We asked one contestant what goes on behind the scenes of Family Feud. The top 15 or so answers are on the board. You said, "Penis" and then collapsed in a fit of giggles while host Steve Harvey mugged for the camera. Survey says...
Cole Simmons (aka Reddit user "notreallyslimshady") answered tons of questions about Feud during a Reddit AMA today. He introduced himself, saying, "I was on a four-episode stretch of Family Feud episodes that ran from Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, 2014. Of the three episodes we won, we won Fast Money on the second. In the end, we came out with about $22,000. We filmed in May 2013 but it took us 8 months to air."
Here is everything we learned. (It's worth pointing out that this is only how one contestant recalls his experience. Also, it's more fun to read this if you clap and yell, "Good answer, good answer" after reading each response.)
Were all your appearances shot on the same day?
Yes, all four episodes were shot in the same day. They said they shoot anywhere from four to six episodes in a day, depending on the week.
How many people are in the studio audience?
Not too many. Probably a hundred or so is my guess…The audience is just random fans. We didn't invite anyone we knew because there was still a chance we wouldn't film that day.
What is rehearsal like for a game show? Is it just a run through, or do they kind of script it?
They have a stand-in Steve Harvey (don't remember his name but he was pretty funny) and play a mock game with all of the lights, effects, etc...Everything is completely unscripted. Steve's jokes are made up on-the-fly.
Do you actually have to be a family?
Yes. I am pretty sure you have to provide proof. It was so long ago that I don't really remember.
What kind of snacks did they have backstage?
You arrive in the morning and they have a continental breakfast (coffee, juices, donuts, etc.)...After that, you get Subway subs for lunch, and then that's pretty much it. They filmed four episodes our day (and we were all four), and I think we got a snack after the third game while Steve ate dinner. It was a granola bar if I remember correctly.
Are you forced to clap and cheer for your own family member even if the answer is terrible? I feel as if the producers tell you to do that regardless of an answer.
When he looks down at the judges for clarification or when he has to ask a contestant to reword their answer, is it like 1 or 2 people or a whole panel of producers/judges?
Two people. Executive producers.
Is it harder to think when you are actually up on stage? My experience watching Family Feud on TV is that I feel I know all the answers while the contestants come up with stupid responses.
I actually found it somewhat easier. Maybe it just because I was just in the zone.
The Fine Print
Was the other family super black to balance out how incredibly white your family appears to be?
I always had a theory that they did that, and it turns out I was right. They do black vs. white whenever they can. Our fourth episode was white vs. white because they had flown that family in from either Oregon or Washington and didn't want to pay to keep them another night.
(Cole continued, saying he thinks it's, "To appeal to a wider audience.")
What do they use to prevent you from hearing the questions and answers during fast money?
You'd have to ask my sister, but I think ear muffs and they make sure you are looking away.
What did you do with your winnings? Do they tax much of it?
You don't get your winnings until 90 days after the show airs. It is automatically divided five ways. It will be subject to income tax...If you get the car, they just give you a car and you figure it out. If you take the cash equivalent, that is divided.
So since you won money, you can't be on other game show for 5 years right? Or does that not count since you weren't solo?
I'd have to revisit the contract, but I think it was 30 years...
How is Steve Harvey really?
He is an amazing guy. You don't really see him except for when the cameras are rolling because he has to change outfits in between the episodes. He is a lot shorter than I had imagined...Everyone that watches the episodes points out that we had a total bromance. He told me he was going to take me to Miami, but I am still waiting on that call...
What does Steve Harvey smell like?