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!
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.