Candid Commercial
Heard On Candid Mike

"We dare them all."
                        -- Ken Roberts


Lincoln, Me. (DG)---

Many of you may remember CANDID CAMERA, the program that caught people in the act of being themselves.  The idea for the popular TV show began on radio with CANDID MICROPHONE.  Hidden microphones were hidden at unusual situations, and the main idea was to get everyday peopleís reactions to those situations.

Some of the more unusual situations heard on the program consisted of a man who was locked in a refrigerated vault--- with no key to let him out.  The "Candid Mike Assistant" (program creator Allen Funt in these examples) called a locksmith to open the vault.  While it appeared the locksmith would save the day, Funt started to balk at paying $3.50 to the locksmith, because he wanted to pay $2.  With the man locked in the vault pleading to Funt to pay the extra money, he refused.  In the process, the locksmith stopped his work and waited until the 2 men came to a definite decision whether to pay the full $3.50 or to call in another locksmith.

Another situation occurred at a candy store.  Funt wanted to buy a box of chocolates for a friend. He stated to the clerk at the store that his friend had a habit of squeezing the chocolates before eating, so he wanted to eliminate the trouble of squeezing.  Before buying the candy, Funt asked the clerk at the candy store to squeeze every piece of candy in the box.  The clerk replied it was an unusual request, but if Funt wanted the candy "squozen" (as the clerk referred to the squeezed candy), it was OK with her.

The most unusual situation was the interview with a professional wrestler.  Funt wanted to set up a match between himself and the wrestler.  While the game plan of the match was being set, the wrestler started to describe the tricks of the pro wrestling trade--- the tricks of the trade the people ARE NOT supposed to know about!

Philip Morris Believe In Yourself The idea of the program was the honest reaction of the people.  It was also the main idea for the programís middle commercial of its sponsor, Philip Morris Cigarettes.  The sponsor was put to the challenge as to which brand was the mildest cigarette made.  The commercial began with Funt talking with a smoker.  The conversation began with an unassuming subject like asking directions for a specific street.  While Funt intentionally confused the smoker with his directions, he asked the smoker to take a simple test as to which cigarette was milder, Philip Morris or the brand he/she smoked.  The idea was to take a puff from Philip Morris and then let the smoke out through his/her nose.  The same was done with the smokerís brand.  When the test was completed, Funt asked the smoker which cigarette was milder.  To the relief of the sponsor, the smoker replied, "Philip Morris."  Funt closed out the commercial when he informed the smoker he/she was on CANDID MICROPHONE.  Of course, the reaction of the smoker varied from commercial to commercial.

The test on CANDID MICROPHONE was honest and impartial. Philip Morris & Co., Ltd .was so convinced of their productís mildness, the "Philip Morris Smoke Test" continued on future radio programs sponsored by Philip Morris.