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Signoffs - Classic Series Finales

"God bless all the children of the world"" - The final words of game show host Richard Dawson as he ended an nine year run on the popular game show FAMILY FEUD/SYN/1976-85.

Richard Dawson - FAMILY FEUD

The show's announcer 'opened each show saying" On your marks! Let's start "THE FAMILY FEUD!" With the star of "Family Feud", RICHARD DAWSON!"

The entire closing statement from his July 12, 1985 departure follows:

"The Mackans were our final winning family, and they won $5,504 and I'm proud of 'em.

I've had the most incredible luck in my career. I've done lots and lots of jobs, and I've never, ever had a job like "Family Feud".

've never dreamed I would ever have a job where so many people could touch me and I could touch them. And it was a great magic about this show that I've never seen on any other show.

I want to publicly acknowledge Howard Felsher, who is our Executive Producer. He was a producer in the beginning of this show, and he helped steer and guide the way that we went.

And he and I fall a lot of times, but I tell you that he's important and I should acknowledge him, because he's the one, with me, that, we said, "Let anybody come on this show, anyone that can play this game, no matter what color or creed, no matter if they're in a wheelchair or they have no sight."

And we've had anybody on this show, and he was very, very important in that and I acknowledge and thank him for it.

I thank my crew, and I thanked my director already. I had the best staff you've ever dreamed of. You can't...and you don't have to dream of them, 'cause I'm gonna take them with me.

Even if I never work again, they'll just be near me. They are so special and wonderful. ABC, Jackie Smith, Polly Welkman, Joe C. Alba; they kept us on the air probably a year more than they should have, 'cause we weren't really helping them.

You know, our ratings weren't that good, and they were so great. They married themselves carrying us, and I love them for that, not that I wanted to hurt 'em, 'cause I love 'em.

They were good people. There were people I know that got upset that I kiss people; I kiss them for luck and love, that's all. That's what my mother did to me.

There were people upset that I would embrace or have someone of a different color.

The first time I ever saw people of any color was when D-Day left from my hometown in England, to go and free Europe in the war. And there was every color you could imagine, and I'd not seen that in England. And I'd asked my mother about it; I said, "Is there something wrong?" She said, "God...God makes people. You understand that, don't you?" And I said, "Yeah!" She said, "Who makes a rainbow?" I said, "God." She said, "I never presumed to tell anyone who could make a rainbow what color to make children." And she changed my whole life with that statement.

All I can tell you is, this has been the very special 9 years of my life! If I never do another thing, I've met the good, sweet people of the world.

So I leave you, with love, and for the little girl that, 9 years ago, I first signed to - I guess she's 13, now - I'll think of you every day. God bless all the little children in the world. Thank you."


In 1994, the syndicated version of FAMILY FEUD brought back Richard Dawson to replace Ray Combs as host for the show. On June 2, 1996 Ray Combs committed suicide - he hanged himself in the closet of his hospital room during a 72-hour mental observation in the psychiatric ward of Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

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