People Are Funny

People Are Funny

Infobox Television
show_name = People Are Funny

caption = Sam Berman's caricature of Art Linkletter for NBC's 1947 promotional book.
format = Game Show
camera =
picture_format =
audio_format =
runtime = 30 min.
creator =
developer =
executive_producer = John Guedel
starring = Art Baker, Art Linkletter, Flip Wilson
narrated =
opentheme =
endtheme =
country =
language =
network = NBC
first_aired = 1954
last_aired = 1961, 1984
num_episodes =
list_episodes =
preceded_by =
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website =
imdb_id =
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"People Are Funny" was a long-run American radio and television game show, created by John Guedel, which employed audience participation and stunts contrived to reveal the humorous side of human nature. After contestants were sent from the studio to perform a task in public, the audience was told how the contestant was being double-crossed.


It all began in 1938 when Guedel made an audition recording, and the following year his concept of a comedy stunt show aired in Los Angeles as "Pull Over, Neighbor", later reworked into "All Aboard". Watching a bored, unreceptive audience listening to an after-dinner speaker, Guedel scribbled "People are funny, aren't they?" on a napkin, and he had his title. In 1942, learning of a show that was canceled, he pitched "People Are Funny" to NBC, and it went on the air April 10, 1942 with Art Baker as host. In a popular first season stunt a man was assigned to register a trained seal at the Knickerbocker Hotel while explaining that the seal was his girlfriend.Dunning, John. "On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio". Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-507678-8.]

On October 1, 1943 Baker was replaced by Art Linkletter who continued for the rest of the series. For a memorable stunt of 1945, Linkletter announced $1000 would go to the first person to find one of 12 plastic balls floating in the Pacific. Two years later, an Ennylageban Island native claimed the prize.

As the popularity of the program escalated, a movie musical titled "People Are Funny" was released in 1946, offering a fictional version of the show's origin in a tale of rival radio producers. Phillip Read appeared as Guedel, with Linkletter and Frances Langford portraying themselves. Also in the cast were Jack Haley, Helen Walker, Ozzie Nelson and Rudy Vallee. The radio series moved to CBS from 1951 to 1954, returning to NBC from 1954 to 1960.


Linkletter continued as host of the show during its run on television from 1954 to 1961. In one stunt, a guest had to telephone a random number and sustain a conversation with a puzzled stranger for several minutes. The series received Emmy nominations in 1955 and 1956.

Derek Roy was the host of a 1955 British version. The series was satirized in the Warner Bros. cartoon, "People Are Bunny" (1959).

In 1984 "People Are Funny" was revived with Flip Wilson as host. The show was canceled after five months in NBC's 9:00pm slot.


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