His son Peter Funt, who had co-hosted the specials with his father since 1987, became the producer and host.
The show involved concealing cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual situations, sometimes involving trick props, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed or a car with a hidden extra gas tank.
After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on August 10, 1948, and continued into the 1970s.Aside from occasional specials in the 1980s and 1990s, the show was off air until making a comeback on CBS in 1996, before moving to PAX in 2001.Its longest uninterrupted run came in the CBS Sunday evening version.Debuting in October 1960, dominating its 10pm time slot for seven years, the program reached its peak in 1963 placing second for the year in the national Nielsen Ratings.Some of Funt's pieces did not involve pranks but consisted simply of interviews with ordinary people.
There were bizarre sequences in which people, sometimes children, gave one-of-a-kind interpretations of works of art.
When the joke was revealed, victims would be told the show's catchphrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera." The show often played its hidden-camera pranks on celebrities as well: one episode had actress Ann Jillian scheduled to make a small donation to a Lithuanian charity.
When police officers informed her a con artist was behind the charity, they convinced her to donate a much larger amount with the assurance that he would be arrested when he accepted the check.
After this was done several times, she asked President Truman if something seemed familiar.
The former president replied he expected she had something to do with the van that had been following him, and pointed straight into the camera with his walking stick without turning to look.
A little girl once told Funt that The Discus Thrower by Praxiteles showed a man throwing his little girl's allowance to her while she stood in the back yard.