Richard Karn – Wikipedia

American actor, comedian, author and former game show host

Richard Karn

Richard Karn 2015.jpg

Karn in 2015


Richard Karn Wilson

(1956-02-17) February 17, 1956 (age 64)

  • Actor
  • comedian
  • author
  • game show host
Years active 1989–present
Children 1
Parent(s) Louise Wilson
Gene Wilson

Richard Karn Wilson (born February 17, 1956) is an American actor, comedian, author and former game show host. He starred as Al Borland in the 1990s sitcom Home Improvement and was the fourth host of the game show 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.

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]

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. 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.[4][5]

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.[6][5] Karn served as a substitute host on GSN Radio.

Karn did commercials for Orchard Supply Hardware in the 1990s.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Karn has been married to actress Tudi Roche, since 1985.[2] Together they have a son, named Cooper.[2]

In August 2020, news reports stated that Richard Karn died, despite a report from Microsoft News stating the contrary. However, Karn later stated on Twitter that he was alive and well.[8]




Year Title Role Notes
1989 ABC TGIF Al
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?”
1995 Picture Perfect George Thomas TV movie
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
1996 How to Host a BBQ with Richard Kurn Host Television short
1996–1999 The Rosie O’Donnell Show Himself 2 episodes
1997 Soul Man Al Borland Episode: “Cinderella and the Funeral”
1998 Foot Soldier Host / narrator
2000 The Pooch and the Pauper Agent Dainville TV movie
2000 Recess Edmund P. Edmonton (voice) Episode: “Beyond a Reasonable Scout”
2001 That ’70s Show Theo Episode: “Bye Bye Basement”
2001 The Lot Stan Lunquist Episode: “The Mob Scene”
2001 The Chronicle David Tally Episode: “Baby Got Back”
2002–2006 Family Feud Host 17 episodes
2003 Watching Ellie Himself Episode: “Feud”
2004 Reality School Founder TV movie
2007 WWE Raw Himself 1 episode
2008 Dirt Holt McLauren’s Father Episode: “Ties That (Don’t) Bind”
2008 Biz Kid$ Himself 2 episodes
2008–2009 Bingo America Co-Host
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 TV movie
2014 No Such Luck Sheriff Lawrence Television short
2014 A Perfect Christmas List Tim TV movie
2015 Christmas Land Mason Richards TV movie
2017 Detroiters Himself Episode: “Quick Rick Mahorn in Dearborn”
2017 The Bold and the Beautiful Judge Jon Oplinger 2 episodes
2018 Find Your Future Reality Himself 1 episode
2019 PEN15 Fred Peters 2 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 “Someday” Himself
  • 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 c d Lipton, Michael A.: “No Mere Putterer” People, June 12, 1995
  3. ^ Schwed, Mark: “This Handyman’s Special” TV Guide, December 17, 1994
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Joanne Kaufman (October 5, 2008). “Who Wants to Host a Game Show? So Many”. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Davis, Alex. “Richard Karn is New Host of ‘Bingo America'”, Buzzer Blog, 22 August 2008. Archived 25 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Karn, Richard (2002). Handy at Home: Tips on Improving Your Home from America’s Favorite Handyman. Karn. ISBN 9780786486946.
  8. ^

External links[edit]

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