Allen Funt is a true television pioneer like Lucille Ball or Edward R. Murrow. Funt started out with hidden microphones and graduated to hidden cameras with his iconic TV series "Candid Camera" in which he would film people responding to outrageous situations, not realizing they were being filmed. Later referred to as being "punked," Funt turned this practice into a veritable art form. The show was so popular, it had no trouble netting guest stars, including such legendary comedians as Harpo Marx and Buster Keaton. The show premiered in the early days of TV back in 1948 and continued well into the 1960s.
Every few years, Candid Camera would return in a reboot, including series in 1996 and 2001. Now, TV Land is showing a brand new version of the program, with Funt's son Peter co-hosting alongside actress Mayim Bialek ("The Big Bang Theory," "Blossom"). Bialek told Jackson Henry at Entertainment Weekly: "“Since I was a child, I have found it impossible to not smile when I hear, ‘Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!’ and I am honored and tickled pink to get to be a part of this amazing franchise.”
Another Funt son, Bill, is a TV historian who has archived all of the original "Candid Camera" shows for DVD projects. So the program's history is preserved, in safe hands, and will soon be accessible.
The new "Candid Camera" will be playing regularly on TV Land. It premiered on Monday, August 11, 2014, and will be running each night this week before settling into its weekly status. We are looking forward to seeing new, clever ideas on this latest version of the classic program.