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Richard Karn
Karn in 2015
Richard Karn Wilson

(1956-02-17) February 17, 1956 (age 67)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Washington
  • Actor
  • author
  • game show host
Years active1989–present
(m. 1985)

Richard Karn (born Richard Karn Wilson; February 17, 1956)[1] is an American actor, author and former game show host. He starred as Al Borland in the ABC series Home Improvement and as Fred Peters in the Hulu series Pen15. Karn was also the fourth host of Family Feud, hosting the show from 2002 to 2006.

Early life

Richard Karn Wilson was born in Seattle, Washington, on February 17, 1956.[1] 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,[2] where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. Karn also gained drama experience in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival.

After earning his drama degree in 1979, Karn moved to New York City, where in less than a week he was hired to do a commercial for Michelob beer that was featured during Super Bowl XIV. When Karn joined the Screen Actors Guild, he was informed there was already a Richard Wilson, prompting him to drop his surname.[3]


Karn at the 1994 Emmy Awards

In 1989, Karn's wife Tudi convinced him to move to Los Angeles. Karn found a place for them to live by managing an apartment complex, catering 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 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.[3][4]

In 2002, Karn replaced Louie Anderson as the fourth individual to host the game show Family Feud. Karn left Family Feud in 2006 and was replaced by John O'Hurley.[5][6]

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.

On October 6, 2008, Karn replaced Patrick Duffy as host of Game Show Network's Bingo America.[7][6] Karn served as a substitute host on GSN Radio.

Karn did commercials for Orchard Supply Hardware in the 1990s.[8]

Personal life

Karn has been married to actress Tudi Roche since 1985.[3] They have a son named Cooper.[3]

From 1994 through 1999, Karn hosted an annual celebrity golf tournament in Seattle. In July 2002, the Karn Invitational celebrity golf event was held at Echo Falls Golf Club in Snohomish, Washington.[9]



Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
1998 Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy Brice Renard
2001 MVP: Most Vertical Primate Ollie Plant
2002 Sex and the Teenage Mind Stanley Heitmeyer
Reality School Victor Cayanne
Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch Patrick
2006 Air Buddies
Mr. Blue Sky John
2008 Snow Buddies Patrick
2011 The Back-up Bride Shane Bingham
Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury Bill Witherspoon
2013 Gordon Family Tree Perry Merrow
2015 A Dog for Christmas Santa
2016 Stars Are Already Dead Jim
2017 The Horse Dancer Jerry
F the Prom Murphy Datner
2018 Amanda and the Fox Judge Weartherbee
2019 Check Inn to Christmas Tim Hallmark movie
2020 Horse Camp: A Love Tail Jerry
2021 The Christmas Dance Sherman
2022 Carrie and Jess Save the Universe! Computer face


Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
1989 One Life to Live Edgar 1 episode
1991 Carol & Company J.T. Episode: "No News Is Bad News"
1991–1999 Home Improvement Al Borland 202 episodes
1994 ABC After School Specials Mr. Delo Episode: "Boys Will Be Boys"
1995 Burke's Law David Bergen Episode: "Who Killed Mr. Game Show?"
Picture Perfect George Thomas Television film
Boy Meets World Victor Episode: "This Little Piggy"
1996 WOW! The Most Amazing Acts on Earth Host
Chariots of the Gods? The Mysteries Continue
How to Host a BBQ with Richard Karn Television short
1996–1999 The Rosie O'Donnell Show Himself/Guest 2 episodes
1997 Soul Man Al Borland Episode: "Cinderella and the Funeral"
1998 Foot Soldier Host / Narrator TV movie
2000 The Pooch and the Pauper Agent Dainville Television film
Recess Edmund P. Edmonton (voice) Episode: "Beyond a Reasonable Scout"
2001 That '70s Show Theo Episode: "Bye Bye Basement"
The Lot Stan Lunquist Episode: "The Mob Scene"
The Chronicle David Tally Episode: "Baby Got Back"
2002–2006 Family Feud Host Main role
2003 Watching Ellie Himself Episode: "Feud"
2004 Reality School Founder Television film
2007 WWE Raw Himself 1 episode
2008 Dirt Holt McLauren's Father Episode: "Ties That (Don't) Bind"
Biz Kid$ Himself 2 episodes
2008–2009 Bingo America Co-host 26 episodes
2009 Ctrl Arthur Piller 10 episodes
2010 True Jackson, VP Fire Marshal O'Dannon Episode: "My Boss Ate My Homework"
2011 In Gayle We Trust Mayor Thomas Episode: "Gayle and the Table Read"
2013 Last Man Standing Bill McKendree 2 episodes
2014 A Daughter's Nightmare Cameron "Cam" Morgan Television film
No Such Luck Sheriff Lawrence Television short
A Perfect Christmas List Tim Television film
2015 Christmas Land Mason Richards Television film
2017 Detroiters Himself Episode: "Quick Rick Mahorn in Dearborn"
The Bold and the Beautiful Judge Jon Oplinger 2 episodes
Christmas in Mississippi Mr. McGuire Television film
2018 Find Your Future Reality Himself 1 episode
2019 Check Inn to Christmas Tim Crawley Television film
2019–2021 PEN15 Fred Peters 11 episodes
2021 Assembly Required Co-host COVID-lockdown competition show spin-off of Home Improvement's Tool Time; with Tim Allen and toolgirl April Wilkerson
Also executive producer (10 episodes)
2022 More Power Co-host Tool documentary show spin-off of Home Improvement 's Tool Time; with Tim Allen and toolgirl April Wilkerson
Also executive producer (1 episode)

Music videos

Year Title Artist Album Role Notes Ref(s)
2002 "Someday" The Strokes Is This It Himself Family Feud parody
2018 "Careless Whisper" Train (feat. Kenny G) Greatest Hits Saxophone player Wham! cover [11]



  1. ^ a b c d "Richard Karn". TV Insider. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  2. ^ Marmor, Jon (September 1995). "Richard Karn". UW Alumni Magazine.
  3. ^ a b c d Lipton, Michael A. (June 12, 1995). "No Mere Putterer". People.
  4. ^ Schwed, Mark (December 19, 1994). "This Handyman's Special". TV Guide.
  5. ^ "The official Family Feud timeline from 1976 to today!". Retrieved 2023-03-10.
  6. ^ a b Kaufman, Joanne (October 5, 2008). "Who Wants to Host a Game Show? So Many". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Davis, Alex (August 22, 2005). "Richard Karn is New Host of 'Bingo America'". Buzzer Blog. Archived 25 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Karn, Richard; Mair, George (October 7, 2002). Handy at Home: Tips on Improving Your Home from America's Favorite Handyman. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-7864-8694-6.
  9. ^ "TV's Karn resuscitates charity tournament". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. July 8, 2002. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  10. ^ a b King, Aidan (June 6, 2022). "'More Power': 'Home Improvement' Stars Tim Allen and Richard Karn Reunite for History Channel Show". Collider.
  11. ^ "Train - Careless Whisper (Official Video) ft. Kenny G". YouTube. Archived at Ghostarchive and Wayback Machine: