A patron at a bowling alley would roll a ball, and
back down the chute it would come--minus finger holes.
Candid Camera viewers watched as the poor fellow
tried to figure out what the--!
A tiny foreign car would pull into a service station
and the driver would casually ask for a "fill up."
The hidden camera focused on the attendant's growing
astonishment as the midget auto practically drained the
station dry. (There was a tank concealed in the trunk).
"Smile, you're on Candid Camera!"
The premise of Allen Funt's long-running Candid
Camera was simply to snoop on unsuspecting citizens
with hidden cameras and see how they would react to
bizarre situations. Cars were a favorite device. In
one sequence, innocent-looking Dorothy Collins would
come driving down a hill and pull up in front of a
passerby, asking for help--the car "won't seem to
start." Up went the hood to reveal...no engine. Other
ploys included vending machines that talked back,
actors who got into unbelievable predicaments and
then asked passersby for help, diners served
impossibly small portions, and so on. The reactions
of the surprised victims were often hilarious.
Allen Funt first brought his Candid Microphone radio
program to television in 1948. It had short runs on
all three networks prior to its seven year run on CBS.
Los Angeles, CA - One of television's pioneers,
Allen Funt, the man behind Candid Camera, died at
his California home on Sunday, September 5, 1999.
Funt's Candid Camera is now considered a precursor
of reality-genre TV shows such as Cops and World's
Most Dangerous Animals. Allen Funt was 84.
Now Allen's son, Peter,
along with Suzanne Somers,
use the tools of their unique trade
-a hidden camera and gentle humor-
to capture the reactions of ordinary people to
extraordinary, and even bizarre, situations. The
show originates from Los Angeles, with remote
sequences taped on location throughout the country.