, which has had a number of hosts, including Whoopi Goldberg, Rick Aviles, Sinbad, Mark Curry, Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Christopher "Kid" Reid, and Anthony Anderson. Kiki Shepard served as co-host from 1987 until 2002.
From 1989 to 1991, Sinbad served as the permanent host. After Sinbad left, the show reverted to a series of special guest hosts. In 1993, Steve Harvey began a seven year stint as the permanent host. At the start of the 1998-99 season, Harvey and Kiki Sheppard hosted a series of "Best of..." episodes until late October because production was delayed due to a labor dispute. After Harvey left in 2000, he was replaced by Rudy Rush. Rush was joined by new comedic dancer C.P. Lacey, who replaced Howard "Sandman" Sims, who had died.
Change of production
After a dispute with the Apollo Theater Foundation in 2002, the original producers left to start a rival show called Showtime in Harlem later known simply as Showtime. Showtime in Harlem was produced at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It's Showtime at the Apollo is currently produced by de Passe Entertainment and was hosted once again by Sinbad, who briefly returned to the show in 2006 while Mo'nique was on maternity leave. Whoopi Goldberg became the new host for the 2006-2007 season. At times, comedian Talent and actor Anthony Anderson have hosted during the 2006-2007 season.