Candid Camera was a 30 minute reality TV show that has aired on ABC, CBS, NBC, and the PAX Network during its 55+ year run on network television! The basic premise of the series involved people being filmed without their knowledge while being made the subject of a practical joke. Most of the situations were embarrasing to the person or caused them to be totally confused about what was happening. At the end of the joke, the host would come out, show the victim where the hidden camera was located and say, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera"!
Candid Camera Cast
Allen Funt .... Host (1948-1993)
Peter Funt .... Co-Host (1993-2004)
Suzanne Somers .... Co-Host (Dates Unknown)
Dina Eastwood .... Co-Host (2001-2004)
Candid Camera Trivia
The Candid Camera TV show was inspired by the "Candid Microphone Radio Show" that aired over Armed Forces Radio and on ABC Radio in 1947. It must have taken a while to get radio out of the producers' minds because the first episodes on TV were still called "Candid Microphone".
Actually, the idea for Candid Microphone came from a project developed by Allen Funt while he was in the Army. He would tape record other soldiers while they were complaining about military life and then he replayed the recording on Armed Forces Radio.
There were also a number of film shorts that appeared in movie theaters before the TV show began. The hilarious films were perfect for relaxing audiences before the actual movie began. They were also titled, "Candid Microphone".
Candid Camera also appeared as short segments on both "The Garry Moore Show" and "The Tonight Show".
Candid Camera is typically credited with being television's first reality show with its first episode airing in August of 1948. That's not hard to believe because 1948 was the first year that the networks offered a full night's schedule. In 1947, there was less than 20 hours per week of programming on all four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Dumont) on all seven nights of the week!
Candid Camera could also be considered to be the longest running comedy series. From its beginnings in 1948, the show has persistently reappeared over and over again with its latest reincarnation being co-hosted by Allen Funt's son Peter Funt on the PAX Network as recently as 2004!
Candid Camera sometimes had celebrities as subjects of their practical jokes. A perfect example of the typical Candid Camera episode is when Ann Jillian ("It's A Living" and "Jennifer Slept Here") appeared on the show. She was going to make a modest donation to a charity. Then some cops told her that the charity was bilking money out of people. They convinced Ann to write a huge check to the con man in order to help them obtain evidence and Ann agreed. After the guy showered her with praise about how generous she was and how many suffering people she'd be helping, the cops told her that they had made a mistake. The charity was on the level! After the shock wore off, Ann was very gracious and was even willing to leave the donation "as is" before they let her in on the joke.
While it was funny to see other people dealing with impossible situations, the most substantial aspect of Candid Camera may have been wondering how you may have handled the situation yourself!
Series Creator, Allen Funt had brought his son, Peter Funt onto the series as his co-host in 1987 so he was more than ready to take the reins when Allen died of a stroke in 1993.
Peter was not Allen's first co-host. During the 1970s they included, John Bartholomew Tucker, Dorothy Collins, Phyllis George, Betsy Palmer, Jo Ann Pflug, and Fannie Flad who had been a writer on Candid Camera in the 1960s.
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