Richard Karn

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Richard Karn
Richard Karn 2015.jpg
Richard Karn in 2015
Born Richard Karn Wilson
(1956-02-17) February 17, 1956 (age 60)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Game show host
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Tudi Roche (1985–present)
Children Cooper Andrew Wilson (b. 1992)
Parent(s) Louise Wilson
Gene Wilson

Richard Karn Wilson (born February 17, 1956) is an American actor and game show host. He is most well known for his co-starring role as Al Borland in the 1990s sitcom Home Improvement and his tenure as the host of Family Feud during the 2000s.

Early life[edit]

Karn was born Richard Karn Wilson in Seattle, Washington. Karn's father, Gene, was a Seabee who served in World War II. Richard graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington,[1] where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Karn also gained drama experience in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival.

After earning his drama degree in 1979, Karn moved to New York City. After less than one week, he was hired to do a commercial for Michelob beer that was featured during the 1980 Super Bowl. When he joined the Screen Actors Guild, he was informed there was already a Richard Wilson, so he dropped his last name.[2]

Show business career[edit]

In 1989, his wife Tudi convinced him that they should move to Los Angeles. He found a place for them to live by managing an apartment complex, and catered events at a Jewish synagogue on the side. After receiving a traffic citation, Karn attended a traffic school and sat beside an agent who told him about casting for the new television show called Home Improvement. The role of Al Borland had already been given to Stephen Tobolowsky, but when taping was scheduled, Tobolowsky was busy with another movie and the role had to be recast. Karn was a guest star in the pilot episode but became a regular cast member when the show was picked up by the network.[2][3]

In 2002, Karn replaced Louie Anderson as the fourth host of the game show Family Feud. Karn left Family Feud in 2006 and was replaced by John O'Hurley.

In 2002, Karn also made an appearance in The Strokes' music video for "Someday", which featured segments of the band on a fictional showing of Family Feud against the band Guided by Voices.

On October 6, 2008, Karn replaced Patrick Duffy as host of Game Show Network's Bingo America.[4] Karn was also a substitute host on GSN Radio.

In 2015, Karn hosted an informational do-it-yourself television program titled "You Karn Fix It Yourself". The show focused primarily on simple household tasks and home-improvement projects. The show ran 6 episodes on truTV during the fall season.

In April 2016, it was announced that "You Karn Fix It Yourself" would not be renewed for a second season.

Selected filmography[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Picture Perfect George Thomas
1997 Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy Brice Renard
2000 The Pooch and the Pauper Agent Dainville
2001 MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate Ollie Plant
2002 Sex and the Teenage Mind Stanley Heitmeyer
2002 Reality School Victor Cayanne
2002 Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch Patrick
2006 Air Buddies Patrick
2006 Mr. Blue Sky John
2008 Snow Buddies Patrick
2011 Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury Bill Witherspoon
2014 A Daughter's Nightmare Cameron "Cam" Morgan

TV series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991-1999 Home Improvement Al Borland 202 episodes
1995 Boy Meets World Victor 1 episode
1996 WOW! The Most Amazing Acts on Earth Host
1998 Foot Soldier Host / narrator
2001 That '70s Show Theo 1 episode
2002-2006 Family Feud Host
2008 Dirt Holt McLauren's Father 1 episode
2008-2009 Bingo America Co-Host
2010 True Jackson, VP Fire Marshal O'Dannon 1 episode
2013 Last Man Standing Bill McKendree 2 episodes


  • House Broken: How I Remodeled My Home for Just Under Three Times the Original Bid (1999) – ISBN 0-06-105144-6 (with George Mair)
  • Handy at Home: Tips on Improving Your Home from America's Favorite Handyman (2002) – ISBN 0-312-30606-7 (with George Mair)


  1. ^ Marmor, Jon: "Richard Karn" UW Alumni Magazine, September 1995
  2. ^ a b Lipton, Michael A.: "No Mere Putterer" People magazine, June 12, 1995
  3. ^ Schwed, Mark: "This Handyman's Special" TV Guide, December 17, 1994
  4. ^ Davis, Alex. "Richard Karn is New Host of 'Bingo America'", 22 August 2008.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Louie Anderson
Host of Family Feud
Succeeded by
John O'Hurley