A small, compact car rolls up to a gas station and stops at a pump. “Fill ‘er up,” the driver says.
An attendant inserts the pump and stands by befuddled, then amazed as the tiny vehicle consumes more than 50 gallons of gas.
Suddenly a stocky man appears from the sidelines and announces, “Smile, you’re on 'Candid Camera.' ”
The attendant immediately breaks into laughter realizing he has been harmlessly hoodwinked. He recognizes Allen Funt, creator of "Candid Camera," the first hidden-camera show on TV. A program that entertained millions from the 1940s on.
"Candid Camera" was famous for its harmless and entertaining pranks. The attendant was unaware most of the interior of the car had been gutted including the motor. A huge gas tank was then inserted into the body of the car which rolled down to the pump from the top of a hill powered by gravity (and steered by a "Candid Camera" staffer).
And so it went — prank after hilarious prank. "Candid Camera" became one of the most popular programs in television history. It returns to TV this year with Peter Funt, Allen’s son, taking over for his late father.
On April 12, Ocean City ‘s Doo Dah Parade will recognize the Candid Camera’s contribution to humor. Peter Funt will be Grand Marshal of the city’s parade and receive Doo Dah’s Life Time Achievement Award on behalf of his dad.
On April 11, Peter will present a video show at the Ocean City Music Pier highlighting “The Best of Candid Camera.” The show will be hilarious and benefit the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard.
The Doo Dah Parade also will feature the Basset Hound Waddle (with more than 500 of the floppy-eared doggies, many sporting decorations), comical brigades, clowns, costumed characters and the PieAsco, a massive pie-in the face event in front of the Music Pier when the parade ends.
On Saturday night (April 12), there will be a tribute to Abbott and Costello at the library with impersonators introducing a classic movie.
And lest we forget, the Tri State County Basset Hound Rescue League will hold its popular Basset Hound Olympics on Friday at noon on the Tabernacle Grounds. The endearing doggies will jump over hurdles (or walk around them), run through tunnels, attempt a 20-yard sprint, and then flop on the grass for a snooze.
For more information or to participate in the parade, call (609) 525-9300.
— News release from Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soifer