25 Facts About Ray Combs


From 1995 to 1996, Combs hosted another game show, Family Challenge.


Ray Combs graduated in 1974 from Garfield High School, where he was an actor, senior class president, and Boys State delegate.


Ray Combs declined a nomination to the United States Military Academy and served as a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years in Arizona.


Ray Combs began performing comedy at Cincinnati's Red Dog Saloon, where he developed his best-known shtick of audience sing-alongs of sitcom theme songs.


In 1979, Ray Combs sent a letter to David Letterman, asking for advice; Letterman encouraged him to continue in comedy.


In 1982, convinced that he was better than the comedians whose acts he saw on The Tonight Show, Ray Combs left his job as an Indianapolis furniture salesman, and moved with his family to Los Angeles.


Ray Combs did well in a competition with more than 200 other young comedians, and began doing audience warm-ups for NBC sitcoms such as The Golden Girls, Facts of Life and Amen.


Ray Combs became so popular that other sitcoms changed their production schedules just so they could have him warm up their audiences.


Johnny Carson heard the audience's laughter and then invited Ray Combs to perform on The Tonight Show in October 1986; the audience gave him a standing ovation.


Ray Combs pressured his agent to find new opportunities for him in acting and comedy.


Ray Combs made an appearance for the World Wrestling Federation as a guest ring announcer at WrestleMania VIII, where he amused the capacity crowd at Indianapolis' Hoosier Dome by lashing into the team of the Nasty Boys, The Mountie, and Repo Man with various scathing insults before being ultimately chased out of the ring.


Ray Combs later served as a guest commentator alongside Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan at Survivor Series 1993 in a match of the Hart Family against Shawn Michaels and his Knights.


Heenan and Ray Combs struck up a friendship, which Heenan recounted in his autobiography, noting that he believed Ray Combs felt pigeonholed by being a game-show host.


In October 1993, a Family Feud video game featuring Ray Combs's likeness was released for both the Super NES and the Sega Genesis.


Ray Combs was master of ceremonies of the annual StarGaze charity events produced by Jim Kelly from 1993 to 1995.


In July 1994, Ray Combs was involved in a serious car accident along the SR 134 portion of the Ventura Freeway.


Ray Combs sustained an injury in one of his spinal discs, leaving him in severe and continuous pain.


Ray Combs struggled with financial problems after the failure of two of his comedy clubs and his home in Hamilton, Ohio, went into foreclosure.


Ray Combs taped a pilot for a talk show called The Ray Combs Show, but it was ultimately not picked up.


Ray Combs had reportedly destroyed most of the inside of his house, and had been banging his head against the walls, though Ray Combs later told the police that he fell in the jacuzzi.


Shortly after police arrived, Ray Combs' estranged wife Debbie arrived and informed them that Ray Combs was suicidal and had spent the previous week in the hospital for a suicide attempt.


Ray Combs was taken by police to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where he was assessed by a medical doctor and placed on a 72-hour psychiatric observation hold.


Ray Combs was taken to the emergency room, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.


On June 7,1996, Ray Combs' funeral was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Glendale.


Ray Combs's remains were flown back to his hometown of Hamilton, Ohio, where he was interred at the Greenwood Cemetery.