‘Family Feud’: Do Contestants Rehearse Before Taping the Show?

Family Feud has reached legendary status since it first aired in 1976. Nearly as popular as gameshows like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy and certainly as long-running, Family Feud puts a spin on the classic gameshow by inviting contestants to compete as a family rather than as individuals.

The teamwork and family dynamics that can be seen in this show is endearing, and it has an energy and light-heartedness that other shows lack.

There’s no doubt that many families have dreamed of being contestants on the show, not only for a chance to win the $20,000 prize but for the family bonding experience, as well.

But what is the show like behind-the-scenes? It’s what everyone wants to know, and on a recent “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, Cole Simmons, a former Family Feud contestant who had a 4-episode run with his family, spilled all the details.

The contestants have to rehearse before taping the show


Some fans of Family Feud watching the show at home might think to themselves that they’d have a hard time remembering all the rules without ever practicing the game.

Hopeful candidates don’t have to worry about that, because Simmons revealed that the contestants all get put through a rehearsal before the live taping of the show. However, the host of the show, Steve Harvey, isn’t part of that rehearsal.

“They have a stand-in Steve Harvey (don’t remember his name but he was pretty funny) and play a mock game with all of the lights, effects, etc,” Simmons wrote in response to a Reddit fan asking what a gameshow rehearsal was like. He continued, “Everything is completely unscripted. Steve’s jokes are made up on-the-fly.”

Although this may be unbelievable for some previous hosts of the show, Harvey is an expert comedian and it’s unsurprising that his hilarious reactions that make Family Feud so great are unscripted.

For those who dream of being on Family Feud: breathe easy knowing you’d get a practice run!

Steve Harvey is a truly nice guy

RELATED: ‘Family Feud’: How the Show Discreetly Finds 100 People for Its Surveys

Simmons continued to spill the juicy details. One thing that fans were desperate to know what Harvey is like in real life. “He is an amazing guy. You don’t really see him except for when the cameras are rolling because he has to change outfits in between the episodes. He is a lot shorter than I had imagined,” Simmons shared.

He continued jokingly, “Everyone that watches the episodes points out that we had a total bromance. He told me he was going to take me to Miami, but I am still waiting on that call.”

It sounds like Simmons and Harvey had something really special going on!

In response to another fan asking about Harvey, Simmons replied: “Steve is a great guy. The only contact we had was while we were filming. When we lost on the final episode, he pulled me aside as we left and told me I was a bright kid and that I was going places.”

The verdict is clear: Harvey is definitely a nice guy in real life.

What about the winnings?

Of course, people also were interested to know about the money that families win on Family Feud: when do the contestants get their hands on it, and is it taxed? “You don’t get your winnings until 90 days after the show airs. It is automatically divided five ways. It will be subject to income tax,” Simmons stated.

Still, it’s a pretty good deal to win any money at all playing a game with your family!

Family Feud also gives families the opportunity to win a car. But how do you split a car between five people? “If you get the car, they just give you a car and you figure it out. If you take the cash equivalent, that is divided,” Simmons explained.

That makes sense, and it’s fascinating to know the behind-the-scenes details of one of America’s most popular gameshows!