Mayim Bialik: New 'Candid Camera' 'helps people poke fun at themselves'

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Image Credit: TV Land

Three-time Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik has made a name for herself—first as the title character on Blossom, then through a career in neuroscience, and finally as Amy Farrah Fowler, the equally geeky romantic counterpart to Jim Parsons’s Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. But now, Bialik is taking her career in yet another direction, as she’s added a hosting gig on TV Land’s reboot of Candid Camera.

In an interview with EW, Bialik talked about watching Candid Camera as a kid, and she pointed out that the series has managed to differentiate itself from other recent prank shows by maintaining its warmheartedness. After all, the catchphrase, which Bialik now gets to say on TV, is “smile, you’re on Candid Camera,” and the smile is important.

“[The show's] about helping people poke fun at themselves without people laughing at them,” Bialik said. “We want to point out the absurdity of situations without making people feel absurd themselves.”

In order to maintain that recognizable sensibility for the series, Bialik looks to her co-host Peter Funt, son of Alan Funt, who founded and hosted the show back in 1960. Funt writes the bits and comes up with gags in addition to hosting, and Bialik regards him as the “keeper of the legacy” and a “standard in the industry.” “I want to be careful that he always feels that we’re being true to what his father created and also putting a modern spin on it,” Bialik noted.

As Bialik prepares to Candid Camera, which will premiere on Monday, Aug. 11, she’s also in the running for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role on The Big Bang Theory—though she didn’t submit the episode you might expect. To be exact, she decided not to submit “The Locomotive Manipulation” (episode 15), which featured a much-talked-about first kiss between Sheldon and Amy which landed on EW‘s list of last year’s 50 best TV scenes.  “I think a lot of people assumed that I would pick the kiss episode, which was the moment that was most talked about, or which people most wanted to talk to me about,” Bialik said. “But it’s not a strong comedic episode for me.”

Instead, Bialik chose the “The Indecision Amalgamation” (episode 19), in which Sheldon can’t decided whether to purchase a PS4 or Xbox One. One of Bialik’s favorite scenes came from that episode: Amy becomes so fed up with Sheldon that she finally breaks down over a stick of butter.

Bialik also said that she leaves the fate of her character up to the writers and producers, but if she had to choose, she would love for Amy to get a scene with Stuart Bloom (Kevin Sussman), the comic-book store owner and friend of Sheldon and Leonard’s. “I think our two characters are very different and very odd, but I would love the opportunity to work more with Kevin,” she said.

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