The most popular type of video on the television show "Candid Camera" took place in diners. Diners with tables and counter stools close to each other were ideal for enabling customers to watch each other covertly.
Capturing and video recording examples of human behavior in public was one of the benchmarks of the comedy show. Show producers set up hidden cameras before staging benign pranks to befall ordinary people. City streets, stores, parks and restaurants were all popular locations to secretly record the actions of people put in unusual situations and to capture the reactions of witnesses to the prank. Humor came from watching subjects encounter strange occurrence such as a mannequin coming to life, often looking around to see if others saw what they did.
The show creator Allen Funt is credited as being a pioneer of reality television. Funt believed pranks should be light-hearted and display the funny side of human behavior, not be a set up to make the subject look bad.
The popular television show debuted in 1948 on ABC and was among television's top ten rated shows every year 1960-1967. The show was widely syndicated, adapted into several television specials and enjoyed several revivals on broadcast and cable television.The catch phrase, "Smile! You're on Candid Camera!" encouraged good-humored participation and became widely known due to the popularity of the show.