Welcome back to game show week as I discuss my all time favorite game show :
I was a huge fan of game shows as a kid, but none more than Family Feud! I loved this game, watching it every afternoon at 4:30 (until the station changed the time slot on me!).There was also a daytime version, on for an hour at one point, that I also watched when I had the opportunity.
Family Feud, if you don’t know, takes two families and has them compete in teams of five. This already makes the game cool watching the families interact with each other. So first two members of each family meet in the center of the stage for the face off. The host asks a survey question that was asked to 100 people. The answers can have anywhere from 3 to 8 answers, and whoever buzzes in and answers with the most popular answer wins. In the Dawson era the host would ask the family if they wanted to play. That changed in the Combs era, which I liked because that never made sense to me. Why wouldn’t they want to play???? I guess strategy but is still made no sense to me.
The family answers questions fromÂ surveys given to a hundred average people, and who ever can discover the most popular answers that were given by those average people wins. You get three “strikes” if you miss a guess and on the third strike the other team gets a chance to steal your bank. As the game progresses the points double and then triple. The first family to reach 200 points wins and gets to play the fast money round, where two players team up to answer the same five questions, and if they combine a score of 200 or more they win whatever the established prize amount is. In later years a bonus prize was added where a family winning five times in a row also wins a car! There were other added games like a Bulls eye round which decided the fast money amount, but I wonâ€™t get into those.
This was also my favorite show to play along with, as you never knew just what was going to be on those surveys. It was also fun watching the families celebrating with each other, and yes even laughing at their silly if not stupid answers. Some of the dumbest answers in game show history came from this show.
So let’s talk about all the hosts of this show over the years. And no, my favorite is not who you may expect.
Richard Dawson (1976-1985)
I used to watch this as a kid, and Richard Dawson didn’t thrill me. It seemed like he spent more time kissing the contestants and getting gifts from them than doing anything else. I did learn to appreciate him as I got older but he was never my favorite host. But I understand why he is loved by many; he just seemed really fit to host this show. And the way he said â€œSurvey said!â€ turned that into a catchphrase. So while not my favorite I do agree he was very good.
Ray Combs (1988-1994)
I loved Ray Combs on this show! Maybe not as good as Dawson,but to me it was the perfect marriage of host and program in my opinion. He just really knew how to play to the audience and did a great job of getting along with the contestants. It’s hard to put into words but he was just a great host on this show and you could tell he was loving every second. I stopped watching when he was finally removed as host, and the show was never the same for me. Now of course I know of Ray Comb’s tragic fate, and that is a subject for another day and article. It was a tragedy, I am sure he would have benefited from the revival of the game show’s we got in the 90’s.
Richard Dawson (1994-1995)
No not a typo, when they let Ray go they decided to return Richard Dawson. I never watched in protest. Well, maybe not just for that reason. The show wasn’t very good with the changes they made to the set (it was too dark!) and the gameplay.Â His returnonly lasted a year.
Louie Anderson (1999-2002)
I like Louie Anderson as a comedian, but as host of FamilyFeud? No, it just didn’t work for me. That and the changes they made caused meto tune this version out.
Richard Karn (2002-2006)
This one was kind of a surprise, after playing Al Borlen for years on Home Improvement who would have guessed this would be his next job? He was really good even though, again, I didn’t watch very often.
John O’Hurley (2006-2010)
I was even more surprised at how much I liked this guy as host. He brought a kind of class to the show that hadn’t been seen since the Dawson era. In fact of all the recent hosts he was the one who came the closest to getting me to watch regularly again.And then he went away……
Steve Harvey (2011- )
I am not a Steve Harvey fan. He had an awful sitcom in the 90â€™s and he does not make me laugh. So I was less than thrilled to here was going to be the new host. But, fair is fair and he does a decent job. He is a little stiff but still manages to be funny and emote when he needs to.
I also had the board and video games. The video game for my PC was a lot of fun, the first day I had it literally played it all day!Â Yes it’s primitive by today’s standard but I didn’t care back then. The board game was a pain, having to assemble the cardboard and then push the paper through the little slotsâ€¦not worth it!!! I even played the game over the phone for $2.00 a minute. This was back in the day when those 776 #’s were a big deal. My father quickly put an end to that however.Â
But I did love this show; I was even crazy about the theme music used!Â I was very angry when they changed it in 1994, HATED the version used after that, and happy to hear that familiar melody return in 2008. The music is simply catching and gets me pumped every time I hear it. By the way, I loved this show so much I even loved the original announcer, Gene Woods.
Before I end should mention that this show was originally a Mark Goodson production, and I loved his shows! He created some of my favorite game shows which I will be discussing in another article!After his dearh the rights were sold off and someone else owns the show today.
As a kid I watched the syndicated version every night, the daytime version when I could; and even enjoyed watching re-runs on GSN. This was simply a game show I loved and can’t get enough of. While it’s true I don’t watch as often today, I still like turning it on once in awhile.
But as you can imagine I didnâ€™t love every game show. Tomorrow game show week continues with five game shows that I just hate!