'Dancing With the Stars' Tom Bergeron: Richard Dawson 'definitely put his mark' on 'Family Feud'

richard-dawson-tom-bergeron-nc-pbs.jpgTom Bergeron never met Richard Dawson, but the late "Family Feud" host had an impact there anyway.

"I was just watching some interviews he'd done in 2010, on the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Web site," ABC's ever-amiable "Dancing With the Stars" and "America's Funniest Home Videos" host tells Zap2it. "I crossed paths with a lot of the people who had done 'Match Game' -- like Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly -- and 'Hollywood Squares' when I hosted it, but I never met Richard.

"He definitely put his mark on that show," Bergeron adds with great respect for Dawson's "Family Feud" spontaneity, an approach he clearly enjoys using himself. "He talked about it in one of the interviews I watched; he had that element of Groucho Marx, where you were kind of waiting for whatever was going to happen. You could poke some gentle fun."

Now prepping to host PBS' "A Capitol Fourth" concert special for the first time Wednesday, July 4, "Hollywood Squares" Daytime Emmy winner Bergeron also is looking forward to this fall's Season 15 of "Dancing With the Stars" ... which will be the competition's first-ever "all-star" round.

"I'm very excited about that," he confirms, "particularly since it's now a broader canvas than had originally been discussed. At one point, there was talk of doing sort of a 'second chance' season for contestants who came close, but didn't quite get the coveted mirrorball trophy.

"Then, the powers that be thought it might be more fun to open it up and even include former champions and fan favorites who might not have had a snowball's chance going in, but were always very charismatic and popular. I think that turns it into more of a celebration of the show itself, and I'm excited about that angle."
Photo/Video credit: NewsCom/PBS
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