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Thread: The laugh track

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The laugh track

    Funny the things we accept as being such an integral component of normality. Take for example the laugh track. Junior recently saw some old episodes of 'Bewitched'. I was a little surprised at his reactions, first because he thought the 40 year old gags were riotously funny, but secondly by his surprise at hearing the laugh track. It hadn't occurred to me until then that he'd never before heard a laugh track during his 5 years in this world ("Daddy the tv is laughing.").

    Seems like shows from the 70's had really loud (and abruptly cut off) laugh tracks. Modern shows still use laugh tracks, but sitcoms are again being recorded in front of live audiences for their laughter. You can frequently tell the difference between canned and live laughter - one thing that tips it off for me is studios plant people in their audiences to laugh (there's probably a name for this, but I don't know what it is off hand). They usually can be heard as the first loud guffaws that start a fraction of a second before everyone else starts laughing.

    Do you feel insulted by the presence of a laugh track (how funny can it be if they need to tell you when to laugh?)? Ever notice how Canadian tv seldom relies on laugh tracks? Anyone ever watch tv shows while in Europe or South America or know if they use laugh tracks there? I'm guessing most of our experiences with foreign tv is limited to the BBC shows seen on PBS?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I don't watch tv. I'm not sure why I am posting in this thread. hmm... I am confused. I need a laugh track for my life.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I know people tend to laugh a lot more when other people are laughing so it makes sense. Obvious laugh tracks are in Disney Channel shows and other designed for kids. Scrubs doesn't use any laughter at all. Maybe that's why I don't think it's funny...
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    OMG I loved the Bewitched laugh track - there was always one guy who had a little bit louder guffaw than everyone else and the cut off always had him lingering -

    I think a local cable laugh track for my meetings would be awesome!

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think a local cable laugh track for my meetings would be awesome!
    Post of the day.


    "Sidewalks? You honestly want to put sidewalks in our neighborhood?" [chuckle] "Those are like pedestrian highways for sex offenders and drug dealers!" [big laugh] "Think of the children!" [knock out laugh]

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Ever notice how Canadian tv seldom relies on laugh tracks?
    That's because Canadians don't laugh.

  7. #7
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop View post
    That's because Canadians don't laugh.
    More like we don't need to be given a cue to laugh...we know what's funny and what isn't.

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