Back in 1976, when Family Feud was created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, it was an instant hit. It brought families together and, as a bonus for the network, got host Richard Dawson to shut up about being unhappy on Match Game. The Feud is a simple game in which families get together and think of the most popular answers to questions. It’s the epitome of fun for the whole family.
I don’t know how many people are aware of this but (as you may have noticed if you follow us on Twitter) we’re sort of obsessed with Family Feud lately. We have found ourselves searching for YouTube videos, stopping our entire lives when it’s on TV and discussing all the stupid answers people give. This is all thanks to new host Steve Harvey; he has has breathed new life into the old game show and made it can’t miss television. And how has he done this? Well, by being himself. Since its inception, Family Feud has had several hosts; we thought we’d go through them all and discuss why Steve Harvey is better than every single one of them.
Baron Von Kissalot may be the original but he was far from the best. His trademark being his kiss, he was basically this old perv who wanted to tongue your wife. Most of the time he didn’t even speak loudly enough for the audience to hear. you could tell he really didn’t give a shit.
Why Steve is Better: He acts as if he legitimately cares what the contestants are saying and projects his voice nice a clearly, all with a little swagger. Plus he keeps his lips to himself.
Personable and cheerful, Ray Combs was a great everyman host. However, he thought he was a lot funnier than he actually was. Watching his Feud on GSN you can see he actually yells at contestants sometimes and makes them uncomfortable. But at least he commanded the stage and really knew how to take control of the show. He would definitely be our second favourite host.
Why Steve is Better: He is actually funny instead of trying too hard.
Want to see how NOT to host a game show? Watch Louie Anderson’s Feud. Much to the viewer’s dismay, he shlubbed around stage, unenthused and annoying. He was brought on to revive the show but instead almost killed it. The worst part: he beat out Dolly Parton for the job. She would have been SO amazing.
Why Steve is Better: He’s not Louie Anderson. He even dresses WAY better.
How did he even get this job? Seriously, was there some sort of deal with the devil? He was the least essential cast member of Home Improvement (and that’s saying something!); not charismatic enough to host a game show. A scholar in the Ray Combs school of trying too hard, Karn was forgettable dead weight.
Why Steve is Better: He’s charismatic, cool and was never a cast member of Home Improvement.
If you can say one thing about the O’Hurley years it’s that he brought back the spirit of the classic game show host. He had the energy and the voice all game shows need. While he was great, though, there was always something missing: humanity. O’Hurley was more of an entity than the host and the show needed to be brought back down to earth.
Why Steve is Better: He’s an everyman without being intimidating — he makes everyone, including the viewers, feel comfortable.
Photos: the various hosts of Family Feud
Cody McGraw is many things but the thing you can actually call him to his face is the Managing Editor of The Little Red Umbrella. See more posts from him here or follow him on Twitter (@cody_mcgraw).