|Smile! You're On Candid Camera!
America's first and longest-running "reality show" has appeared on TV in every decade since the 1940's. Allen Funt launched Candid Microphone in 1947 and brought it to television the following year. Peter Funt took over in the mid-1980's and produced and hosted over 200 network episodes.
By featuring people "caught in the act of being themselves," as the show's slogan has it, "laughter's on its way." Candid Camera has come into our living rooms for decades to help us practice the art of taking ourselves less seriously. In addition to the smiles, the series has offered intriguing glimpses of human nature.
This evening will provide the opportunity for us to re-live (and re-laugh) those thrilling days of yesteryear as Peter draws from the vast Candid Camera collection of clips that range from inspiring to hilarious. He will present a laugh-filled and touching Candid Camera medley that looks at how the series began... caught on... and endured as an American tradition. It's become such a part of the culture that for decades, almost everyone could complete the mantra, "Smile! You're on _________ ________!"
Peter will also talk about Laughter Therapy, the project started by his father, Allen Funt, 30 years ago to provide special Candid Camera clips to critically ill people... with surprisingly effective results. Having honored Norman Cousins at our conference a couple years ago, we know how he prescribed Candid Camera to himself to help recover from his painful, debilitating illness.
In addition to appearing in hundreds of Candid Camera sequences over the decades, Peter Funt is a feature writer and syndicated columnist who also spent five years as an editor and reporter with ABC News. Peter actually made his first appearance on Candid Camera when he and the legendary series were each just three years old.
To be candid, after his keynote, we look forward to putting a smile on Peter's face as we present him and Candid Camera with the National Humor Treasure Award- to thank them for embracing the inherently humorous human condition.