People are Funny



Derek Roy

Pete Murray


Ross Television/ATV? for ITV, 1955


It may be childish, but it was the original. This is the show that set off a whole raft of practical jokes shows such as Candid Camera, Game for a Laugh, Beadle's About, People do the Funniest Things, Trick or Treat, and Would I Lie to You?. However, of these, only People are Funny and Trick or Treat were played for prizes.

Punters would be invited to play a practical joke dressed up as a proper game, and going through with the ordeal earned them a prize.

Key moments

The woman who was invited to smash up a load of crockery (hidden under a cloth) with a mallet, only to later realise that it was her crockery.


People are Funny is one of the earliest examples of a UK version of a US game show.


The show had previously appeared on Radio Luxembourg, hosted first by Peter Martyn, and then by Vic Perry after Martyn's death. There was also a film version made in 1954 with Martyn as compere.

The show was condemned as exploitative (although the audience and contestants seemed to love it), and was removed by the producers (ATV) before the Independent Television Authority stepped in to tone it down.


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