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Category:    Home > Reviews > Game Show > Compilation > Comedy > All Star Family Feud (Richard Dawson Era/BCI DVD Collection)

All Star Family Feud (Richard Dawson Era/BCI DVD Collection)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B



After back to back hits with Hogan’s Heroes and Match Game (1973, both reviewed elsewhere on this site) where he was always a highlight, Richard Dawson became a TV favorite to many and Game producer/genius Mark Goodson realized Dawson was dominating the big money segments so much that he eventually found a game show he thought would be a great idea for Dawson to do.  Instead of a spinoff and even staying on the same network, Goodson sold Family Feud to ABC and it became and remains one of the biggest daytime hits in TV history.


Not only has it survived with three new hosts and even a return of Dawson at one point, but the current revival survived the scandal of one host and adjusted to another.  However, it is the Dawson era that is unbeatable and along with so many amusing special shows and weekly sets of real families battling for the bucks, the best shows he made were special charity shows with big TV stars from big TV shows that only he was able to land.  Aired during the critical rating sweeps period, All Star Family Feud was not just a gimmick, but great game show entertainment and now looking at the shows on DVD from BCI Eclipse, they turned out to offer some of the greatest moments of TV comedy and classic moments with the casts of some of the greatest TV shows ever made.


Seeming more like a dream sequence on Family Guy than something that actually happened, Dawson and Goodson had the hit, connections and clout to bring some great casts together, resulting in some happy accidents, many howler moments and some classic times that have out of circulation for far too long.  Here are the shows whose casts turned up for the game:


All My Children




The Brady Bunch


Dukes Of Hazzard

Eight Is Enough


General Hospital

Gilligan’s Island

It’s A Living

The Jeffersons

Leave It To Beaver

Love Boat

One Day At A Time

Petticoat Junction

Real People

The Ropers


Three’s Company

The Waltons

Welcome Back Kotter

What’s Happening

WKRP In Cincinnati

Your Hit Parade



Seeing these original casts, especially in cases where awful feature films have been made, suggested or are sadly planned, you can see why making entertaining TV hits into features is a losing, idiotic idea from the start.  These shows are about chemistry and in all cases, you can see the chemistry did not end when a given episode was finished shooting.  If anything, it shows us how much fun we’d been missing behind the scenes.


We will not tell you who take son who because that would be giving away the suspense of the games, but we guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  There are also some great theme shows to mix things up.  One is heroes versus villains, another is Hollywood Studio System Heaven with stars who have stars on the Wall of Fame liker Keenan Wynn, Cesar Romero, Betty White and Dorothy Lamour among others.  Another is an ironic send-up of the eliteness of beauty dubbed Battle Of The Perfect 10s which shot down the trend (without realizing it) of the “new standards” inspired by Blake Edwards hit film “10” with Bo Derek.  The show has so much heart and soul, but never did it show it more than here.


That is why this is one of the biggest classic TV surprises on DVD in a while and one set we highly recommend.



The 1.33 X 1 image is clean but a little faded throughout, which is a shame since these copies are so clean.  Still, you even get opening ends that might not have been broadcast before the shows kicked into high gear.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is better, sounding as cleaner than ever, but it is dated a bit.  However, the audio is better for its time than you’d expect.  Stills on the fourth disc are the only extras, but boy, did I wish there were audio commentary track from the guests and Dawson’s family.  Hope we see another set soon.


For more great game show classics from BCI, try this great Match Game set:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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