Game Shows Wiki
Ray Combs (1995–1996)
Michael Burger (1996–1997)
Gene Wood (1995–1996)
Randy West (The Ice Edition)
Charlie Glaize (1996–1997)
Family Challenge.jpg
The New Family Challenge.png
The Family Channel (Daily): 10/2/1995 – 9/7/1997
Woody Fraser Enterprises/
Maple Palm Productions/
MTM Enterprises, Inc.

(The New) Family Challenge was a game show that aired on The Family Channel for two seasons.


Two teams of six family members competed. Each team usually consisted of two adults and four children (commonly the parents' own children, plus nieces and/or nephews). Usually six stunts were played, and each stunt was worth a varying amount of points. The stunts varied in each show; the following are a few stunts used on the show during the first season.


  • Tug of war – All six members of the first team competed against American Gladiator Hawk, with a tank full of green "gunk" set up at the center point. The team won one point for each second they could stay up. They won 60 points if they stayed up for 30 seconds or pulled Hawk into the gunk. This process would be repeated for the second team.
  • Backward relay race – Three members of each team competed. The first team started at a table with various items on it. The first teammate ran backward to a board and read a short message written backward on it, which corresponded to an item on the table. He then ran backward to the starting position and do something with the item. (For example, "This Icy Sensation Causes A Gyration" means they must pour a pitcher of water down their pants, and "Simple Simon Met A Pie Man" means they must smosh a pie into their face.) This continued until all three teammates had a chance to do two things. After the first family finished, the second family was brought out of isolation to try to beat their time. The family who could do it in the fastest time won 100 points.
  • Kissing contest – One event involved three doors and one member of each team. The player on the first team would pick a door, behind which was a live animal, which the contestant would have to kiss on the lips. If the player kept contact with it for 5 seconds, that family won 10 points. The player on the second team then picked a second door, and had to kiss whatever was behind it. After this, each player could elect to kiss whatever was behind the unpicked door, but had to do it blindfolded for 10 seconds. Doing this won 20 points.
  • Pearl diving – Two members of each team had two minutes to wade in a giant tank of gunk looking for large balls that represented pearls. Each white "pearl" collected won 10 points, and each black "pearl" won 50.
  • Family Quiz – In a manner similar to The Newlywed Game, one family member from each team was asked questions about one of their teammates (e.g. parents answering questions about one of their kids). Each correct answer was worth 10 points, while each incorrect answer resulted in a messy penalty for the player answering the questions (like a pie in the face).
  • Pie Device Relay – Teams played individually. One family member had to run around to several pie devices where their teammates were placed. First, the runner had to run to the Pie Pendulum, where they had to lower the first family member into a large pie. Next, they would run to the Pie Roulette to launch a pie at the next teammate, usually the father. Then, they would run to the Pie Guillotine to drop a pie on the next teammate, then launch another pie from the Pie Roulette. Afterward, they had to pop a gunk balloon above their next teammate, usually the mother, then went back to the Pie Roulette to launch another pie. Next, they would run to the Pie Cannon to launch whipped cream at the next teammate, returning to the Pie Roulette for one last pie. Afterward, the runner had to go up the stairs and down the slide into the Gunk Tank. The runner then had to wade through the Gunk Tank, where they had to put one last pie in their face to stop the clock. Fastest time won.

Both the Pie Pendulum and Pie Roulette were previously used on the Nickelodeon game show What Would You Do?, which was also created by Woody Fraser.

At the end of the final event, the team with the most points was the winner. That team won two prizes (such as a new living room group and a ceiling fan), and a trophy called "The Family Challenge Championship Cup".

Season 2 Changes[]

Besides the new host and announcer, the show was re-titled The New Family Challenge and was taped outdoors. The game was played the same as before, except that only four stunts were played. Burger also played games with the audience, filling the time previously used for the fifth and sixth stunts. Each team in this season had five players (usually two adults and three children) and the team colors changed every episode whereas in Season 1 it was always red team vs. blue team.

Toward the end of the run, all Friday shows consisted solely of audience participation games.

The second season premiere was dedicated to the memory of Ray Combs, as acknowledged during the credits.

End-of-Show Disclaimer[]

"All the food used on Family Challenge is food that is no longer edible." - Gene Wood (1995-1996)


This was Ray Combs' final game show he hosted before his death.

This was also Gene Wood's final game show that he announced.

Gene Wood previously worked with Combs on Family Feud (1988 version) for six years prior to the premiere of this show. Combs, however, was replaced by original Feud host Richard Dawson in 1994 in order to increase ratings. This marked the first time since the two worked together in a year.  


Glendale Studios, Glendale, CA (Season 1)
Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA (Season 2)


Woody Frasier & Dave Thomas

External links[]