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Posted at 3:32 PM ET, 07/21/2010

As Steve Harvey begins filming 'Family Feud,' we look at past hosts

By Sarah Anne Hughes

The new host of "Family Feud," Steve Harvey (Jonathan Exley)

Posted by Sarah Anne Hughes

We surveyed 100 people; top answers are on the board. Name a person who has hosted the CBS game show “Family Feud.”

Survey says -- *BING* -- Steve Harvey!

Yes, Harvey, best known for his sitcom “The Steve Harvey Show,” will join the long list of comedians who have hosted "Family Feud" when he begins filming this week. He will take over the game show from “Seinfeld” alum John O’Hurley, who after four years, decided to step down as host. Harvey's first episode premieres in September.

"Family Feud," on the air since 1976, was first hosted by game show veteran Richard Dawson. Since then, the show has been canceled and revived, canceled and revived again, with hosting duties changing hands several times. To prepare for Mr. Harvey's debut, here's a rundown of past hosts. Vote for your favorite at the bottom of the post.

Richard Dawson:1976-1985; 1994-1995

I have very fond memories of watching the Game Show Network during my summer breaks from elementary school. My favorite show wasn’t “Family Feud,” but “Match Game.” Of course I loved the snarky Charles Nelson Reilly and the fabulous Brett Somers, but it was Richard Dawson who really got my attention. There was a certain je ne sais quoi about the man, an appeal I compare to George Clooney. Please don't judge me.

Even though I am biased toward Dawson, I still believe he was the best host of “Family Feud.” He was charming. He was funny. He was a host's host. When he kissed lady contestants on the cheek it seemed suave, not creepy. What's more, he was so great he hosted the show twice. I rest my case.

Ray Combs: 1988-1994

Ray Combs had pretty big shoes to fill when Dawson left as host. While it shouldn't have been a surprise when ratings dipped, Combs took the blame and was fired from the gig. Tragically, Combs committed suicide in 1996.

Louie Anderson: 1999-2002

Of all the hosts, Louie Anderson's name definitely sounded the best when announced. (The vowels of his first name were very conducive to exaggerated stretching.) But beyond that, he lacked the charm a "Family Feud" host needed. There was just something off. Like Combs, Anderson was fired from the show after ratings began to decline and, as it turns out, because of a 1993 sex scandal that resulted in Anderson being blackmailed.

Richard Karn: 2002-2006

I’m not going to spend too much time on Karn. The “Home Improvement” star did a satisfactory job and even though he hosted for four years, I never thought he had the star power to host the show. He was friendly enough, but nothing really special. He left "Family Feud" for reasons I cannot seem to locate on the Internet.

John O’Hurley: 2006-2010

John O’Hurley, who is probably called Mr. Peterman every day of his life, became the host after receiving a popularity boost from his 2005 appearance on “Dancing With the Stars.” In my opinion, O'Hurley was the best host since Dawson. He had both the looks and charm to make the ladies swoon. His voice was velvety enough to deliver the silly questions with ease. But this year he announced he would retire from the series to pursue other adventures.

And now we have Harvey. I'm not sure the comedian has what it takes to put regular people at ease on television and to make friendly banter with contestants, but only time will tell. Godspeed Steve Harvey! Hopefully your future syndicated episodes will bring some bored kid a lot of laughs during their summer break.

Celebritology contributor Sarah Anne Hughes also enjoys "Lingo."

By Sarah Anne Hughes  | July 21, 2010; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  
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This show is still on? Beyond Louie Anderson, I didn't realize. Who knew? Frankly, after a while, I couldn't watch Richard Dawson anymore. All that kissing -- if the man had had mono during filming he'd've knocked out half of California.

"Match Game"? Now you're talking. Give me C-list celebrities drawing arrows and guns on index cards and pointing them at each other like 8-year-olds under the guise of helping people win something. That's good TV right there.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, God, I feel old - I remember watching Family Feud with Richard Dawson *before it went to reruns*. I was in elementary school in the late 70s-early 80s, and game shows were after-dinner TV fare at my house. I don't remember being creeped out by the kissing, though.

Posted by: northgs | July 21, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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