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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Laugh tracks are they really necessary?

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40 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:53 PM

I have been watching a lot of UK comedies like The Inbetweeners and Free Agents and have been laughing so hard at how brilliantly funny they are. I just noticed there is no laugh track as is the norm on US comedies like Big Bang Theory. Is the laugh track really needed? If it is truly funny we are going to laugh any ways. Maybe the UK shows have an edge due to lax decency standards. Neither The Inbetweeners no the UK Free Agents could run on broadcast TV here unedited as is.

I don't know it was just a thought I had. I am trying really hard to remember more US comedies that do and don't have those laugh tracks. I don't think arrested development had one and they really pushed the edge of decency with all the off colored humor. I don't think Modern Family has a laugh track if they do I never noticed it. Any way I just thought I would toss this out there......

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#2 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:04 PM

There's others...Off the top of my head
Community
Parks & Rec
30 Rock
The Office
The Middle
Modern Family (as you said)
My Name Is Earl (syndication/ended)
Family Guy
Happy Endings
Mr. Sunshine
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Scrubs (syndication/ended)
Up All Night (new)
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#3 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:08 PM

Is the laugh track really needed?

No. It's annoying.

What's worse is the live audience laughing so loud (and long) that you miss some of the dialog, or the cast stands there waiting to say their next line. Put the audience behind some kind of sound barrier so they don't get recorded.
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#4 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:54 PM

There are some clips on YouTube of some scenes with the laugh track absent (one I have seen is of Big Bang Theory). It is amazingly creepy to watch sometimes without it. Amazing how dependant some shows are in the laugh track.

I definitely prefer shows that don't use it.

#5 OFFLINE   theedger

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 06:08 PM

I bought the first couple seasons of MASH on DVD. There was an option to watch without a laugh track. I liked it better without. More powerful.

#6 OFFLINE   oldschoolecw

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:05 PM

There's others...Off the top of my head
Community
Parks & Rec
30 Rock
The Office
The Middle
Modern Family (as you said)
My Name Is Earl (syndication/ended)
Family Guy
Happy Endings
Mr. Sunshine
Cougar Town
Scrubs (syndication/ended)
Up All Night (new)

That list don't bode well with what they really must think of us as viewers :nono2:

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#7 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:30 PM

That list don't bode well with what they really must think of us as viewers :nono2:


:confused: There's some really good shows on that list, IMO. Comedies are pretty rare nowadays.
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#8 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:16 PM

doesn't

.


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#9 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:32 PM

I find all can annoying.
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#10 OFFLINE   balboadave

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 09:38 PM

There are some clips on YouTube of some scenes with the laugh track absent (one I have seen is of Big Bang Theory). It is amazingly creepy to watch sometimes without it. Amazing how dependant some shows are in the laugh track.

I definitely prefer shows that don't use it.

That is a poor and misleading example. Big Bang Theory is performed in front of a live audience, and is paced around it. Removing their feedback, which is mostly laughter, is like listening to half of a conversation. Of course it's going to sound weird.

#11 OFFLINE   oldschoolecw

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:27 AM

doesn't


I think you should teach me proper Etiquette with posting :D

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#12 OFFLINE   oldschoolecw

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:30 AM

:confused: There's some really good shows on that list, IMO. Comedies are pretty rare nowadays.


They obviously don't think we know whats funny and when to laugh, that's what I was trying to say:)

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#13 OFFLINE   Getteau

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:05 AM

I was watching a Friends marathon last week and couldn’t believe how obnoxious the laugh track was on the show. If you ever watched Scrubs, there was an episode where they acted like it was a 70's comedy (I think one of their patients was a director from Mash or something). In that episode, they overplayed the laugh track to make it seem like a really cheesy comedy from the past. All I could think of when I was watching the Friends marathon was that Scrubs episode. That and how whiney Chandler sounded. Was his voice always that high pitched and whiney? Man, after watching a few episodes, I can’t believe that I really used to like that show.

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#14 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:36 AM

In shows that record only the "live audience" response laughter I see a pacing and cast feedback behavior change that can be beneficial, not always but usually. On the other hand, in a show that uses only canned laugh tracks or supplements with canned laugh tracks generally I see no benefit and sometimes it just emphasizes how unfunny the script is, not always but frequently.

It's interesting how production changes over the years. Fewer comedy shows seem to use canned laugh tracks. On the other hand, after "Northern Exposure" more popular music is used in drama series, so much so that on some shows it's becoming annoying, particularly on The CW.

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#15 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:39 AM

That is a poor and misleading example. Big Bang Theory is performed in front of a live audience, and is paced around it. Removing their feedback, which is mostly laughter, is like listening to half of a conversation. Of course it's going to sound weird.


I've heard numerous complaints about BBTs laugh track. I guess Chuck Lorre did as well, which prompted him to put audience picture as a vanity card one episode.

#16 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:33 PM

All in the Family was filmed in front of a live studio audience ( as opposed to a dead studio audience, I always used to think that when I was a kid) and it was annoying because as SayWhat? mentioned the audience would laugh so hard because it was so funny you could not hear what was being said. This can be seen in the episode when Archie gives and editorial reply on gun control. Carol O'Connor being a great actor kept on delivering his lines as the audience was laughing it up.

I think single camera comedies such as My Name is Earl is done with out the laughter because I do not think there is a live studio audience. An audience would get bored real quick having to watch a single camera comedy being filmed. Also I noticed single camera comedies have more location shoots because they are not limited to a sound stage and 3 or 4 cameras catching the action all at once.

#17 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:49 PM



#18 OFFLINE   oldschoolecw

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 04:07 PM


Which ever way they did that segment, I wouldn't find it funny. I actually find it disturbing and very disgusting

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#19 ONLINE   armophob

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 08:01 PM

I can't even watch my favorite old Cheers and Mash episodes because of canned laughter. Amazing that anyone could ever stand it. Wanted to see what all the hype was with the 2 1/2 men craze and made it 15 seconds into it, until the laugh track.

#20 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 07:53 AM

I can't even watch my favorite old Cheers and Mash episodes because of canned laughter. Amazing that anyone could ever stand it. Wanted to see what all the hype was with the 2 1/2 men craze and made it 15 seconds into it, until the laugh track.


I thought Cheers was filmed before an audience?





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