1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 6 (USA)
This Fox show was essentially an updated version of Candid Camera – whose creator, Allen Funt, sued the producers for ripping him off but was unable to convince the court that there was anything copyrightable about the use of hidden cameras.
In a typical Totally Hidden Video stunt, customers at a drive-through burger joint found themselves listening in disbelief as the counter guy inside (played by host Steve Skrovan) got their order screwed up. When one woman ordered a Diet Coke and fries, the voice replied: “That’s a chilli-burger and a shrimp cocktail and a Baked Alaska?”
Another customer was asked: “Would you like to join our Christmas Club?”.
“There’s another car behind me!” yelled a frustrated patron. “I know,” Skrovan shot back over the microphone. “That’s why this is a drive-through”.
In another segment, unsuspecting drivers on a desert highway in California suddenly found themselves stopped by Mounties at a very convincing version of a Canadian border checkpoint to be informed that Congress had moved the Canadian border south.
Steve Skrovan left the show in the summer of 1990. A number of comedians served as guest hosts until Mark Pitta took over as the regular host the following January.
But the star of the show was never the host. It was the innocent victims, those good sports who were captured by the camera at those wonderful moments when they wished they were dead.
When new episodes started airing in July 1991, the series had a modified title, Totally New Totally Hidden Video, and a new feature called ‘Video Vengeance’ in which the show helped viewers set up people they knew to get even with them, and filmed the results for the show.