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End of an Era - RIP Richard Dawson

It was a very sad day this last Sunday when I learned of the passing of Richard Dawson. You have to understand, for many years this man was my idol.

Many readers might not understand how this British-born actor could be considered an idol. Maybe you aren't familiar with his work and all that the man accomplished in his 79 years. Well friends, let me tell you why I used to think the Rich Dawg was the man...

It was 1976 when Family Feud debuted on national TV. The premise of the game show was simple; two families would play head to head in a guessing game over survey questions. Dawson was the emcee of the show and helped push it to the number 1 daytime show for a while and kept that game show running until 1985.

During those beautiful 9 years, Richard had an array of celebrities on the show and because of his popularity he became the highest paid game show host of his day. On top of all that, Dawson also had years of television shows under his belt including Hogan's Heroes.

But that is not why he was my idol. No, Colin Lionel Emm, who became Richard Dawson was my idol because he was the first mack daddy of television while he hosted the Feud. Richard was styling and profiling in his well tailored suits (being a dapper Brit). He kept his sideburns low, a flower in his lapel, and his hands on every female contestant that played the game.

Dawson was kissing, hugging, and holding every hot woman who stepped on that stage back in the day. He did it with such style that you couldn't help but idolize the man for being a complete dawg and totally getting away with it day after day. Heck, he met his second wife on the show (she was a contestant). It was estimated that by 1985 he had kissed about 20,000 female contestants.

At the time Dawson was quoted as saying, "I kissed them for luck and love, that's all." Yeah, he was a playa.

Richard did stand-up, was a boxer, cut an album, won an Emmy, and even had that crappy role in The Running Man with Arnie. What couldn't he do? Sadly, defeat cancer.

But I won't shed a tear for Dawson. No, I will proudly remember the way he wore his sunglasses during tapings, kissed Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, and suited up daily to entertain people. Goodbye Richard Dawson, you were truly one of a kind.