What are some hidden camera shows that mess with people's heads?
April 8, 2009 11:06 PM   Subscribe

What are some hidden camera shows that mess with people's heads?

The majority of hidden camera prank TV shows seem to focus on either angering the mark (e.g. Punk'd, Boiling Points), or surprising them (e.g. Jackass, Candid Camera).

Instead, I'm looking for more shows that create hilarity by putting the mark in absurd situations where they really don't know how to react. Usually these involve a funny character actor and an unusual storyline. This is best explained with examples of the genre:

- The Jamie Kennedy experiment (here, here)

- Ali G/Borat/Bruno (do I need links?)

- Trigger Happy TV (here, here)

- I Get That a Lot (here)

I've gone through most of the shows I could find in the Wikipedia article on hidden camera shows (though for some I couldn't find footage online). Are there any shows that are similar to the above examples that I might have missed?
posted by lunchbox to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Just for Laughs Gags is kind of like Trigger Happy TV, but much simpler and with no dialogue.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 11:08 PM on April 8, 2009

Howie Do It
posted by P.o.B. at 11:11 PM on April 8, 2009

Scare Tactics.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:19 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

World Shut Your Mouth followed on from Trigger Happy TV (essentially a change of network and not a lot else).

Also Swag.
posted by edd at 4:01 AM on April 9, 2009

I'm sure that Playboy did a soft-porn version of this concept. Usually people just got naked around the mark in some contrived situation.
posted by humblepigeon at 4:11 AM on April 9, 2009

I was a big fan of Spy T.V. but, it's hard to find archives of it.
posted by sharkhunt at 7:05 AM on April 9, 2009

Room 401?
posted by iviken at 7:13 AM on April 9, 2009

This one is a bit politically and socially contraversial but... What Would You Do?
posted by alcoth at 7:46 AM on April 9, 2009

The Joe Schmo Show was absolutely amazing. It was a reality show like The Real World combined with Survivor. The "contestants" were all actors with the exception of one guy who thought it was earnest, and the reactions were hilarious. Later on, Joe Schmo (Matthew Kennedy Gould) tried to play it off like he knew what was up (they did commentary-laden episodes after the show ended), but it's clear from his reactions that he's utterly in the dark.
posted by explosion at 8:08 AM on April 9, 2009

This isn't a show but it's a growing trend where people come together to perform a bizarre, scripted act in public just so that the reactions of the unsuspecting public can be enjoyed. The website is: Improv Everywhere

Other examples:

A surprise musical performance to advertise a show:

Thrill the World (A yearly public reenactment of Michael Jackson's Thriller dance, best when foisted upon an unsuspecting crowd)
posted by Piscean at 4:41 PM on April 9, 2009

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