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Laugh Tracks

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Feb 26, 2005.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Anyone ever think about how weird laugh tracks on comedy shows are? How after each joke, the actors are just standing there until the fake laughter stops? Do you think most sitcoms that use laugh tracks would be as funny without them? As weird as canned laughter is, comedies that don't use them at all tend to have a different feel than the ones that do-with the exception of cartoons like the Simpsons, many TV comedies without laugh tracks don't seem to be as laugh-out-loud funny. Does anyone remember how some episodes of the Flintstones had a laugh track, while others didn't?
     
  2. You do know that most of the laugh tracks you hear on tv were recorded in the early 50's.

    It's kind of wierd knowing you are listening to dead people laugh.
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
  4. Jleonardbc

    Jleonardbc

    Nov 12, 2004
    Pennsylvania
    The point of the laugh tracks is that you will feel much more comfortable laughing if other people are already doing it...even if it's fake. For example, I think the way people perceive "Napoleon Dynamite" can hinge on the viewing environment at the time to a decent extent..
     
  5. UnsungZeros

    UnsungZeros The only winning move is not to play.

    Look up the James-Lange Theory of Emotion and you'll know why laugh tracks are used.
     
  6. Very good example! A+ :D

    Leigh
     
  7. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I find some laughtracks are annoying, like in Everybody loves Raymond. Every other line is a joke in this show, and each one is followed by 5 seconds of laughing.I prefer ones like in the Drew Carey show, less laughter, and jokes are usually signified (for the 'slower' viewers) by one of the characters laughing at each others jokes.
     
  8. You wanna know why humans don't laugh out loud to a comedy without canned laughter? It's because we're like sheep, we only laugh when we feel it is appropriate.
     
  9. Welcome back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. Wife and I love "Curb your Enthusiasm" and we are quite fond of the absence of canned laughing. :cool:
     
  11. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    And some people just keep giving us these moments when it feels appropriate.
    :D
     
  12. I prefer comedy without laugh tracks. Clerks is the perfect example. It could have been a TV show, if you think about it. In fact it WAS a TV show, but that's another thread. The humor is so subtle and so intelligent ("37!?!?). Although I might find something funny, I never laugh at it.
     
  13. kserg

    kserg

    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    three words, flinstons...
     
  14. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    East Coast, US
    Well, it would be kind of weird to laugh at funerals and circumcisions.
     
  15. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX

    "I'm the kinda guy who laughs at a funeral
    Can't understand what I mean? Well ya soon will...."



    :eek:



    Did I just say that?
     
  16. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    What's a snowball? ;)
     
  17. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I don't remember the laugh track (or lack thereof) in the Flintstones, but I do remember the laugh track in Scooby Doo (before Scrappy Doo, thank you very much).

    I view a laugh track as an insult to my intelligence. If I think it's funny, I'll laugh on my own. :)
     
  18. pentexlovesme

    pentexlovesme

    Mar 28, 2004
    Seattle
    Laugh tracks have always been kind of weird for me. I think comedies that stay away from them are usually have a better feel and pacing to them, and just seem more organic. They always remind me of flourescent lighting, where once you notice that little hum it stays with you for minutes...it's all you can concentrate on. When ever I stop and actually think about the laugh tracks, they really get to bug me.
     
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    That happens with me as well, with a lot of things. When I notice my breathing, it stops being an involuntary action and I have to try to not focus on it.

    But as I said, the majority of popular TV comedies throughout the years have had laugh tracks (Frasier, Friends, Seinfeld, I Love Lucy, etc.)-do you think the shows would work as well without them?
     
  20. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    In the eighties, M.A.S.H. was broadcast both with and without a laugh track depending on the broadcaster. We had it on BBC without the laugh track.

    I recently got satellite tv and saw that Paramount were showing MASH. I was never a huge fan, but I put it on for a bit of nostalgia. It had the laugh track... I couldn't watch it.