The Time Candid Camera Came to Binghamton and Utterly Confused People
Candid Camera was a hidden camera television show that generations grew up on and in the height of its popularity, the show came to Binghamton, to the complete surprise of the town.
Launched in 1948, Candid Camera was the brainchild of Allen Funt who earned a earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Cornell University. Before his death in 1999, Funt donated his recording and films to Cornell and also established a fellowship at Syracuse University for postgraduate studies in radio and television.
From 1948 until its cancelation in 2014, various versions of Candid Camera aired on television. The premises of the show was simple. Hidden cameras were set up and captured everyday people and their often-hilarious reactions to very strange situations.
In October of 1965, Candid Camera came to Binghamton in an episode called "The Car That Splits In Half.” As the story goes, the wife of a man named Ron Jerauld who worked as a mechanic at Johnson’s Garage, a Chevrolet dealership in Oneonta read somewhere that Candid Camera was having trouble finding people to help them build gag props for the show and suggested to her husband that he might be able to help.
It turns out, Jerauld was able to help and was paid a reported $1,100 to build a 1957 Renault 4CV that would split in half. When Candid Camera came to Binghamton, filming took place on Grand Boulevard in Binghamton and at Campus Plaza in Vestal with Jerauld's incredible splitting car taking everyone completely by surprise.
Candid Camera Classics shared this video clip from when the show came to Binghamton and the reactions are priceless. The look on the poor police officer's face!