Family Feud Wiki
Richard Dawson
Johnny Olson (Pilot) 1975
Gene Wood 1976-1985
Sub Announcers
Rod Roddy
Johnny Gilbert
Family Feud 1976.jpg
Family Feud 1976 (B).jpg
ABC: 7/12/1976-6/14/1985
Syndicated: 9/19/1977-9/6/1985
Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (1976-1983)
Mark Goodson Productions (1983-1985)
Viacom Enterprises (1977-1985)

This is chronicling the classic 1976 version of Feud.

Game Format[]

Main Game[]


At the beginning of each round, two members of each family come up to the main podium and play a mini-round for control of the question called "Face-Off". The host announced how many answers are on the board (which are always in order based on popularity), and then read a survey question and the first player to buzz-in gets to answer. The player to give the number one answer or have his/her answer be higher than the other player's answer won control. In case of a tie (both answers with the same number of people who gave it) the player who answered first won control. If neither player gave an answer on the board, the players at the main podiums get a chance to answer for control. The player that won the Face-Off has a decision to either let his/her family play the question or pass the question to their opponents.

Main Question[]

The family that won the face-off earns control of the question. The controlling family's job is to reveal the remaining answers hidden on the board with each correct answer adding points to the bank above the board. The answer's value is determined by how many people who gave it. Each player on the controlling team in turn gave an answer and if the answer he/she gave is correct, it is flipped over and revealed. Revealing all the answers on the board won the round (this is classified as a "Clean Sweep"). Giving a wrong answer at any time earned a strike; getting three strikes caused the team to lose control of the question, giving the opposing family a chance to steal by giving one correct answer. A successful steal won the round, but an unsuccessful steal gave the round to the first family. The winners of the round took all the points in the bank.

Question Values[]

At first, the dollar values doubled after the second question. Beginning on March 2, 1979 on the daytime edition and by December 1977 on the nighttime edition, the dollar values doubled on the fourth question and tripled for each question thereafter. Beginning on March 16, 1979, the third question on the daytime edition also doubled its values. By December 1984, only the fifth question doubled the stakes.


The first family to reach a set number of points won the game. For most of this version, the goal is 300 points. From July 12, 1976 to March 2, 1979 (ABC daytime), early months in 1977-1985 syndicated version and pilot episode, the goal was 200 points; but in the final season of the Dawson run, the goal was set to 400 points. When the game takes too long to reach the 300/400 goal, Richard goes to the controlling family to tell them that each teammate has three seconds to answer once he reads the question to them during the TRIPLE Round. In 1981, each family would be guaranteed a "house minimum" of $100 which would increase to $250 by December 1982.

Lollipop Tree[]

Due to Dawson giving away boxes of lollipops to some of the studio audience members, a Lollipop Tree was introduced from March 2, 1983 all the way through June 14, 1985, where a tree of Tootsie pops was placed next to the fifth player on each team. If he/she chose a lollipop, and if it had a black stem on the bottom, the family won a $100 bonus, which did not affect the outcome of the game. (NOTE: Originally, only one Lollipop in each tree had a black stem, but within weeks, there were ten on both trees.)

Fast Money[]

The winning family went on to play Fast Money for a grand cash prize. The winning family chose which two players will play the game. The first family member stood at center stage while the second family member went off stage to a soundproof area. The first player has 15 seconds (later 20) to answer five Family Feud questions. He/she has to give the most popular answer to each question. When he/she was done, the answers were reveled on a different board followed by the number of people who gave them. After all the answers were revealed and scored, the second player came out and took his/her turn. The second player had 20 seconds (later 25) to answer the same five questions but with one exception: he/she cannot repeat any of the answers previously given by the first player or a double buzzer will sound, at which point the host says, "Try again." The contestant must give a different answer (the second player will also be charged for similar answers or an answer which fits into the same category as the first player's answer). When the second player was done, his/her answers were revealed and scored. The family wins $5 for each point made in the round, but if the two playing players reached 200 points or more, the family wins the grand cash prize.

Grand Cash Prizes[]

The grand cash prizes were different depending on the series:

  • Daytime Versions (1976-1985) - $5,000
  • Syndicated Versions (1977-1985) - $10,000



The concept of the show was inspired from the bonus round of another classic Goodson-Todman game show Match Game called the big money Supermatch (sometimes called "Audience Match").

In 1975, Before changing its name (and later its format) to Family Feud, the show was originally titled as Fast Company. (click on the title for details)

Richard Dawson was best known for starring in the 1965-71 CBS sitcom Hogan's Heroes as the wisecracking Royal Air Force Corporal Peter Newkirk.

Before Feud, Dawson hosted a revival of 1950's panel game Masquerade Party (under the Hatos-Hall brand) from 1974 until 1975. prior to this, he was also a frequent panelists on Match Game until 1978.

Two years after the show's cancellation in 1985, Dawson played as a sinisterly evil game show host named Damon Killian in the 1987 film (loosely based on the 1982 novel written by famed horror writer Stephen King) called The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger where convicted criminals (runners) must escape death at the hands of professional "killers".

In Popular Culture[]

Family Feud has been referenced, featured or spoofed in the following:

  • Playboy's Roller Disco & Pajama Party (1979) (TV Movie) - Richard Dawson mentions "Family Feud"
  • Mama's Family: Family Feud (1983) (TV Episode) - The sets, theme, and personnel of the show are featured prominently herein.
  • National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
  • Miami Vice: Brother's Keeper (1984) (TV Episode) - referenced by name
  • St. Elsewhere: Family Feud (1986) (TV Episode) - Title reference
  • Misery (1990)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Being from Another Planet (1992) (TV Episode) - Tom: "Dare we forget the now-classic 'Lost in Space' reunion on 'Family Feud'?"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Human Duplicators (1992) (TV Episode)- Tom: "Let's all play the 'Family Feud'!"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hercules (1993) (TV Episode) - Crow (as Richard Dawson): "Survey says: gluteus maximus!"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Warrior of the Lost World (1993) (TV Episode) - Joel: "And they're all here to play the 'Family Feud'!"
  • The Critic: Marty's First Date (1994) (TV Episode) - a poster advertises "Family Feud: The Movie"
  • Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (1994) (TV Movie) - Bert says, "Survey says, right answer!"
  • Sliders: Eggheads (1995) (TV Episode) - Opening question in "Mindgame" matches uses the same format as Family Feud.
  • Clueless (1995) - Cher says "Survey says" when asking Dionne's and Tai's opinions of a guy.
  • The Nanny: A Fine Family Feud (1995) (TV Episode) - Title reference
  • The Nanny: Shopaholic (1995) (TV Episode) - When the children play a guessing game and Grace states what the others think is the most correct answer, Maggie and Brighton clap and say "good answer, good answer" like on the game show.
  • Mallrats (1995)
  • Saturday Night Live: John Goodman/Everclear (1996) (TV Episode) - Title mentioned by Gary MacDonald
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Labels/Game Show/Fantastic Boyage (1997) (TV Episode) In "Game Show," the announcer says, "It's the game show where families feud!"
  • Dogma (1999) - Bartleby says "...survey says!!" during the Mooby board meeting
  • ER: Sins of the Fathers (1999) (TV Episode) - "Survey says..."
  • Freaks and Geeks: Tests and Breasts (1999) (TV Episode) "Cervix says" (a la "Survey says")
  • Family Guy: Da Boom (1999) (TV Episode) - The leader of the mob on the road challenges Peter with a Family Feud-style question.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Crush (2001) (TV Episode) - Buffy: "Unconfirmed reports of severe trauma to the throats of one or more of the victims. Survey says... vampire."
  • Bruce Almighty (2003)
  • Wonderland (2003) - In montage of TV Guide listings
  • Strongbad_email.exe (2004) (Video) - In "Invisibility", the buzzer sound and the line, "Survey says...", are both references to this game show.
  • Veronica Mars: Mars vs. Mars (2005) (TV Episode) - teacher plays Family Feud-like game in class
  • Jeopardy!: Episode #22.69 (2005) (TV Episode) - correct response in "Tough TV" category
  • Two Tickets to Paradise (2006) - mentioned in dialogue
  • Game K N B: Episode dated 12 October 2006 (2006) (TV Episode) - mentioned in the question.
  • The Darkroom (2006) - patient introduces himself as Richard Dawson and mentions this show
  • The Insatiable (2007) - after saying something rude, a co-worker says "Things an asshole might say. Things a douchebag might blurt out." and someone else says "Ding ding ding ding ding"
  • Mama's Boy (2007) - Referenced in Nora's song
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner (2008) (Video Game) - As Strong Bad deletes an email, he says, "Survey says... Deleted!"
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.40 (2008) (TV Episode) - Included in a $500 question
  • House M.D.: Saviors (2009) (TV Episode) - When House lists some items, Wilson replies "Things you use to make bratwurst."
  • Whip It (2009) - mentioned in dialogue
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.36 (2009) (TV Episode) - Subject of a $3,000 question
  • Castle: Love Me Dead (2009) (TV Episode) - Referenced in dialogue by Castle.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.89 (2010) (TV Episode) - Included in a $2,000 question
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Dancing with the Stars 2 (2010) (TV Episode) - Included in a $15,000 question
  • Huckabee: Episode dated 30 October 2010 (2010) (TV Episode) - "Federal Feud" segment based on the game show
  • Conan: A Renaissance Most Foul (2011) (TV Episode) - Conan O'Brien's tour guide at Madame Tussaud's mentions this game show
  • Arena (2011) (Video) - "Survey says"
  • Conan: Karate Kid 9: Return to Nun-Chuck Island (2011) (TV Episode) - Title mentioned while introducing tomorrow night's guests
  • Conan: The Pretty Girl Waving to Someone Behind You (2011) (TV Episode) - Title mentioned while introducing Steve Harvey
  • Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.17 (2012) (TV Episode) - Chelsea mentions the show by name.
  • American Dad!: Old Stan in the Mountain (2012) (TV Episode) - mentioned in dialogue
  • Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.84 (2012) (TV Episode) - The narrator uses the phrase "survey says" from the show.
  • Bones: The But in the Joke (2012) (TV Episode) - mentioned in song lyrics
  • The Office: Moving On (2013) (TV Episode) - "Survey says..."
  • Bob's Burgers: Family Fracas (2013) (TV Episode) - Mentioned in dialogue
  • Saturday Night Live: Ben Affleck/Kanye West (2013) (TV Episode) - Referenced by Stefon on Weekend Update
  • Melissa & Joey: Family Feud (2013) (TV Episode) - title reference
  • American Dad!: Familyland (2014) (TV Episode) - Mentioned in dialogue
  • How I Met Your Mother: Unpause (2014) (TV Episode) -The narrator infers that Richard Dawson continually kisses women.
  • Parks and Recreation: Anniversaries (2014) (TV Episode) - Andy says, "They're old people. They eat, they sleep, they complain, they watch 'Family Feud.'"
  • Please... Mr. Postman (1981)- Paul Thomas's character is watching it when his wife returns home.
  • Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) - TV's Funniest Game Show Moments (1984) (TV Special)
  • Moonlighting: Gunfight at the So-So Corral (1985) (TV Episode) - Instead of working David is watching this show when Maddie arrives.
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Just Visiting (2001)
  • I Love the '70s: 1976 (2003) (TV Episode)
  • Screenwipe: Screenwipe USA (2006) (TV Episode) - Clips shown.
  • Saturday Night Live: Steve Martin/Randy Newman, Dirt Band (1978) (TV Episode) - Spoofed in the Coneheads on Family Feud
  • Uncensored (1984) - Spoofed.
  • European Vacation (1985) - Spoofed.
  • Dinosaurs: Family Challenge (1991) (TV Episode) - The Sinclair family appears on a Family Feud-like show
  • Saturday Night Live: Christian Slater/Bonnie Raitt (1991) (TV Episode) - Spoofed as Dysfunctional Family Fued
  • Saturday Night Live: Game Show Parodies (2000) (TV Movie)
  • Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005) (Video) - The scene where Peter is shown as the host of "Family Feud" is a parody of the show.
  • Saturday Night Live: The Best of Dan Aykroyd (2005) (Video) - Spoofed in Conehead Family Fued
  • Family Guy: Stewie B. Goode (2006) (TV Episode) - Peter hosts Family Feud and feels up the women
  • Robot Chicken: Massage Chair (2006) (TV Episode) - Spoofed bloopers
  • Saturday Night Live: Ryan Reynolds/Lady Gaga (2009) (TV Episode) - Spoofed in Family Feud sketch
  • Family Guy: Big Man on Hippocampus (2010) (TV Episode) - The Griffins are contestants on the game show. Richard Dawson is host, and the original 1976 set, music and rules are used.
  • Mad: Pirates of the Neverland: At Wit's End/Batman Family Feud (2010) (TV Episode) - Batman goes on "Family Feud". (Batman Family Feud)
  • How I Met Your Mother: The Perfect Cocktail (2011) (TV Episode) - After Robin mentions Richard Dawson hosting the show, the scene moves to a spoof of the show in the bar.
  • Mad: S Cape from Planet Earth/The X-Mentalist (2013) (TV Episode) - Tube Feud is a spoof of this show.
  • The Dream Team (1989)
  • The Larry Sanders Show: Hey Now (1992) (TV Episode) - Larry meets Ray Combs
  • Family Guy: Big Man on Hippocampus (2010) (TV Episode) - The Griffins audition and appear on the TV game show, "Family Feud".
  • Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
  • GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012) - clip shown
  • Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin & Kim Basinger/UB40 (1994) (TV Episode) - Parodied in Family Feud skit
  • Saturday Night Live: Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue (2002) (TV Episode) - Mentioned on Weekend Update
  • Watching Ellie: Feud (2003) (TV Episode) - Ellie and her friends fake they were a family to win a holiday trip to Hawaii in this show
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.62 (2011) (TV Episode) - Chris Paul mentions that he was on the show with his family
  • Jeopardy!: Episode #28.154 (2012) (TV Episode) - Answer to question in category Game Shows
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.184 (2012) (TV Episode) - Jay describes the dispute in the Jackson family as an episode of the show
  • Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.25 (2013) (TV Episode) - Ryan mentions Steve Harvey hosting the show.
  • After Lately: Gay for Jiffy (2013) (TV Episode) - Chelsea and Jay Leno mention the show.
  • Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.86 (2013) (TV Episode) - Chelsea mentions the show by name.
  • Scrubs: My Two Dads (2001) (TV Episode) - In a fantasy sequence, J.D. appears as a contestant on "Family Feud."
  • Scrubs: My Night to Remember (2007) (TV Episode) - clip in fantasy sequence
  • Burn After Reading (2008) - Oswald is watching on TV
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.19 (2010) (TV Episode) - a clip from the show is shown during the Ross Report
  • Saturday Night Live: Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake (2013) (TV Episode) - Spoofed in the "Celebrity Family Feud" sketch

E! True Hollywood Story: Family Feud[]

On July 28, 2002, the E! network debuted the hour long documentary series on Feud, including the backstage tension that existed during first host Richard Dawson's reign; second host Ray Comb's tragic suicide; and third host Louie Anderson's personal problems. Interviews included in the episode features former producer Howard Felsher, director Paul Alter, Jonathan Goodson (CEO of Goodson Productions), contestant coordinator Beverly Pomerantz and author Mary Ann Norbom ("Richard Dawson and Family Feud").

Additional Note[]

The buzzers on the G$M episode of Family Feud's face-off podium were red where in the actual show they were yellow during the whole entire series, they were never red until the Combs version in 1988 and all other previous versions since then. Plus, the lights wiped-in rather than just plain flash.

Episode Status[]

All episodes exist.


That Feud Attitude @
Game Night: Family Feud @ This Was Tv
Family Feud @
Family Feud @ (via Internet Archive)
Kyle's Family Feud Dominion
The (1975) Pilot @ Brian's Game Show Amusement Park (via Internet Archive)
The 1976-1985 Version @ Brian's Game Show Amusement Park (via Internet Archive)