Ashton Kutcher isn’t the only celebrity who loves a good prank. Long before Kutcher was messing with the likes of Zac Efron and Beyonce on Punk’d, silent film legend Buster Keaton was fooling everyday restaurant customers on Candid Camera.
Back in the 1920s, Keaton was one of the most famous comedians in America, appearing in more than 30 short and feature films over the course of the decade. But by the 1960s, the comedian’s star had faded a bit, and he was able to go out in public without being recognized—a fact he used to his advantage in a classic episode of the hidden camera TV show Candid Camera.
Keaton performs one of his classic pantomime routines for a group of unwitting restaurant customers. The routine is a bit of perfectly timed, choreographed slapstick, but the customers think they’re watching a bumbling old man who can’t seem to eat his meal without spilling it everywhere. Watch above as Keaton manages to rip his sleeve off, spill coffee onto his plate, and sneeze with such force that his toupée falls into his soup—all with his signature deadpan expression firmly in place.
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