Family Feud Celebrates 35th Anniversary Today [VIDEOS]
Thirty-five years after it’s debut in 1976, classic game show “Family Feud” celebrates it’s 35th Anniversary today!
Originally hosted by Richard Dawson, the Feud has gone through several changes, including hosts, sets, and even rules. Despite the variations over the years, the basics of the show have been the same.
The “Family Feud” was developed based on another one of Mark Goodson‘s classic game shows, “Match Game.” Hosted by Gene Rayburn, this fill-in-the-blank game featured a panel of six celebrities, and Richard Dawson was a regular on the panel. The contestant that won the game moved on to the “Super Match.”
Much like “Family Feud,” the “Super Match” had contestants trying to match the most popular answers to a studio poll. Only three options were available, the most popular answer worth $500, the second most popular worth $250, and the third worth $100. Take this form of game play, add two families and you’ve got the “Family Feud!”
Richard Dawson, the first host, was most well-known for kissing all the ladies, and shouting at the big blue board. Dawson actually lost his composure during a particularly bizarre round of “Fast Money” which you can see here.
Ray Combs, my personal favorite, took over as host in 1988. The set got a subtle makeover, the music was remastered, and a few changes were made. Instead of the ‘play or pass’ option, whoever won the face-off took control of the question. Ray was a stand up comedian and extremely witty as host. He also liked to play some pranks on contestants.
In 1992, the “Bulls-eye Round” was introduced to determine how much money would be played for in “Fast Money.” After trouble with the ratings, they brought back Richard Dawson in 1994. This only lasted for a year, and the ‘Feud’ could only be seen as reruns in syndication.
After a four-year hiatus, the ‘Feud’ made it’s return in 1999 after Mark Goodson‘s company sold the rights to Freemantle Media. I really don’t know what they were thinking, but someone thought it would be a good idea to bring in Louie Anderson as the new host. I like Louie as a stand up comedian, but he made a horrible host. Freemantle also changed the set, the music, the rules, and needless to say… it was terrible.
John O’Hurley came on board as “Family Feud” host in 2006. It was during this time that the producers began to take the show back to it’s roots. The new board was reminiscent of the original board and the set had the classic design from the Dawson/Combs era. Half way through O’Hurley’s run, they brought back the original music and the “Bulls-eye” round.
In the fall of 2010, the seventh host of the show, Steve Harvey, came on board. Steve brings his wit and humor to the stage with a very comical take on hosting.
After 35 years, the ‘Feud’ has come a long way since just being a bonus round on “Match Game.” The show has evolved through it’s look, music, and it’s hosts. Each version had it’s own personality and style, and that’s just in the United States. “Family Feud” is seen around the world with variations in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Australia. There is even a Spanish-language American version known as “Que Dice la Gente.”
Here’s to another 35 years, “Family Feud!”
FOLLOW UP: Original host Richard Dawson, passed away on June 2, 2012. As fate would have it, the second Family Feud host, Ray Combs passed away exactly 16 years prior on June 2, 1996. R.I.P. Ray & Richard.