While the format of the game show “Family Feud” has remained almost the same throughout the years, the show has had a number of different hosts since its inception in 1976. Here is the list of hosts who have led the fun on “Family Feud” over the years.
If you had to associate only one name with “Family Feud,” that name would likely 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.
Dawson died on June 2, 2012, from 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,” leaves an enduring legacy.
Ray Combs became the host of “Family Feud” in 1988 when the show was brought back after a three-year hiatus after 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 had more to do with their love for Dawson than anything 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.
Louie Anderson joined ”Family Feud” the second time it was revived, in 1999. Though widely regarded as less than 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 said publicly that the show would not last much longer. It turned out he was very wrong in this prediction.
Richard Karn replaced 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, Dawson, but he made the game show his own for the years that he hosted.
Karn went on to replace another game show host a few years later when he succeeded Patrick Duffy on GSN’s “Bingo America.”
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.
O’Hurley hosted the “Feud” from 2006 through 2010.
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 show has ever seen. Clips of his funny moments abound on YouTube, and his antics have often been fodder for water-cooler laughs.
Harvey was also the host of the 2015 edition of “Celebrity Family Feud.”
While once it was difficult to imagine “Family Feud” without Dawson, it is now hard to see where the show would be without Harvey.
‘Celebrity Family Feud’ — Al Roker
While the six men listed above have all been regular hosts of “Family Feud,” don’t forget “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?”