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Candid Camera was a Reality TV show that originally premiered in 1948 and ran off and on ever since. The original show was created and produced by Allen Funt; it used hidden cameras to film ordinary people in unusual situations, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed. When the joke was revealed, the victims would be greeted with the Catch Phrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera." Celebrities were regularly featured as well, either as victims of or as participants in a prank.

It is, needless to say, the Trope Codifier for the Candid Camera Prank

The most recent incarnation of the show starred Allen's son Peter Funt and Dina Eastwood, and ran until 2004.


This show provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The British version once successfully (pretended to have) closed an entire county, only allowing vehicles in as others came out.
  • Candid Camera Prank: The whole point of the show.
  • Decoy Damsel: Used several times. In one instance, a frail blond Distressed Damsel would be deposited on some street corner with two large suitcases. The suitcases looked identical, but one was empty and the other would be filled with concrete, weighing at least 200 pounds. When some big strong man approached, she would ask him to help with her suitcases ... then she would pick up the empty suitcase and walk away, while the hidden camera recorded the reaction of the poor schmo as he tried to pick up the other suitcase.
    • Husky Russkie: Subverted when they tried the trick in Moscow. The blonde pulled the routine on a burly Russian pedestrian ... who picked up the 200-pound suitcase and followed her effortlessly.
  • Mistaken for An Imposter: Allen Funt was once on a flight that was hijacked and flown to Cuba. Because everyone on the plane recognized him, he was the only passenger to realize that this wasn't a joke.
  • The Movie: Funt made two movies with the same premise: What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? and Money Talks.
  • Reaching Between the Lines: There was a stunt where a person talking on the phone suddenly sneezed. The victim, at the other end, was then sprayed with water from a gadget in the receiver. The victims reacted with disgust, at least until Fridge Logic kicked in.
  • Recycled in Space: "Candid Candid Camera" was a direct-to-video spinoff featuring coarse language and nudity.
  • Schmuck Bait: A key component of many pranks.
    • Inverted once where they put a bowl in a public place full of money with a sign that said "FREE MONEY". Nobody touched it, assuming it was Schmuck Bait.
  • The Television Talks Back: Once done on the French version with a victim who was watching Questions pour un Champion, just as the guy found the answer to a question about a TV show where people are pranked on tape.
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