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Candid Camera
Genre Reality Television
Hidden Camera
Created by Allen Funt
Developed by Allen Funt
Presented by Allen Funt (1948-1992)
Arthur Godfrey (1960-1961)
John Bartholomew Tucker (1974-1979)
Dorothy Collins (1974-1979)
Dom DeLuise (1991-1992)
Eva LaRue (1991-1992)
Peter Funt (1992-2004)
Starring Revolving Cast
Narrated by Durward Kirby (1960-1966)
Bess Myerson (1966-1967)
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 38
No. of episodes 1000+
Production
Producer(s) Allen Funt (1948-1992)
Peter Funt (1992-2004)
Location(s) Revolving Location
Camera setup Single Camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Allen Funt Productions (1953; 1960-1967)
Bob Banner Associates (1960-1967)
King World Productions (1991)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC (1948-1949)
NBC (1949-1951; 1983)
Syndication (1951-1954; 1974-1979; 1991-1992)
The Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar (1954-1959)
The Gary Moore Show (1959-1960)
CBS (1960-1967; 1987-1988; 1996-2001)
PAX (2001-2004)
Original run August 10, 1948 – May 23, 2004
Chronology
Related shows Punk'd (2003-2007)
Howie Do It (2009)
Smile...You're Under Arrest! (2008- )

Candid Camera was a hidden camera television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as Candid Microphone June 28, 1947. After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on August 10, 1948.

The format has appeared on network, syndicated or cable television in each succeeding decade, as either a regular show or a series of specials. Funt himself hosted or co-hosted almost all of the TV versions until a 1993 stroke from which he never recovered. Funt's son Peter Funt, who had co-hosted the specials with his father since 1987, is now the producer/host of the format.

The premise of the show involved concealed cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual situations, sometimes involving trick props, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed or a car with a hidden extra gas tank. When the joke was revealed, victims would be told the show's catch phrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera." With humor based on putting real people in fabricated situations, the show was a precursor to the more recent wave of prank shows such as Punk'd, Girls Behaving Badly, Just For Laughs Gags, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Boiling Points, Trigger Happy TV, and Howie Do It.

Writer Woody Allen got his start writing for the show in the 1960s and performed in some scenarios. Buster Keaton and Muhammad Ali also appeared in Candid Camera segments.

The show often played its hidden camera pranks on celebrities as well. One memorable episode had actress Ann Jillian (who is Lithuanian) scheduled to make a small donation to a Lithuanian charity. When police officers informed her a con artist was behind the charity, they convinced her to donate a much larger amount with the assurance that he would be arrested when he accepted the check. After the arrest attempt, Jillian was told the man was running a legitimate charity, a set-up that forced her into acting as though she had intended to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars all along.

In another episode the show filmed the reactions of citizens after they saw former President Harry S Truman walking down the street, occasionally stopping to ask the time.

Contents

Radio history

Candid Microphone was first heard on Saturday, June 28, 1947, at 7:30pm on ABC radio. The following week it moved to Sundays at 7:00 pm. Beginning in late September 1947, it aired Mondays at 9pm through October, then Thursdays at 8pm until May 1948 when it moved to Thursdays at 9:30pm. That series came to an end on September 23, 1948.

Beginning June 6, 1950, Candid Microphone was broadcast by CBS on Tuesdays at 9:30pm, and that summer series, sponsored by Philip Morris, continued for three months until August 29. The announcer for the radio program was Dorian St. George (1911-2004).

TV history

Funt brought his program to ABC television in 1948 and then briefly switched to NBC before moving to CBS in the fall of 1949 (for Philip Morris, with Ken Roberts as his announcer). The format moved to syndication in 1951 before returning to NBC in 1958 as a segment of Jack Paar's The Tonight Show. The segment reappeared in 1959 on CBS as a feature on The Garry Moore Show, before once again becoming a stand-alone show in 1960.

Its longest uninterrupted run came on the 1960-67 CBS version on late Sunday evenings. Producer/host Funt was joined on stage by CBS veteran Arthur Godfrey the first season, Garry Moore Show announcer/sidekick Durward Kirby from 1961 to 1966 and Bess Myerson for the final season of the run. Buster Keaton appeared on the show; clips of his stunts were included in Thames Television's tribute to the comic actor. This 1960-1967 run was arguably the most successful version of the show, and the show appeared in the Nielsen ratings during this era too; ratings were: 1960-1961: #7[1]; 1961-1962: #10[2]; 1962-1963: #2[3]; 1963-1964: #7[4]

Candid Camera returned in 1974 for a five-year run in weekly syndication, with Funt as emcee again and John Bartholomew Tucker and Dorothy Collins as early co-hosts. Fannie Flagg, one of Funt’s writers during the 1960s run, also shared emcee duties with Funt during the 1970s era, as did Phyllis George, Betsy Palmer and Jo Ann Pflug.

The network TV version celebrated its 35th anniversary with an NBC special in 1983. Four years later, a series of occasional Candid Camera specials aired on CBS with Peter Funt joining his father as co-host.

The show also aired a season in daily syndication (1991-92) with Dom DeLuise as host and Eva LaRue as co-host. Produced by Vin Di Bona, Funt authorized this version, but did not approve of the format or host. He stated in his biography "Candidly" (1994) that he deeply regretted his decision (which he made strictly for financial reasons) mainly because he didn't think DeLuise understood the spirit of the show or was an appropriate host, and also because he felt the bits were weak, uninteresting, and too preoccupied with incorporating the show's sponsor, Pizza Hut, into them in an overtly commercial way.

A 1996 CBS program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the format (dating back to the Candid Microphone days) led to another series of occasional Candid Camera specials, and then to its return as a weekly CBS show with Peter Funt and Suzanne Somers as co-hosts. The show moved to the PAX network in 2001 with Dina Eastwood as co-host, remaining on the air for a few more years before suspending production.

Movies

In the 1960s and 1970s, Candid Camera produced over ten tapes of adult-oriented (but not pornographic) stunts and hidden camera gags called Candid Candid Camera for HBO and Playboy. For example, a man was hired as a hypnotist's assistant and then a beautiful new lady patient disrobed while "hypnotized".

In 1970, Funt wrote, narrated, directed, and produced a Candid Camera-style theatrical reality film, What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? A second film, Money Talks, followed in 1972.

Legacy

A British version of Candid Camera began in 1960 and ran for seven years. It was initially presented by Bob Monkhouse and featured Jonathan Routh and Arthur Atkins as pranksters. The show briefly returned in 1974, hosted by Peter Dulay, this one featured Arthur Atkins and Sheila Burnette. Another series was aired in 1976 with Jonathan Routh in charge, in which Peter Dulay produced. These two, 1970s series reappeared from 1986, with an opening sequence from Peter Dulay. Jeremy Beadle made his name hosting prank shows, notably Beadle's About in the 1980s. Channel 4 and Dom Joly developed Trigger Happy TV in the early part of the 21st Century. A similar style show with no real presenter went out as Just For Laughs on the BBC, around the same time.

An Australian version of Candid Camera, with the same name, began in the late 1990s and ran until the end of the century. It was successful until the show was cancelled for unknown reasons. Quebec saw its own adaptation titled Les insolences d'une caméra.

A wave of other hidden camera and prank shows began in the 1980s: Totally Hidden Video was seen on Fox from 1989 until 1992. MTV's Ashton Kutcher vehicle, Punk'd, devised elaborate pranks on celebrities. Some shows have been criticized because of the potential cruelty inherent in the pranks, such as Scare Tactics. Oblivious gave cash prizes to unsuspecting subjects in the street who answered trivia questions but did not realize they were on a game show. The most ambitious of all was The Joe Schmo Show in which Matt Kennedy Gould was surrounded by actors and hoaxed for the entire series. The show also influenced The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.

Candid Camera is produced by Funt's son, Peter Funt, and Clint Eastwood's wife, Dina. The show is currently out of production and syndication. Many fans attribute the demise of Candid Camera to Peter Funt's lack of charisma. He often appeared extremely stiff and insincere when introducing segments and also participating in them, as compared to his father's engaging charm and believable warmth and caring. Over the course of several years, Peter Funt's alarming deficiencies in all the areas that made his father's running of Candid Camera a decades-long success eventually led to extremely low ratings and total lack of interest from syndicators.

Lawsuit

In a suit against Peter Funt, Pax and the Mohave County Airport Authority, Philip Zelnick, 35, claimed he was injured June 15, 2001 during one of the show's pranks. Funt, posing as a security guard, instructed passengers to go through a fake X-ray machine, and Zelnick received a bruise to his thigh while getting off the conveyor belt. The jury awarded Zelnick a total of $300,000 in punitive damages with Peter Funt and the show ordered to pay $150,000 each. An out of court settlement was also reached with the Mohave County Airport Authority, Mr. Zelnick accepted an amount of $95,000 from the airport. PAX TV also awarded Mr. Zelnick $7,500 out of court.[5]

Listen to

References

Sources

  • Funt, Allen. Eavesdropper at Large: Adventures in Human Nature with "Candid Mike". Vanguard Press, 1952.
  • Funt, Allen. Candid Kids. Bernard Geis, 1964.
  • Funt, Allen. Candidly, Allen Funt: A Million Smiles Later. Barricade Books, 1994.
  • Candid Camera's response to the lawsuit settlement
  • Phoenix Wright: Justice for All. In the Detention Center, examine the camera, Phoenix says "Smile, you're on candid camera."

External links


Candid Camera
[[File:|230px]]
Genre Reality Television
Hidden Camera
Created by Allen Funt
Developed by Allen Funt
Presented by Allen Funt (1948-1992)
Arthur Godfrey (1960-1961)
John Bartholomew Tucker (1974-1979)
Dorothy Collins (1974-1979)
Dom DeLuise (1991-1992)
Eva LaRue (1991-1992)
Peter Funt (1996-2004)
Starring Revolving Cast
Narrated by Durward Kirby (1960-1966)
Bess Myerson (1966-1967)
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 38
No. of episodes 1000+
Production
Producer(s) Allen Funt (1948-1992)
Peter Funt (1992-2004)
Location(s) Revolving location
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Allen Funt Productions (1953; 1960-1967)
Bob Banner Associates (1960-1967)
King World Productions (1991)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC (1948-1949)
NBC (1949-1951; 1983)
Syndication (1951-1954; 1974-1979; 1991-1992)
The Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar (1954-1959)
The Gary Moore Show (1959-1960)
CBS (1960-1967; 1987-1988; 1996-2001)
PAX (2001-2004)
Original run August 10, 1948 (1948-08-10) – May 23, 2004 (2004-05-23)
Chronology
Related shows Punk'd (2003-2007)
Howie Do It (2009)
Smile...You're Under Arrest! (2008-present)

Candid Camera is a hidden camera television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as Candid Microphone June 28, 1947. After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on August 10, 1948.

The format has appeared on network, syndicated or cable television in each succeeding decade, as either a regular show or a series of specials. Funt himself hosted or co-hosted almost all of the TV versions until a 1993 stroke from which he never recovered. Funt's son Peter Funt, who had co-hosted the specials with his father since 1987, is now the producer/host of the format.

The premise of the show involved concealed cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual situations, sometimes involving trick props, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed or a car with a hidden extra gas tank. When the joke was revealed, victims would be told the show's catch phrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera." With humor based on putting real people in fabricated situations, the show was a precursor to the more recent wave of prank shows such as Punk'd, Girls Behaving Badly, Just For Laughs Gags, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Boiling Points, Trigger Happy TV, and Howie Do It.

Writer Woody Allen was one of the writers for the show in the 1960s and performed in some scenarios. Buster Keaton and Muhammad Ali also appeared in Candid Camera segments.

The show often played its hidden camera pranks on celebrities as well. One episode had actress Ann Jillian (who is Lithuanian) scheduled to make a small donation to a Lithuanian charity. When police officers informed her a con artist was behind the charity, they convinced her to donate a much larger amount with the assurance that he would be arrested when he accepted the check. After the arrest attempt, Jillian was told the man was running a legitimate charity, a set-up that forced her into acting as though she had intended to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars all along.

In another episode the show filmed the reactions of citizens after they saw former President Harry S Truman walking down the street, occasionally stopping to ask the time.

Contents

Radio history

Candid Microphone was first heard on Saturday, June 28, 1947, at 7:30pm on ABC radio. The following week it moved to Sundays at 7:00 pm. Beginning in late September 1947, it aired Mondays at 9pm through October, then Thursdays at 8pm until May 1948 when it moved to Thursdays at 9:30pm. That series came to an end on September 23, 1948.

Beginning June 6, 1950, Candid Microphone was broadcast by CBS on Tuesdays at 9:30pm, and that summer series, sponsored by Philip Morris, continued for three months until August 29. The announcer for the radio program was Dorian St. George (1911-2004).

TV history

Funt brought his program to ABC television in 1948 and then briefly switched to NBC before moving to CBS in the fall of 1949 (for Philip Morris, with Ken Roberts as his announcer). The format moved to syndication in 1951 before returning to NBC in 1958 as a segment of Jack Paar's The Tonight Show. The segment reappeared in 1959 on CBS as a feature on The Garry Moore Show, before once again becoming a stand-alone show in 1960.

Its longest uninterrupted run came on the 1960-67 CBS version on late Sunday evenings. Producer/host Funt was joined on stage by CBS veteran Arthur Godfrey the first season, Garry Moore Show announcer/sidekick Durward Kirby from 1961 to 1966 and Bess Myerson for the final season of the run. Buster Keaton appeared on the show; clips of his stunts were included in Thames Television's tribute to the comic actor. This 1960-1967 run was arguably the most successful version of the show, and the show appeared in the Nielsen ratings during this era too; ratings were: 1960-1961: #7[1]; 1961-1962: #10[2]; 1962-1963: #2[3]; 1963-1964: #7[4]

Candid Camera returned in 1974 for a five-year run in weekly syndication, with Funt as emcee again and John Bartholomew Tucker and Dorothy Collins as early co-hosts. Fannie Flagg, one of Funt’s writers during the 1960s run, also shared emcee duties with Funt during the 1970s era, as did Phyllis George, Betsy Palmer and Jo Ann Pflug.

The network TV version celebrated its 35th anniversary with an NBC special in 1983. Four years later, a series of occasional Candid Camera specials aired on CBS with Peter Funt joining his father as co-host.

The show also aired a season in daily syndication (1991-92) with Dom DeLuise as host and Eva LaRue as co-host. Produced by Vin Di Bona, Funt authorized this version, but did not approve of the format or host. He stated in his biography "Candidly" (1994) that he deeply regretted his decision (which he made strictly for financial reasons) mainly because he didn't think DeLuise understood the spirit of the show or was an appropriate host, and also because he felt the bits were weak, uninteresting, and too preoccupied with incorporating the show's sponsor, Pizza Hut, into them in an overtly commercial way.

A 1996 CBS program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the format (dating back to the Candid Microphone days) led to another series of occasional Candid Camera specials, and then to its return as a weekly CBS show with Peter Funt and Suzanne Somers as co-hosts. The show moved to the PAX network in 2001 with Dina Eastwood as co-host, remaining on the air for a few more years before suspending production.

Movies

In the 1960s and 1970s, Candid Camera produced over ten tapes of adult-oriented (but not pornographic) stunts and hidden camera gags called Candid Candid Camera for HBO and Playboy. For example, a man was hired as a hypnotist's assistant and then a beautiful new lady patient disrobed while "hypnotized".

In 1970, Funt wrote, narrated, directed, and produced a Candid Camera-style theatrical reality film, What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? A second film, Money Talks, followed in 1972.

Recordings

Segments from the show were issued on a Columbia LP album, Allan Funt's Candid Microphone, in 1960.

Legacy

A British version of Candid Camera began in 1960 and ran for seven years. It was initially presented by Bob Monkhouse and featured Jonathan Routh and Arthur Atkins as pranksters. The show briefly returned in 1974, hosted by Peter Dulay, this one featured Arthur Atkins and Sheila Burnette. Another series was aired in 1976 with Jonathan Routh in charge, in which Peter Dulay produced. These two, 1970s series reappeared from 1986, with an opening sequence from Peter Dulay. Jeremy Beadle made his name hosting prank shows, notably Beadle's About in the 1980s. Channel 4 and Dom Joly developed Trigger Happy TV in the early part of the 21st Century. A similar style show with no real presenter went out as Just For Laughs on the BBC, around the same time.

An Australian version of Candid Camera, with the same name, began in the late 1990s and ran until the end of the century. It was successful until the show was cancelled for unknown reasons. Quebec saw its own adaptation titled Les insolences d'une caméra.

A wave of other hidden camera and prank shows began in the 1980s: Totally Hidden Video was seen on Fox from 1989 until 1992. MTV's Ashton Kutcher vehicle, Punk'd, devised elaborate pranks on celebrities. Some shows have been criticized because of the potential cruelty inherent in the pranks, such as Scare Tactics. Oblivious was a series which gave cash prizes to unsuspecting subjects in the street who answered trivia questions but did not realize they were on a game show. The most ambitious of all was The Joe Schmo Show in which Matt Kennedy Gould was surrounded by actors and hoaxed for the entire series.

Candid Camera is produced by Funt's son, Peter Funt, and Clint Eastwood's wife, Dina. The show is currently out of production and syndication, and many fans attribute the show's demise to Peter Funt's lack of charisma. He often appeared extremely stiff and insincere when introducing segments and also participating in them, as compared to his father's engaging charm and believable warmth and caring.

Lawsuit

In a suit against Peter Funt, Pax and the Mohave County Airport Authority, Philip Zelnick, 35, claimed he was injured June 15, 2001 during one of the show's pranks. Funt, posing as a security guard, instructed passengers to go through a fake X-ray machine, and Zelnick received a bruise to his thigh while getting off the conveyor belt. The jury awarded Zelnick a total of $300,000 in punitive damages with Peter Funt and the show ordered to pay $150,000 each. An out of court settlement was also reached with the Mohave County Airport Authority: Mr. Zelnick accepted an amount of $95,000 from the airport. PAX TV also awarded Mr. Zelnick $7,500 out of court.[5]

Listen to

References

Sources

  • Funt, Allen. Eavesdropper at Large: Adventures in Human Nature with "Candid Mike". Vanguard Press, 1952.
  • Funt, Allen. Candid Kids. Bernard Geis, 1964.
  • Funt, Allen. Candidly, Allen Funt: A Million Smiles Later. Barricade Books, 1994.
  • Candid Camera's response to the lawsuit settlement
  • Phoenix Wright: Justice for All. In the Detention Center, examine the camera, Phoenix says "Smile, you're on candid camera."

External links








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