Imagine this: you’re at the checkout line at the supermarket, but instead of the clerk giving a pleasant hello and ringing up your items, he tells you that your food choices are unhealthy. He then breaks down exactly what kinds of foods you should get and tries to put back the unwholesome ones. What would you do?
This is the scenario on tonight’s episode of What Would You Do? It airs Friday, October 5, at 9/8 central on ABC. The segment will feature comedian Howie Mandel as the grocery store clerk who dons a wig and nerd glasses to fool customers in to thinking he is a real employee.
Customers at the store look baffled as the undercover Mandel tells them they have failed at their shopping. “Healthwise, I don’t think that’s gonna work,” he says to one perplexed mom. “Will you get her something with more fiber?” he says to a co-worker.
What Would You Do? sets up situations like these to see how people will react to ethically-questionable activities, injustices, or other out of the ordinary scenes. The show uses hidden cameras to document their reactions but the crew and host, John Quiñones, later come out of hiding and let the people know it was all a guise. Other episodes see what passersby do when an angry mother abandons her children or when a cafe manager kicks a breastfeeding woman out of his store.
A situation like Mandel stages at this supermarket does make you think, what if something like this really happened? Perhaps we would all be better off if we were shamed into buying healthier choices, like when Mandel tells a customer, “This is what you want. This is what you need,” and to another, “I don’t think you have enough protein, and I think there’s too much gluten.” Watch tonight to see how these customers react to this pushy, nutritionally-minded salesman.