Family feuds its way to $8,000 on TV Wife back home in Columbia has her moment, too

December 13, 1992|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff Writer


The host of the TV game show "Family Feud" asked Kevin P. Fitzgerald if he were married.

"Yes," replied the 29-year-old Columbia resident.

Providing color commentary on the taped broadcast with a gathering of friends back home in Columbia Thursday night, Marylynn Fitzgerald playfully admonished her amused husband. "That's when you're supposed to say you have a beautiful wife at home."

Mr. Fitzgerald was about to provide the family's five-member contingent with a clean sweep -- five out of five possible answers -- on this question: "Name something a mistress might demand." Mr. Fitzgerald's goal was to come up with the most common responses by 100 "average Americans" when asked the same question by the show's producers.

His first answer -- "apartment" -- was a winner.

The last -- "a divorce" -- scored the clean sweep.

"You better watch out, Marylynn. He knows exactly what they want," joked Joe Porto, a neighbor who watched the show with the Fitzgeralds in their living room.

Mrs. Fitzgerald forgave her husband for knowing those answers.

"Should I ask him how he knew?" she said. "It's from watching "Knots Landing" with me."

"Just guesses," Mr. Fitzgerald said, innocently.

Kevin and four other Fitzgeralds -- his father, two sisters and a brother, all of whom live in Rockland County, N.Y., -- appeared for four matches on the long-running game show, which pits one family against another in a battle of wits under pressure.

Three of the shows aired Wednesday through Friday on WJZ-TV 13. The fourth will air at 11 a.m. Monday.

Mr. Fitzgerald's sister, Denise, applied to the show, and the family auditioned several times in New York before being selected.

The Fitzgeralds taped three of the shows -- all wins -- at CBS Studiosin Hollywood in May, then flew back to California in June to tape the final contest, which they lost.

"We were a little complacent in the fourth game," admitted Mr. Fitzgerald, a marketing representative for IBM in Baltimore.

The show paid all expenses.

The family won nearly $8,000, including $6,000 in one bonus round, in which Mr. Fitzgerald performed as the Michael Jordan of "Family Feud," winning at the buzzer.

His winning answer -- "swimming pool" -- came to this question by host Ray Combs: Besides a whirlpool, name another kind of pool.

However, the senior Mr. Fitzgerald's answer to that question -- "cesspool" -- evoked the most laughter at Thursday night's viewing.

"Only a New Yorker would say cesspool," cracked Mr. Porto.

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