Action Comics #345: "The Day Candid Camera Unmasked Clark Kent's Ident ity!"

Action Comics #345
"The Day Candid Camera Unmasked Clark Kent's Identity!'
January, 1967

Story: Leo Dorfman
Art: Al Plastino
Lettering: Joe Letterese

Ever since he began his crime-fighting career, Clark Kent used every trick in the book to maintain his secret identity. Everyone from criminal scientists to girl reporters has tried and failed to learn his dual identity! Now, Allen Funt of television's Candid Camera, has managed to catch the mild-mannered reporter in the act of changing identities before forty million viewers on "The Day Candid Camera Unmasked Clark Kent's Identity!" On Sunday night, Perry White tunes in to Candid Camera! For their next stunt, one of the Candid Camera staff will enter the gorilla cage at the zoo. When the next visitor comes along, he is asked to let a little boy have some of his peanuts to feed the gorilla!

The visitor doesn't know what to make of father and son as they give the peanuts to a man in the gorilla cage! When he asks someone if that's a man in the gorilla cage, he is told by another staff member anyone can see it's a chimpanzee! Before he can get to a psychiatrist, Allen Funt admits it was all a gag, and they will play his tape on their show next Sunday! The editor finds Funt a riot, but thinks he couldn't be fooled by those Candid Camera gags. RING RING After learning of a spectacular hold-up at the Daily Planet, Perry speeds to the scene. With his entire staff off for the weekend, it's up to him to handle the story by himself. As he wonders what loot the hold-up men could have gotten away with, his car rounds the corner!

The Daily Planet editor finds nothing but a hole in the ground! How can a skyscraper have disappeared without a trace? Spotting a squad-car, Perry speaks with the two policemen! He is told by one of the officers to look up in the sky, and sees the Man of Steel flying around with the Daily Planet Building!

Superman fixes everything as good as new and reconnects the wires and pipes at super-speed! After the Man of Steel replaces the Daily Planet Building, he tells Perry White he is on Candid Camera! Allen Funt tells the editor they will run the film on next week's show. Millions of viewers will laugh when they see his reaction to the spectacular hold-up! As Perry shakes hands with Allen Funt, Superman takes his leave! That weekend, viewers coast-to-coast enjoy the missing building gag!

The following day, the Candid Camera staff receive a mountain of fan mail, and prepare for a different angle on their next show! Although their stunts are usually filmed in advance, Allen Funt is planning a gag sequence featuring the mild-mannered reporter! As an additional twist, Funt is going to put it as a live segment! He calls Perry White to set it up! At the Daily Planet, Perry White doesn't know what to make of the fish in the water cooler! Lois Lane smiles and takes his picture for her Candid Camera! Jimmy Olsen offers to relight the editor's cigar with his trick lighter! When the Daily Planet staff each claim they would not be fooled by Allen Funt, he answers his phone, and learns how Mr. Funt has a Candid Camera gag planned for Clark Kent! It will be a pleasure to turn the tables on one of his staff employees!

Funt tells the editor to assign the mild-mannered reporter to cover the annual Metropolis Fair at the Colosseum on Sunday night! Perry agrees to have Clark there for the "Gay Nineties Exhibit" at 10:45 p.m.! In the following days, as Allen Funt and his staff prepare for the weekend show, a customer asks a gas station attendant to put some air in his tires! The automobile suddenly goes up in the air like a balloon! CLUNK The customer decides to drop anchor! WHOOSH THUMP! The hapless attendant no longer knows if this is a filling station or an airport!

The gas station attendant soon learns he is on Candid Camera! Compressed helium gas was released from a tank, inflating a bag which lifted the light-weight automobile. The helium was then discharged through the exhaust pipe to lower it! At a winter festival in Metropolis Park, a snow sculpture of a spaceman is being set up! Three teens hurls snowballs to see which one of them can knock off his helmet! SPLATT! WHAPP! The next moment finds them fleeing in terror as a snow monster comes to life!

Allen Funt appears to tell them the snow sculpture is actually a man in a space suit! They are on Candid Camera and will see themselves running from the snowman this weekend! Sunday evening, as the nation tunes in, viewers laugh at the hapless gas station attendant and the floating automobile! In Metropolis, the Man of Steel dons his Clark Kent clothes to cover the story for Perry White! At the fair, the mild-mannered reporter prepares to watch the special events at the "Gay Nineties" exhibit, at 10:15 p.m.!

Clark smiles at the children enjoying the Superman and Batman souvenirs and toys at the Heroes-Haven Giftshop! He wonders what they would think if they knew the Man of Steel was walking right past them! The mild-mannered reporter would flip if he knew he was being watched on a nation-wide television hookup. At the "Gay Nineties" exhibit, the mild-mannered reporter arrives in time to watch as actors re-enact one of John L. Sullivan's bouts. Sullivan fought the last bareknuckle championship fight in 1889 by defeating Jake Kilrain in seventy-five rounds! The second "Gay Nineties" exhibit features "Diamond Jim" Brady eating several lobsters, a brace of roast ducks, and half a ham in one sitting -- followed by a few pies!

As the performance ends, the audience is informed how the actor portraying "Diamond Jim" Brady wore jewelry which belonged to the real "Diamond Jim". The gems kept for safe keeping in a vault between performances. The actors from the John L. Sullivan tableau are thieves in disguise and are about to take the gems! As a mild-mannered reporter, he can't act, but an old-time phone booth is just the place for a costume change! Unbeknownst to Clark, television cameras are watching his every move. Allen Funt informs the viewers the robbery is fake, as is the telephone booth! When the mild-mannered reporter tries to phone in his story to the Daily Planet, he will find the line is dead! After giving Clark Kent enough time, Allen Funt prepares to show the folks at home the picture of a frustrated reporter with a story he can't possibly phone in! Allen Funt stammers as he starts to tell his victim he is on Candid C-Camera and sees Clark Kent caught in the act of changing to the Man of Steel!

As views throughout the nation watch in disbelief, Lois Lane discovers her suspicions of her fellow reporter were accurate! A racketeer savors the sight of Superman squirming! A young viewer wonders how the Man of Steel will do for a new secret identity! Allen Funt tells his victim the robbery was a hoax he was planning to pull on Clark Kent! The mild-mannered reporter tells him to relax, despite the fact this was a live telecast with forty million viewers seeing him change from Clark Kent to Superman! Clark Kent finishes his switch, revealing Batman pants, boots, and a utility belt! He could be the Man of Steel or the Caped Crusader or just a mild-mannered reporter wearing parts of two costumes!

Figuring Clark must have discovered he was going to be on Candid Camera, Allen Funt is surprised to learn he was the one who told him -- courtesy of a miniature television set tuned in on the show! He was listening to it while he carried it in his pocket! Clark dodged the cameras and entered the "Heroes Haven" souvenir shop during the commercial to don the costume parts as a surprise for Allen Funt! This time, it was Mr. Funt who was caught in the act and who must smile for being on Candid Camera! Viewers across the nation relax at the news of the Man of Steel's secret identity remaining a secret as a weapon against his never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way! As Allen Funt and the Candid Camera crew depart, only Clark knows how close Funt came to unmasking him. The mild-mannered reporter didn't realize he was on television until the last possible moment!

Clark was in the booth changing to the Man of Steel when he kept his super-hearing tuned into the robbery! He could have changed back to the mild-mannered reporter, but it was more fun to give Allen Funt a taste of his own medicine! In a split-second, Superman bores through the bottom of the phone booth and drills his way to the Colosseum! The floor is repaired by the time Funt opens the door! In less than half a second, the Man of Steel sped to Jimmy Olsen's apartment, where he borrowed a miniature television set and a Batman costume from his pal's disguise trunk! When Allen Funt opened the door, Clark was able to pull off the greatest trick in television history. The following day at the Daily Planet, Perry compliments Clark on his stunt, and almost believed he was Superman! When Lois finds the idea ridiculous, the mild-mannered reporter wonders if the girl reporter will renew her identity hunt once more!

Candid Camera was broadcast on the CBS television network.

The mild-mannered reporter once impersonated a gorilla in "How Perry White Hired Clark Kent!" from Superman #133 (November, 1959) by Jerry Siegel and Al Plastino.

Children had a ball reading Superman and Batman comic books they bought at the local news vendor!

The Filmation Superman animated series ran on the CBS television network.

Allen Funt may have boxed Clark Kent into a corner, but the mild-mannered reporter told him the booth, the whole booth, and nothing but the booth.

The Batman TV series ran on the ABC television network.

Steve Chung
"The Day Candid Camera Unmasked Clark Kent's Review!"