Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Candid Camera

I stockpile stuff for Eli. If I see something I know he'll enjoy someday, and I see it on sale, I'll go ahead and buy it. We have board games and DVD's and electronics kits in my closet, waiting for the time when he's old enough to appreciate them.

That explains why I have a 5-DVD set of greatest moments in the Candid Camera series, and we started watching them last weekend.

Candid Camera must be the funniest show, in a conceptual sense, in the history of television, because it's entirely based on pranks. Plus, some of the setups were so elaborate and so clever that they're genius. Our favorite: a woman hired to be a temporary employee answering phones at an office right next to the Rose Bowl. It's a company that does "parachute show-jumping," and they're supposedly practicing a jump for the next Rose Bowl. Her boss is in communication via two-way radio, and he counts off the jumpers as they leap out of the plane.

Except #6 is missing.

"Where's number six?" he asks. "Has anyone seen number six?" The temp leans forward to look out her window. Just then, a parachutist comes through the ceiling and lands on the floor next to her.

She completely freaked out, and we were both laughing so hard that we nearly fell off the couch. And it was even funnier when she found out she was on Candid Camera.

Here's one more. The Candid Camera staff remove the engine from a car, then tow the car to the top of a hill so the driver can coast down and into any one of several gas stations (so they can see her "drive" in). She stops the car, then gets out and asks the mechanic to help her because her car won't start. The expression on the mechanic's faces when they lift the hood is beyond priceless, and how they try to figure out what happened is even funnier.

Now I can't stop adding these. There's one where they build a vending machine called "Vend-a-Vow," which conducts weddings for fifty cents. They installed it in a courthouse in Reno, and the results were epic. Actually, you can watch this one online (see it here).

It's classic comedy, and I really want to introduce Eli to all of the classics (Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Ernie Kovacs, Monty Python, etc.) when he's ready.

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