1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://gameshows.about.com/od/family_feud/tp/The-Hosts-of-Family-Feud.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Hosts of Family Feud

By

Family Feud has had a number of different hosts since its inception in 1976. Fortunately, the format of the game itself has remained almost the same throughout the years even with different names and faces at the helm. Here is the list of men who have taken on the role of Family Feud host over the years.

 

1. Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson
AP

If you had to associate only one name with Family Feud, that name would be Richard Dawson. Dawson was the first host of the show and he defined the role like no one else could. He hosted from 1976 through 1985, and came back for a single season in 1994. Dawson's signature style and habit of kissing all the women on the show earned him a great deal of recognition.

Sadly, Richard Dawson passed away on June 2, 2012, due to esophageal cancer. His body of work, which also includes acting roles in TV shows like Hogan's Heroes and movies such as The Running Man, leave us with an enduring legacy.

 

2. Ray Combs

Family Feud Logo
Courtesy Debmar-Mercury

Ray Combs became the host of Family Feud in 1988, when the show was brought back after a three-year hiatus upon Dawson's initial departure. Combs was a comedian and fit in well with the show's format and style, though fans didn't take to him immediately. This likely has more to do with their love for Richard Dawson than any lacking on Combs' part. He hosted the show until 1994.

Combs' story ends in tragedy. He died on June 2, 1996, after hanging himself in his closet at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where he was being observed for signs of depression.

 

3. Louie Anderson

Family Feud Logo
Courtesy Debmar-Mercury

Louie Anderson joined Family Feud the second time it was revived, in 1999. While most fans agree that he wasn't the best host the show has seen, he stands out for putting together a charity episode of the show after 9/11. The New York Fire Department played against the New York Police Department, and together they raised $75,000 for recovery efforts.

Anderson hosted Family Feud through 2002, at which time he stated publicly that the show would not last much longer. He was very wrong in this prediction, of course.

4. Richard Karn

Richard Karn
Courtesy Alex Purnell, licensed to About.com

Richard Karn replaced Louie Anderson in 2002, and stayed with Family Feud until 2006. Karn was a co-star on the hit sitcom Home Improvement, and was well-known to television audiences. His style was a little more subdued than that of, say, Richard Dawson, but he made the game show his own for the years that he hosted.

Richard Karn went on to replace another game show host a few years later when he succeeded Patrick Duffy on GSN's Bingo America.

5. John O'Hurley

John O'Hurley
Courtesy Debmar-Mercury

 Though he had tackled numerous acting roles before joining Family Feud, John O'Hurley was best-known for his role as J. Peterman in the sitcom Seinfeld. Fans of Feud didn't warm up to him right away, but soon O'Hurley was one of the most popular hosts the show had seen. His warmth and professionalism were big draws for viewers. He also knew how to have fun on the show.

John O'Hurley hosted the Feud from 2006 through 2010.

6. Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey
Courteesy Debmar-Mercury

Comedian Steve Harvey joined the show in 2010 and is the current host of Family Feud. His sense of humor, obvious joy in the contestants, and impeccable timing have made him one of the most successful hosts the game has ever seen. Clips of his funny moments abound on YouTube and his antics have often been fodder for water-cooler laughs.

While once it was difficult to imagine Family Feud without Richard Dawson, it is now hard to see where the show would be without Steve Harvey.

7. Celebrity Family Feud - Al Roker

Al Roker and Celebrity Contestants
Courtesy NBC
While the six men listed above have all been regular hosts of Family Feud, let's not forget the special event programming that was Celebrity Family Feud. That edition was hosted by Al Roker, who has appeared on numerous celebrity game shows himself and also hosted MSNBC's short-lived game show Remember This?

 

A Revolving Door of Talent

While Family Feud has had a string of vastly different hosts throughout its runs, they have all brought something exciting and new to the show. Everyone has his or her favorite!
  1. About.com
  2. Entertainment
  3. Game Shows
  4. Game Shows A-Z
  5. Family Feud
  6. The Hosts of Family Feud

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.