The Secret to ‘Family Feud’s Success? Not-So-Family-Friendly Questions

Family Feud is one of the most well-known and hilarious reality TV game shows of all-time. The show has been on the air since 1976, and has many loyal fans. New episodes of Family Feud are still being produced, as is a spin-off version of the show involving celebrity families aptly named Celebrity Family Feud

Episodes can be seen daily as the show is in a successful syndication run. This prolonged success has caused fans of the game show to ask, who are the hosts of the show that have helped the show run for so long, and what else is responsible for Family Feud’s decades of relevance? 

What is ‘Family Feud?’

STEVE HARVEY, STEPHEN CONRAD MOORE
STEVE HARVEY, STEPHEN CONRAD MOORE | Byron Cohen via Getty Images

Family Feud was developed by Mark Goodson, who was also responsible for games shows The Price Is Right and Match Game. On Family Feud, two opposing families compete for the chance to win $20,000 by being the first to gain 300 points.

Points are earned by successfully guessing the same answers to questions that 100 random people also answered. The points can only be added by a family clearing the board, or by stealing once the other family gets three strikes by guessing answers that are not on the board.

According to the show’s producers, having an over-the-top amount of energy is the best way to earn a chance for your family to be on the show. The show has had many hosts in its over four decades of being on the air, all of whom have contributed to the game show’s continued success and relevance. 

Who are the hosts of ‘Family Feud?’ 

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Family Feud is one of the longest-running game shows in television history. The first host of the familial completion was Richard Dawson, who was the face of the show from 1976 to 1985, and returned to host the show for one final season in 1994.

Dawson was known for his strange habit of kissing the women contestants on the show as he introduced them. He claimed to do this in order to relax the female participants. Interestingly, the first host of the game show met his wife while hosting her on an episode.

In 1981, Gretchen Johnson and her family competed on the show, and nine years later Johnson and Dawson were married. In 1985, Dawson was replaced by Ray Combs, and then Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, John O’Hurley, and Steve Harvey rounded out the list of every host in the show’s 44-year history.

The current host of Family Feud is Harvey, who began hosting in 2015. Harvey is also credited for guiding the show in a more risque direction, as he is very talented at comedic riffing and playing off the contestants’ more wild answers. Thanks to Harvey’s funny and effective hosting technique, Family Feud is as popular as ever. 

What makes the game show so successful? 

While Family Feud is billed as a program for mom, dad, the grandparents, and the kids of all ages to enjoy together, there are many questions with an adult twist. Frequent topics on the show include questions about what people think or would change about their romantic partner’s bodies, unsavory habits such as drinking and smoking, and many questions that are designed to result in a classic double-entendre about sex.

Many questions on the show are somewhat difficult, so many participants on the show also have provided answers that do not make much sense. The hosts of the show have handled the more ridiculous answers differently, as Harvey is willing to playfully mock the contestants, while Dawson was more gentle with the contestants.

Harvey will likely continue as the host of Family Feud, especially considering the game show’s success on network television in a time when streaming and binging are much more common.