Allen Funt – Smile You’re on Candid Camera!

By | Sep 16, 2008

Allen Funt was born on September 16, 1914. Beginning in the 1940’s and until the 1980s as a regular show or in a series of specials, his famous show, Candid Camera was produced.

Funt came up with his idea of recording ordinary people in unusual situations in the 1940s and began on radio as Candid Microphone. The radio program premiered on Jun 28, 1947. Funt, during World War II, assisted in recording soldiers sending message home. He discovered that many times the soldiers were more relaxed when doing a rehearsal than when recording. There was a light that indicated that the recording was taking place so Funt began recording the rehearsals while the light was off.

It wasn’t too long before he moved the concept from recorded audio to recorded pictures and moved the show to television. The first televised broadcast of Candid Camera began on August 10, 1948.

The two shows, Candid Microphone and Candid Camera ran at the same time from Candid Camera‘s premiere until the last Candid Microphone‘s broadcast on August 29, 1950.

In the 1960s and 1970s Candid Camera made a set of adult-oriented features. In 1970 Funt made a reality film based on this concept called What Do You Say to a Naked lady?

Funt was still producing and hosting Candid Camera segments when he suffered a stroke in 1993. His son Peter Funt then took over the show. Funt never fully recovered from the stroke and he died on September 5, 1999.


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