Welcome to the Member Contributions page. The reason I started this page was to allow other people to submit some stuff to the site. If you have a commentary about Richard (or a Richard-related topic like Match Game, Family Feud, Hogan's Heroes, The Running Man, etc.), or a drawing or something, and you'd like to see it posted here, just drop me an eMail with what you wanna say, and I'll gladly put it up.
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Laura's Family Feud Richard Drawing
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Laura's Hogan's Heroes Richard Drawing
Excerpt from Hearts In Atlantis
"'Who said 'He who does not learn from the past is condemned to repeat it?'"
"Richard Dawson, the host of Family Feud."
RD Outshines All The Other Former Heroes -
RD clearly outshines all former Hogan's Heroes alummi. His charm and charisma plus his high standard of professionalism have made him an icon over the decades.
While the other former Heroes did achieve success in many ways on and off camera, it is RD who is the true star. Though many HH fans have been disappointed that RD does not and never has participated in HH conventions and reunions, one should not look upon this as snobbery, but clearly as a way of not having to fall back on past achievements.
Charming and hardworking as a Game Show host, also outshining all Game Show hosts before and after him. It was Family Feud that made him a star, but it was RD's wit, charm, and take no BS attitude that has made him a lasting icon, with popularity almost rising above cult proportions even into his retiring years.
Katie Pirkle--Game Show Network Lead for 8-24-01
Tentative Title: Survey Says! Game Show Network is a Winner!
The answer: This is where you can find dozens of the most popular televised game shows from the past five decades.
What is Game Show Network, Alex?
Ding, ding, ding!
Game Show Network, channel 161 on digital cable, is a unique and exciting network. It consists entirely of game shows, both classic and new. Some of the classics include “Family Feud,” “Password,” “The Newlywed Game” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.”
The network’s motto is “Why just watch when you can play,” one of the main reasons why it is an extremely popular channel. Viewers don’t have to just sit back and go brain dead in front of the TV. Since Game Show Network is an interactive television station, it gives viewers the option to play along with their favorite shows, answering survey and trivia questions and playing other games.
The worst thing about the network is that it is highly addictive. For some bizarre reason, old shows from the ‘70s have an enticing quality that keeps viewers coming back for more. Many a person has become hooked on the witty repertoire between Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers, two middle-rung celebrities from the ‘70s that most college-aged people have never even heard of, on “Match Game.”
This has a lot to do with what could be called the “kitsch factor.” There’s something magnetic about watching people dressed in lime green leisure suits, walking on orange shag carpeting and making fools of themselves on national television that makes you laugh and feel reassured that you are not as dense as the people you‘re watching. “Saved by the Bell” lets you laugh at how stupid the fashions from the early ‘90s were, like Slater’s Z-Cavaricci’s, and wonder why they would have a ho-down for their prom. On the same token, watching Game Show Network lets you laugh at people answering the question “Name a member of the ape family” with “panda bear.”
Three of the most popular shows on Game Show Network are “Family Feud,” hosted by Richard Dawson from 1976 to 1985 and Ray Combs from 1985 to 1993, “Match Game,” hosted by Gene Rayburn and featuring Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers and Richard Dawson as regular panel members, and “The Newlywed Game,” hosted by Bob Eubanks. All three shows are on multiple times every day of the week, including one hour blocks of each show every day. All three shows were very popular during their original runs, but are just as well-known and liked now as they were in the ‘70s and ‘80s thanks to Game Show Network.
There are literally dozens of other shows that come on every day to entertain and amuse viewers. The network features all three “Pyramid” shows hosted by Dick Clark, “The $10,000 Pyramid,” “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.” Dick Clark is an annoyingly fake host, giving a hearty chortle as he makes his entrance for every show, but the shows are fun and very easy to play along with. It’s not only fun to play along with the game, itself, but it’s fun to play a related game which involves trying to guess who the “celebrities” are and what they did in 1986 to be considered so, since you’ve never seen them before. Playing “Where Are They Now?” is also an amusing game to play during commercial breaks.
“Password,” a show from the ‘60s hosted by Betty White’s husband Allen Ludden (who died in 1981), and it’s two spin-offs “Password Plus,” also hosted by Ludden, and “Super Password,” hosted by Burt Convy of “Win, Lose or Draw” fame, are also shown every week day. The “Password” games are basically predecessors of the “Pyramid” games.
Game Show Network also features the newest edition of “Hollywood Squares,” hosted by Tom Bergeron, “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” “Rock & Roll Jeopardy,” two versions of “Card Sharks,” hosted by both Bob Eubanks of “The Newlywed Game” and Jim Perry of “$ale of the Century,” and many more shows, some well-known, some forgotten over time.
Another feature of Game Show Network is that it has its own new, original shows. Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains”) hosts a new version of a ‘70s program called “Three’s a Crowd,” appropriately titled “The New Three’s a Crowd.” Todd Newton, sometime host of E!’s “Talk Soup,” hosts “Hollywood Showdown,” a low-difficulty Hollywood trivia game with trivia that should be answered easily by any astute fifth-grader who watches TV, but features contestants who apparently didn’t make it that far in school.
“Inquizition,” hosted by the anonymous and malevolent “Inquizitor,” is a fast-paced general trivia show that makes you wonder if the British copied off an American TV show idea for once, instead of vice versa, when they created “The Weakest Link.”
The newest of the original shows is “Mall Masters,” an inane trivia show hosted by Chris Harrison, which challenges contestants to match opinions of shoppers in the Mall of America.
The original shows are the weakest part of the network. The questions are insanely easy at most points, the hosts, with the exception of Newton, don’t have the same panache as the old hosts, and basically the shows aren’t as interesting or inviting as the older shows on the network.
The hosts of the old shows are another reason to tune into Game Show Network. Hosts today don’t seem to have the same wit and attitude as those from the old shows. Hosts like Gene Rayburn, Richard Dawson and Ray Combs could ad lib and converse with contestants easily, but best of all, had no problem looking contestants right in the face and telling them that they were going to lose or saying something just plain stupid. Hosts today are too fake, from David Ruprecht’s constantly-cheerful facial expressions on “Supermarket Sweep” (PAX) to Anne Robinson’s excessively evil and obviously pre-written comments on “The Weakest Link” (NBC).
One thing that could make Game Show Network even better would be more variety with shows. The shows on the network are fun for the most part, but many are boring, stupid or over-played. Most of the original shows could be scrapped, along with the extra 2,000 episodes of “Match Game” and “The Newlywed Game” on every day. One or two episodes per day would be enough.
There’s an obvious lack of classic ‘80s game shows that college-aged people remember from their childhoods. The ‘70s are covered, but what of TV shows like “Press Your Luck,” also known as “the game with the whammies,” hosted by Peter Tomarken from 1983-1986? Where is the plunger action from Chuck Woolery’s 1984-90 show “Scrabble?” I demand re-runs of “The Price is Right” from when Bob Barker still had black hair, the second version of “Hollywood Squares” hosted by John Davidson and staring superstars like Jm J. Bullock and Shadoe Stevens, and shows hosted by a man named Wink (Martindale) like “The New Tic-Tac-Dough” and “High Rollers.” “$ale of the Century” was a classically cheesy game show from the mid ‘80s that seemed to disappear, along with Alex Trebek’s other show “Classic Concentration.”
Game Show Network has its programming flaws, but is still probably one of the most interesting, addicting and amusing networks on television. Game shows challenge viewers with various games. They provide comic relief with fun hosts, stupid contestants, horrible fashions and hideous sets from decades past. Most importantly, they are a fun escape from the barrage of reality shows on TV.
I was hanging out with my bub, Christina, and was talking with her and her mom about Drew, which is Christina's step dad. Her mom got into something about the "Gong Show", but I really didn't listen to her about it because I hate the show, but then she started to go into game show hosts, which finally lead to "Family Feud". Drew, or his father, or some really close people in his family tried out for the the Feud, and won the game you do before you get on the show. But the Conroy's never went on the air because or there lack of personally and excitment and so on. I just read the part about your site that if anyone had any FF stories to send them in. So I did.
Richard Dawson was and is one of the funniest tv personalities out there. One of the most intriguing things about Richard was the many different "sides" of Richard that we've seen.
On Hogan's Heroes, we got to see a small sampling of Richard's talent, but only so small because this series was an ensemble cast, most of the stories revolved around Hogan, but Richard on occasion was the center of the action.
Although Richard may not acknowledge it, without Match Game, he'd be nothing. From 1973-1977, Richard's antics got funnier and funnier as the show progressed, and his contributions to the show were crucial to the show's success. He also seemed genuinely interested in the contestants (especially the females, since he was single through most of MG's run), which may have influenced the decision to let him have his own game show.
Family Feud gave Richard more time in the limelight, but the success of Feud went to Richard's head. By late 77, Feud's ratings were surpassing MG. Richard's ego inflated to the point where he was becoming more difficult to work with. Around very late 77, Richard began to lose interest in Match Game. He apparently wanted out of MG by this point, but contractual obligations forced him to stay.
Fans of Match Game saw Richard's involvement with MG decrease. He wasn't joking around as much, and as the series progressed he became more and more bored. Unfortunately, Richard decided to take further action to get him released from his MG duties early.
By late April of 78, Richard was never the same person again. At this point, Richard barely spoke at all, except to reveal his answers. Whenever he did speak, it was in a low, cold voice. He stopped looking directly into the camera, and worse, rarely, if ever, smiled. He did joke on rare occasions, but his delivery was so uninspired, the jokes came across as smart alecky comments rather than good natured joking.
The staff was very much aware that Richard was unhappy, and the producers would play backgammon (which Richard LOVES to play) with him in an effort to lift up his spirits, but had little success in keeping him happy.
Gene, too, would sometimes try to get Richard involved in a funny situation, but Richard often gave him the cold shoulder. Once, when Gene tried to get Richard to smile, Gene had to literally strangle him before Richard finally smiled.
I think, deep down, Gene Rayburn felt sorry for Richard. Gene and Richard go as far back as I've Got a Secret in 1972. It's very sad that Richard's apathy for Match Game lost the respect of many of the MG regulars and semi-regulars. Gene, however, found a way to work around Richard, and CNR and Brett made a larger effort to be funny to compensate for Richard's lackluster performance.
On Family Feud, however, it was business as usual. Richard was still his usual loveable self, but when Howard Felscher became executive producer, Howard insisted that the Feud have more gameplay, and less joking. As a result, the game went to 300 points instead of 200. Richard had frequent quarrels with Howard on the joke material for Feud. One thing Howard didn't want Richard to do was to crack jokes about Nixon. Late in the run, Howard decided that Richard was getting too carried away with his antics, and expanded the game further to 400 points. This meant that many of Richard's shenanigans were edited out, which infuriated Richard. By the end of Feud's run, Richard was noticably crankier, sometimes appearing drunk.
On one occasion, later in the 78 run, Gene acknowledged Richard's winning an emmy for best daytime host. Richard seemed genuinely pleased that Gene would congratulate him despite what he put Gene through in the last several months.
On September 78, the producers finally decided to let Richard go. By this point, Richard was so miserable, and surely some concerned fans noticed, and wrote to ask what was wrong.
When Richard returned to Feud in 94, his inflated ego was non-existent. Howard Felscher was no longer involved with Feud, instead Richard's son Gary was the executive producer. Richard was now MUCH happier, with a 4 year old daughter to care for, and he stopped smoking, which he credited his daughter was a large influence. In an interview, Richard said that he and Shannon were playing in the pool when Richard climbed out to smoke a cigarette. Shannon said "Daddy... the more you smoke, the less time you'll have to play with me..." That innocent comment really struck Richard, and he stopped smoking since. Also, Family Feud was now an hourlong show, which Richard loved, because that meant more joking around.
Unfortunately, Richard's return to Feud was not as well recieved by the public as expected. While Richard was terrific and funny on the Feud, fans used to Ray Combs were alienated by Richard, who looked older and heavier than he did on the original Feud. Also, Feud's set got an unusual makeover. The original set gave Feud a "country" feel to it, but Feud's new set looked like a spaceship. To top it off, the stakes on Feud were drastically cheapened. The first half had maximum stakes of $7000 (minimum of $2500), while the second half had a slightly more promising $14,000 maximum (minimum of $5000).
Richard's return to Feud, however, did give Richard's career a nice happy ending (unless he appears in another movie or TV show).
I've always liked RD... and thrilled with the 94 FF. Unfortunately, channel 9 in NYC only carried the second half hour... they piggybacked it with Doug Davidson's TPIR.
I just got GSN on my cable (Comcast) in March. GSN is in the process of airing MG78 from that spring. I notice a few interesting things... first, when Gene Rayburn came back from China, RD was in a very good mood the entire week. It must have been after a two-weekend break from taping. That taping had to have been a Saturday.
Two weekends later when they taped, it was that Sunday's taping when the "refusing to smile" incident happened.
Another reason he was probably in a subpar mood was the weather in '78... he & Gene made a few references on MG to problems at his house due to constant heavy rains in California that winter. He commented that his house had changed zip codes twice. Toss that in with a seven-day work week every other week, and probably five-day the rest, and I could understand why he wanted off MG.