Trivia: Family Feud

General trivia:

  • The format for Family Feud was derived from the "Audience Match" Bonus Round on Match Game.
  • Ray Combs and Richard Dawson both died on June 2 — Combs in 1996 from suicide, and Dawson in 2012 from esophageal cancer.

Specific trivia:

  • Accidentally Accurate: The ABC finale had the question "Tell me how old you think Ronald Reagan looks" and Richard Dawson guessed that he was 74. At the time the episode aired — June 14, 1985 — Reagan actually was 74 years old.
  • Adored by the Network:
    • All versions, save for Anderson, have aired religiously on GSN. Since the Harvey version started airing in March 2012, it has gotten obscene amounts of ratings for the network, leading to not only it being adored, but Steve Harvey as well. It currently airs 58 times a week on the channel, but it used to air a lot more.
    • The Harvey version also sees frequent airtime on TVLand. In fact, pretty much any network that airs Harvey Family Feud pays special attention to it.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: It's "survey said", not "says", and it's only ever used in Fast Money (never in the main game). However, this is said in Family Fortunes in all rounds.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The reason Richard Dawson wasn't invited to host the 1988 revival. Mark Goodson suggested someone else when CBS bought Family Feud from ABC and Felsher recommended Ray Combs during the auditions.
    • Ironically, this was also why Combs was kicked off the show. When the Bullseye round debuted in June of 1992, the show had already begun a gradual downhill slide in ratings, but after the round's introduction ratings nosedived even further (see They Changed It, Now It Sucks on the YMMV page for more info). Instead of canning the round, producers found a way to insert more gimmicks into the show such as celebrity contestants and special-themed weeks, yet still nothing worked. As a last-ditch effort, producers forced Combs off the series and brought back Dawson in 1994, revamping everything cosmetic about the show in addition, in order to try and win over a younger audience. This and the O.J. Simpson trial led viewers away from the series until it was finally killed off mercifully in 1995.
    • Very likely a regular practice in the current syndicated version.
      • Since Double questions returned, the question may be swapped out (or otherwise modified). If a family sweeps the first two rounds, a swept Double will almost always be less than the amount needed to win. If the Singles are split, a swept Double will always be enough for what would have been a winning scenario. If a team does win after the Double, a commercial break is added to the Fast Money round before the second contestant returns to the stage.
      • In past versions, rounds were discarded due to malfunctions (two answers being revealed at once), or outside influence (someone offstage yelling out an answer). In the Harvey era, rounds have been played with no problem, only to be abruptly discarded after the third Strike because not enough points were revealed. This is known to have happened with at least one Single and one Triple, the latter because the points revealed weren't enough to win and the opponents had 0 (although the reason cited was "not wanting to look like they were showing favoritism").
      • At least one team in the Karn era has entered sudden death with 0, and Richard himself stated that they would need to find the #1 answer for two sudden death questions to win the game.
  • Fan Nickname: Karn's run was sometimes referred to as "Flannel Feud", a reference to his typical outfit as Al Borland on Home Improvement.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Every host was fairly well-known before taking control of the show:
    • Richard Dawson was Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes and a panelist on Match Game. He left the latter in 1978.
    • Ray Combs was known as a stand-up comedian, having received a standing ovation on his very first appearance on The Tonight Show in 1986. He also appeared on the John Davidson version of The Hollywood Squares.
    • Louie Anderson is also known as a stand-up comedian, and the creator of the cartoon Life With Louie.
    • Richard Karn played Al Borland on Home Improvement.
    • John O'Hurley played J. Peterman on Seinfeld and hosted the 2000-2002 revival of To Tell the Truth. He was also a finalist on Dancing with the Stars.
    • Steve Harvey is a comedian, sitcom star (The Steve Harvey Show), radio host, talk show host and a King of Comedy.
    • The Aussie version had a few emcees that fell into this category, such as Tony Barber (who left Feud to host Sale Of The Century), Daryl Somers, and TV legend Bert Newton.
    • Pop singer Andrew Gold (best known for his 1977 hit "Lonely Boy") competed with his family on a 1990 episode.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: The answer-reveal sound in Fast Money, first used on the Combs version, was previously used on Trivia Trap.
    • Blurring the line between this trope and Recycled Soundtrack, the last bar of the original Feud theme is also used to introduce Grand Game on The Price Is Right, and was a victory cue on the aforementioned Trivia Trap.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
    • Gene Wood was heard on countless Goodson-Todman game shows.
    • Burton Richardson was first heard on The Arsenio Hall Show and did some work for Mark Goodson Productions, including the last two incarnations of To Tell the Truth (one of which also had him working with O'Hurley) and the 1994 nighttime version of The Price Is Right (and some substitute work on the daytime version).
    • Joey Fatone made use of his vocal talents in the band *NSYNC. Like O'Hurley, he was a Dancing finalist.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Applies to each of the post-Dawson versions.
    • The Combs edition ran on Game Show Network/GSN for many years as a companion piece to Dawson's version before being dropped in the mid-2000s. The network has brought it back sporadically since, though its only current availability is YouTube.
      • Particularly, episodes featuring the Bullseye round were rare even while the Combs edition was running regularly. Family Feud Challenge hasn't been seen on GSN since before the Dark Period; New Family Feud was last seen on the network in 2008.
    • In a case of Vindicated by History, the 1994-95 Dawson season has become one of the most highly-requested programs to air on GSN, partially due to this. It aired regularly on GSN during the show's Dark Period from 1997-1998 and disappeared sometime before 2000; it was last seen on the network during a special tribute to the recently-deceased Dawson in June 2012.
    • Louie Anderson's version was rerun on PAX from 2002-2004 and was last seen as part of a Feud marathon during Thanksgiving 2013.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Richard Dawson was virtually nothing like he was when the cameras weren't rolling. His ego made him nearly impossible to work with and he constantly clashed with Mark Goodson and Howard Felsher, to the point where he even barred the latter from appearing on the set.
  • No Budget: Family Feud has had its share of budget problems.
    • The first sign of this came in 1992 on both the network and syndicated versions. This was when the main game was first played for points instead of cash and it has been ever since. Also, instead of playing for $5,000 or $10,000 in Fast Money, depending on the version, this changed to base values of $2,500 or $5,000 if one team failed to get any top answers in Bullseye. The 1994 season, which had the Bankroll round instead of Bullseye, had this even worse with the maximum potential jackpot decreasing to $7,000 (instead of $10,000) or $14,000 (instead of $20,000).
    • The current syndicated version screams of this.
      • The first two seasons which Anderson hosted had $10,000 as the Fast Money grand prize, which by 2001 had only 34% of the buying power it had in 1977. Starting with the third season, which would be Anderson's last, the jackpot was increased to $20,000 which is still the grand prize to this day (if you don't count the one season where Bullseye returned).
      • Since the very beginning, Fast Money losses have been $5 a point which has only 24% of buying power in 2014 as it did in 1976. To put this in perspective, a single contestant who finishes in third on Jeopardy! can win more than a family who loses Fast Money on their first appearance and gets defeated in their second game. Of course, that money has to be split among five people...
      • The staff only seems to want to pay royalties to a few snippets of the remixed Combs theme, resulting in the same loops being played every time it's used. It gets worse as none of the original Face-Off cues are even used. The music package's use during Karn's first season averted this particular aspect, with the entire Combs theme used in the intro and one original face-off cue even getting a remix.
      • Using a pre-recorded introduction and closed captioning plug instead of having Joey Fatone in the studio when it worked fine for Burton Richardson in the pre-Harvey era.
  • Recursive Import: The original Theme Tune was a remix of a new-car cue on The Price Is Right. Price has since used the last few bars as an introductory sting for the Grand Game.
  • Recycled Set: The same set from the original Dawson versions was used for the Combs version, with updated displays and a new color scheme. The 1994-95 set was a repainted and refurbished version of the set used when New Family Feud went to Opryland U.S.A. in 1993.
  • Screwed by the Network: Though it was far from the only problem this version had, Dawson '94 suffered from frequent pre-emptions due to the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
  • Throw It In: The pre-1994 versions had three small lights situated high above each family's nameplate that indicated the number of strikes a team had on any given question. For one set of Ray Combs-hosted episodes, the lights malfunctioned, so the team members were given "strike" graphics on sticks, which they would hold up any time they got a strike. These sticks were kept on for a few more weeks due to their usefulness, even after the lights had been fixed.
  • Troubled Production: Richard Dawson was constantly at odds with both Mark Goodson and show producer Howard Felsher, even barring the latter from the set. Goodson once remarked that Dawson gave him "tsoris" (Yiddish for "trouble").
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In a 2011 interview, Richard Dawson said that William Shatner had gotten a crack.
    • On the newsgroup alt.tv.game-shows, Geoff Edwards confirmed that he had been tapped to host the original Feud, but declined because at the time, he had a deal pending with Bob Stewart for what became Shoot for the Stars on NBC. Jack Narz was supposedly in the running at one point as well.
    • Joe Namath tried out for the revival that ended up being hosted by Ray Combs.
    • Dolly Parton did a pilot for what ended up being the 1999 revival, but didn't make the cut.
    • The original Ray Combs pilot from August 1987 contains a few — most notably, losses in Fast Money would've been $10 a point.