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Lifespan: July 1976 - June 1985, July 1988 - September 1995, September 1999 - Present Hosts: Richard Dawson (1976-85, 94-95), Ray Combs (1988-94), Louie Anderson (1999-)
Announcers: Gene Wood, Art James, Rod Roddy, Burton Anderson
Produced by: Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions (1976-1985), Mark Goodson Productions (1988-1995), Pearson Television (1999-)

Front Game Rules (1976 version)

Two players face off for control Two families with five players compete. One member of each team faced each other in a face-off as Dawson read a question posed to 100 people. The team that buzzed in with the most popular answer received control of the board and had the option of playing or passing control to the other team. Each member of the family then tried to supply answers to the question in the hopes that they are found on the board. If they are, money is added to the bank. If not, the team receives a Strike. Once the family gets three Strikes, the other team then can steal the value of the bank by giving one of the remaining answers on the board. The first team to reach 300 dollars wins the game and advances to Fast Money. Dollar values double on the fourth question and triple on each question thereafter. Strike two!

Front Game Rules (1988 version)

The updated set for 1988 The rules of the Ray Combs version stayed pretty much the same, only that the play/pass option was taken out. Later in the run, each family member took part in a game at the opening that would determine how much money the family would try for in Fast Money. Players were read a question and the one who got the #1 answer would have a certain amount added to their bank (They started with $5K each). At the same time, the game was condensed so that the first question was of normal value, the second question was worth double and all subsequent questions were triple value. Let's play Bullseye!

Front Game Rules (1999 version)

Two more players face off The rules of the current version are again similar. The play/pass rule has returned. In the first three rounds, the questions are of normal value, while the fourth question is for triple points. Only in the fourth round, the team loses control with only one Strike. The team with the most points is the winner. The triple-value board

End Game Rules (All versions)

No pressure... no pressure... In the end game, two members of the winning family take part, with one on stage and the other isolated offstage. The host reads a set of survey questions to the first player in 15 seconds. After five questions, they turn around and see how many people said each answer ("Survey SAID!"). After the recap, the second player is brought out and asked the same five questions in 20 seconds. Duplicate answers are not allowed. If the family reaches a total of 200 points, the family wins $5000, $10,000, or the amount in their bank, depending on the run. Otherwise, they score $5 a point.

In the final year of the 90's run as well as the current version, the time limits were upped to 20/25 seconds.

Someone playing Fast Money in '99


Richard Dawson was tapped to host FF after his work as a regular panelist on Match Game. Within a couple of years, FF would eclipse MG in the ratings. This caused Dawson to become more and more difficult to work with as his ego grew to proportions similar to mine. He even went so far as to bar the producer of MG from the set of FF. Dawson quit as a panelist in '78, when the Star Wheel (which randomly selected a partner for the final question) apparently crashed Richard's turf. After FF closed up shop in '85, Dawson was essentially blacklisted from any offers. He wouldn't resurface until after Mark Goodson's death.

Ray Combs' career stalled after the CBS version of FF was cancelled. His only other hosting job was "Family Challenge" on the Family Channel in 1995. He committed suicide on June 1, 1996.

Loogaroo Looks it Over

The ultimate survey show. Hard to believe that before this show hit the air, surveys were rarely used as a form of questioning. It's unsurprising, though, that once FF became a hit that so many more survey shows were rolled out. Still, this one ranks at the top. The gameplay was fantastic; it ranks just below TPIR and WWTBAM as the best play-along show there is. All of the hosts have a talent for making humor out of seemingly unfunny situations.

However, as the years rolled on, FF became less and less entertaining. The original version remains the best; the off-camera doings of Dawson are all that preclude a perfect score for the first run. When the show returned in '88, it lost some of its homey feel and Ray Combs wasn't as comfortable with the game, although he did do a respectable job. The current version has two glaring faults: No returning champions, and the rules for the final round, which makes the first three rounds completely unnecessary.

Family Feud (Dawson version)

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 9 pts.

Family Feud (Combs version)

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 8 pts.

Family Feud (Anderson version)

Gameplay: 2 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 6 pts.

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