Who Hosted Family Feud? A Full List of Family Feud Hosts
“Family Feud” has been a cornerstone of American game show television. Many people love the show because it is fun and easy to understand. This makes it enjoyable for people of all ages.
“Family Feud,” a game show that started in 1976, is the longest-running in America. It has had six hosts, some successful and others not so much. Let’s break down all the hosts of “Family Feud” over the last four decades.
What Is Family Feud?
“Family Feud” is an American game show that has a straightforward but engaging premise. Two families of five members compete against each other by answering survey-based questions to earn points. The family that earns the most points won the game and a cash prize.
The game show’s questions can lead to some funny moments, but it’s the “Family Feud” host that keeps the momentum going. “Family Feud” relies on the host’s charisma to shape the show’s tone and engagement.
When Was the First Episode of Family Feud?
The first episode of “Family Feud” aired on July 12, 1976. Originally titled “Family Feud Challenge,” the game show’s original format is similar to the current one. ABC renamed the show “Family Feud” in 1977.
The first episode of “Family Feud” featured the Mosley family and the Abramowitz family. The Mosley family won the game and a cash prize of $10,000.
How Long Has Family Feud Been on Air?
The first episode of “Family Feud” was a ratings success and helped to launch the show into a long and successful run. Currently still airing, “Family Feud” has been running for nearly five decades.
Who Was the First Host of Family Feud?
British actor/comedian Richard Dawson was the first host of “Family Feud.” Dawson, who had been a regular panelist on “Match Game” between 1973 and 1978, was popular with viewers and contestants.
Dawson hosted “Family Feud” until 1985. He was best known for kissing the ladies on the show, which audiences saw as endearing and lovable. In 1994, Dawson returned to host “Family Feud” for a single season. A boost in ratings showcased how beloved Dawson was as a host.
This Popular Actor Was Almost the Original Host of Family Feud
In a 2010 interview with the Television Academy, Richard Dawson revealed that “Family Feud” producers considered another popular actor of the era to be the original host of the game show. “They’re interviewing people, and it looks as though … [William] Shatner … he was on the leading edge of getting it,” Dawson remembered.
Shatner, who was still a popular household name despite “Star Trek” no longer airing, was a frequent guest on quiz shows. Shatner noted that he enjoyed doing game shows in his 2008 autobiography, “Up Till Now.”
The Second Host of Family Feud
Comedian Ray Combs succeeded Dawson as host when the show was revived in 1988. Combs, known for his quick wit and relatable charm, hosted until 1994. Audiences found Combs’ modern approach captivating as he balanced genuine interest and playfulness with contestants while staying true to the original format.
Despite being one of the best “Family Feud” hosts, ABC ended Combs’ contract due to low ratings (per All That’s Interesting). Combs later died in 1996 from suicide.
The Third Host of Family Feud
Comedian Louie Anderson hosted “Family Feud” from 1999 to 2002, a rather short-lived run compared to the other host. While Anderson’s time on “Family Feud” was marked by his family-oriented humor, his soft style of hosting left audiences and contestants wanting more.
Anderson’s gentle approach failed to inject excitement into the game. Anderson left “Family Feud” in 2002, claiming publicly that he wanted to leave before the show got the ax from studio executives who were not happy with its low ratings.
The Fourth Host of Family Feud
Richard Karn, who played the handyman Al on Tim Allen’s hit sitcom “Home Improvement,” hosted “Family Feud” from 2002 to 2006. Karn brought fans of the sitcom to the game show with his goofy personality.
Karn’s hosting style leaned toward the traditional game show format, focusing on the questions and answers rather than banter with the contestants.
The Fifth Host of Family Feud
Before today’s current “Family Feud,” John O’Hurley hosted the game show from 2006 to 2010. Known for his role as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” O’Hurley’s characters are known for their off-the-wall behavior and humorous antics.
While it took a while for fans to enjoy O’Hurley’s polished approach to hosting the laid-back vibe that “Family Feud” had come to be known for, O’Hurley added a layer of sophistication to the legacy of the game show. O’Hurley left the show because he felt that “Family Feud” strayed from its family-oriented nature (via Fox News).
Who Is the Host Family Feud Today?
Steve Harvey has been the host of “Family Feud” since 2010. Harvey is the longest-running host of “Family Feud” and has drawn in huge ratings and a loyal fan base.
Harvey’s witty, kind, and hilarious reactions on the show keep the energy high, with many new fans coming to the show to see Harvey’s viral reactions to contestants’ shocking answers. The genuine joy Harvey brings to the show and meme-able moments revamped “Family Feud’s” fan loyalty and boosted ratings.
Who Hosts Celebrity Family Feud?
“Family Feud” has a spinoff, “Celebrity Family Feud.” The show premiered in 2009 with Al Roker hosting the game show. While Roker relished his role and created a lively atmosphere on the spinoff, the show was canceled after one season.
On April 9, 2015, ABC announced that it picked up a new incarnation of “Celebrity Family Feud” hosted by Steve Harvey.
Who Is the Best Family Feud Host?
The best host of “Family Feud” depends on the generation and personal preference of the viewer. While some hosts fare better than others with “Family Feud’s” loyal fan base, the host’s personality needs to be witty, personable, and charismatic.
While you might have a personal favorite host of the six hosts of “Family Feud,” we can all agree that a great game show host can keep the contestants and audience engaged and create memorable moments that make us laugh.