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Tavis Smiley Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

04/28/2014 11:40 am ET | Updated Apr 28, 2014
David Livingston via Getty Images

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

“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.”

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