Pranks, gags, practical jokes, call them what you want, but they happen every day around the world any time of the day or night. Some people really get serious about their pranks, some consider themselves to be an “aficionado of the art form”. Some will even go to extravagant extremes to fulfill their need for a laugh. Most of the time there is a specific person being targeted, but, as we have seen on TV, the target can be any unfortunate person that happens to walk by.
Back in 1947, Allan Funt started the ball rolling on early radio with “Candid Microphone” but then moved to television with “Candid Camera“. That was a hidden camera program in which people found themselves in strange or unusual situations and their humorous reactions were caught on camera and later broadcast.
Later, in the 80′s he did a series of “adult oriented” like What Do You Say To A Naked Lady? and films called “Candid Candid Camera”. Allen’s son, Peter appeared in many episodes and took over as host in 1987. He carries on the family tradition and is the current president of Laughter Therapy Foundation, a non-profit organization started by his father in 1982. Candid Camera can still be seen on youtube hosted by Peter Funt and Myam Bialik
Others have tried to copy the success of Funt’s program with shows like “Punk’d”, but they don’t seem to have the same magic. The new shows seem to be more about cruelly embarrassing someone instead of just getting a laugh. I should give mention to April Fools jokes and pranks. They can be fun, but, if you re a true prankster, I believe you should take that day off and leave it for the amateurs.