Family Feud has been on as long as I can remember. I watched it as a kid, I watched it as a teen, I watched in my early 20’s and I watched it last night. That said, I never really gave a shit about. In fact, I never though about it until one day I was at a friends house. This friend was one of those dudes who never had cable. It’s not something I every considered much but only having the basic networks will force a persons hand. He knew about all the judge shows and game shows. He knew when they came on and he knew which ones were worth your time. Without question, Family Feud was hi favorite. He’s spring to his feet to turn it on like “Oh, shit, the feud is on!”. To me, a man who’s had cable forever, I was like “What the fuck are you even babbling about?”. But , after a few rounds, I got it. This was decades ago but it left it’s mark on me for sure.
Let’s be honest, Family Feud is a dumb game show for families. In the past, it was hosted by a variation of smiling men who later would prove to be insanely depressed or crazy. Behind the scenes, there was lots of sadness and despair. A few suicides, Lots of drinking, and even more forced mouth kissing. But this isn’t about that. Admittedly, when those era’s were happening, I wasn’t tuned in much. Same goes for the later “Let’s clean up our image” years, where they got people like Joey Fatone from N’ Sync and the white haired guy from Seinfeld to host. Fuck those years. As far as I’m concerned, Family Feud has two golden eras. The louie Anderson years and the current version with Steve Harvey.
Louie Anderson was a lovable fat comedian who clearly hated himself. He wasn’t pretty to look at and he seemingly didn’t get along with other people. It’s because of this that his seasons were so good. Unlike former hosts who bought a certain sexual energy to the table, Louie bought a eunuch vibe mixed with a man who had clearly thrown in the towel. While this may sound awful in theory, let’s also remember, he was a comedian in 80’s. Those were some dark souls. So, the dynamic of the show was a dark soul dealing with the most wide eyed and stupid families you could find on this planet. In that era, the Feud was noticeably more white. To be honest, the racial element of the feud has become one of it’s greatest assets but I’ll get to that later.
Louie was fun. He was subtly patronizing but kept on his game face enough that it never got fully out of hand. It should also be noted that louie had one of the least “made for tv” voices ever and he was seemingly drunk as fuck very often. Like, he would lean on contestants in order to not fall over. That’s so real.
Louie was great but, as far as I’m concerned, his years were not the golden era. No, we are living in the golden era. The Steve Harvey Era. It shocks me as much as it shocks you. For one, Steve harvey is the worst, right? His stand up is terrible, his movies/books about dating make me wanna castrate myself and bleed all over tyler perry. But, for some reason, his work as the host of Family Feud is flawless. I don’t know if it’s his temperament or his ability to get along with various kinds of people but he is the perfect host. He’s funny and not in a corny way. Like , I actually like him as a person after watching the show. Huge suits and all.
In my eyes, what has made the show so great in it’s newest incarnation is not just Harvey. It’s the guests and the questions. It’s as if Harvey came along and they decided “We should make Family feud a loving and enjoyable race war every week…”. So, where they might have had two Blonde, huge toothed WASPS families named “The smiths” and “The Walters” in 1988, They’ve gone a new , awesome direction. They strictly pull from two pools. The whitest of all white families (no jews allowed) where mothers have names like “pepper” and the god fearing is palpable OR the most amazing southern black families where mothers have names like “Expedition” and the grandma is always the horniest person in the room. Also, lots of god fearing.
They pit these two unfathomably different (yet secretly quite similar) family types against one another and the result is pure bliss. Steve is especially in heaven cause he’s running circles around them. Both family types are dumb enough to make it interesting but just smart enough to drop jewels on occasion.
And the questions! While , back in the day, a question like “Name a type of bird you see in a park” might have been expected, the new version has embraced that viral clips can fuel a fan base. So, they set them up to either mess up or say outlandish shit. Specifically, sexual stuff said by old women or creepy dads. The trolling and baiting is in full effect. Add on Steve Harvey patiently egging them on and you have what is known as TV magic.
So, i would like to honor this unsung hero of game shows today. My hats off to you! Here is a compilation of great moments to bring it all home. God bless you, Steve harvey’s family Feud.