Richard Karn

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Richard Karn
Richard Karn 2015.jpg
Karn in 2015
Richard Karn Wilson

(1956-02-17) February 17, 1956 (age 63)
OccupationActor/game show host
Years active1979–present
Spouse(s)Tudi Roche (1985–present)
ChildrenCooper Andrew Wilson (b. 1992)
Parent(s)Louise Wilson
Gene Wilson

Richard Karn Wilson (born February 17, 1956) is an American actor and former game show host. He is best known for his co-starring role as Al Borland in the 1990s sitcom Home Improvement and his tenure as the fourth host of Family Feud from 2002 to 2006.

Early life[edit]

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

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

Show business career[edit]

In 1989, his wife Tudi convinced him to move to Los Angeles. He found a place for them to live by managing an apartment complex, catering events at a Jewish synagogue on the side.[citation needed] 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 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.[citation needed]

In 2002, Karn 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.[citation needed]

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

Karn did commercials for Orchard Supply Hardware in the 1990s.[citation needed]



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: 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
2013 Gordon Family Tree Perry Merrow[5]
2014 A Daughter's Nightmare Cameron "Cam" Morgan
2017 Horse Dancer Jerry
2017 F the Prom Murphy Datner


Year Title Role Notes
1991–1999 Home Improvement Al Borland 202 episodes
1995 Boy Meets World Victor Episode: "This Little Piggy"
1996 WOW! The Most Amazing Acts on Earth Host
1996 Chariots of the Gods? The Mysteries Continue Host
1998 Foot Soldier Host / narrator
2000 Recess Edmund P. Edmonton Episode: "Beyond a Reasonable Scout"
2001 That '70s Show Theo Episode: "Bye Bye Basement"
2002–2006 Family Feud Host
2008 Dirt Holt McLauren's Father Episode: "Ties That (Don't) Bind"
2008 Biz Kid$ Himself 2 episodes
2008–2009 Bingo America Co-Host
2010 True Jackson, VP Fire Marshal O'Dannon Episode: "My Boss Ate My Homework"
2013 Last Man Standing Bill McKendree 2 episodes
2014 A Perfect Christmas List Tim T.V. Movie
2017 Detroiters Himself Episode: "Quick Rick Mahorn in Dearborn"
2017 The Bold and the Beautiful Judge Jon Oplinger 2 episodes
2019 PEN15 Fred Peters 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, 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'", Buzzer Blog, 22 August 2008. Archived 25 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^

External links[edit]

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