Best ‘Family Feud’ Host, Richard Dawson, Dies at 79 [VIDEO]
Family Feud is one of the all-time great game shows. It’s format–teams (families) of five compete against each other by trying to guess the most popular answers to survey questions–is still endlessly clever. But the show itself has always depended on just the right host for its success.
While there have been good and funny hosts (Louie Anderson, Steve Harvey), only one was the very best. That’s Richard Dawson. Sadly, Dawson passed away Sunday after a long battle with esophageal cancer. He was 79.
Richard Dawson had already made a name for himself among American TV audiences with his portrayal of Corporal Newkirk on the 60s World War II POW comedy, Hogan’s Heroes, and later as a panelist on the hilarious and double-entendre-rich game show Match Game.
But his name became a household word with his nine-year-stint on Family Feud, where he famously kissed the female players directly on the mouth and poked good-natured fun at contestants’ lousy answers. But he offered a great deal of warmth and consideration to the Feud contestants, often sounding very concerned if it didn’t appear they were going to win the game or get to 200 in “Fast Money.”
He made every player on Family Feud feel perfectly comfortable. Even when he was teasing them about answers that were ridiculous, it came from honesty and an attitude of laughing “with,” not “at” them. And the contestants got it, sometimes even appearing to be looking forward to it.
Oddly enough, Richard Dawson only won one Emmy for his hosting duties, but he remains, to this day, the best host Family Feud ever had, and one of the greatest game show hosts any of us has ever seen.
Below, you’ll find, arguably, the most famous moment in Family Feud history. The video isn’t the greatest, but the audio is fine, and it’s still just as funny as it ever was. It started, simply, with the question “During what month of pregnancy does an expectant mother start showing?” Enjoy.