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Laugh tracks are they really necessary?

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40 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   trainman

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:50 AM

I thought Cheers was filmed before an audience?


"Cheers" was filmed before an audience, as are 99% of shows that have a "laugh track" -- but they all "sweeten" the audio to some extent; probably the two most common reasons are because they didn't get enough laughter from the audience, or because they need to "cover" an edit. ("Cheers" was probably more in the latter case.)

When I worked as a closed-captioner, we would usually get tapes of shows that were dubbed for us before the audio mix was fully completed. That meant, on most sitcoms with a laugh track, we got them before the audio was sweetened and we'd only be hearing what they'd recorded from the live audience. It changed many of those shows quite a bit -- they seemed less funny when there was less laughter. :D

At any rate, there are sitcoms with a laugh track in the UK as well. The one I've seen most recently is "The IT Crowd" (which I thought was funny enough that I could ignore the laugh track).

Edited by trainman, 19 September 2011 - 09:53 AM.
Edited to respond to paulman182's post

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#22 OFFLINE   B Newt

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:23 AM

Its worse when a cartoon has a laugh track.

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#23 OFFLINE   Kentstater

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:41 AM

I thought Cheers was filmed before an audience?


As opposed to a dead studio audience?
(Sorry CJ9788)
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#24 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:25 PM

As opposed to a dead studio audience?
(Sorry CJ9788)

!rolling

#25 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:43 AM

http://en.wikipedia....ca.2C_post-1990

"One of the last single-camera broadcast network shows to employ a laugh track was Sports Night (ABC, 1998–2000), which shot its early with an audience present. While it abandoned the audience and moved toward a single-camera method of production, the network insisted that the show use a laugh track to create continuity with the style of those early scenes. Due to the objections of creator Aaron Sorkin, the laugh track became more subtle as the season progressed and was completely removed at the start of the second season. [22]

Laugh tracks are still sometimes used for multi-camera sitcoms that shoot without live audiences. How I Met Your Mother, which uses the multi-camera format but no audience, uses a laugh track assembled from the sounds of audiences watching completed episodes early in the show's run. The game show Merv Griffin's Crosswords, which ran from 2007 to 2008 and, unlike most game shows, did not tape in front of a studio audience, used a laugh track as well."


#26 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:19 PM

Definitely overdone in the Big Bang pilot. It even sounds canned, as in from the bottom of a metal barrel.
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#27 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:29 PM

I thought Cheers was filmed before an audience?


That was what they said. And even if true, neither are desirable. The live audience is getting cued by a flashing sign.
I even suspect comedy central of tweaking up the audience response in some of the specials. Demitri Martin's show has definite audience laughter enhancement.

It was years ago when I saw an interview with a professional laugh-er. She was placed strategically in the audience to induce laughter. You can pick them out sometimes when you listen.

#28 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:33 PM

Some horrible examples, Real People, Funniest Videos with Bob Saget, and now that awful Tosh show.

#29 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:36 PM

Some horrible examples, Real People, Funniest Videos with Bob Saget, and now that awful Tosh show.


Tosh.0 is one my favorite shows.
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#30 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 12:46 PM

Trying out "The Exes" (Kristen Johnson, Donald Faison, Wayne Knight) on Comedy Central. It was heavily hyped on TVLand, so I'm not sure it's on CC, but anyways .....

Laugh track is already annoying and distracting. It's in too many places that don't even seem to be meant to be funny.
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#31 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:22 AM

Trying out "The Exes" (Kristen Johnson, Donald Faison, Wayne Knight) on Comedy Central. It was heavily hyped on TVLand, so I'm not sure it's on CC, but anyways .....

Laugh track is already annoying and distracting. It's in too many places that don't even seem to be meant to be funny.

Yeah. The show looks like it might actually work - we laughed some. And it's filmed before a live audience. But they just can help but add that stupid laugh track.

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#32 OFFLINE   renbutler

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:05 AM

Best: No audience or laugh track
Okay: Live audience
Bad: Laugh track
Worst: Laugh track for a show that isn't funny

#33 ONLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:43 AM

A laugh track that one is unaware of is O.K.

However, since reading this thread, there's no laugh track that fits that definition.:nono2:
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#34 OFFLINE   elaclair

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:24 PM

I used to get a kick when watching I Love Lucy reruns to try and determine how many times the laugh track "looped". On the the track they used, at one point you can hear a woman say something sorta like "uh oh". It's very distinct, so was easy to pick out every time it came around. I remember one episode where I heard it 8 times.......

Edited by elaclair, 05 December 2011 - 02:26 PM.
bad typing on my part..


#35 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:49 PM

Laugh tracks: are they really necessary?

Yes. How else would you know when to laugh? :shrug:

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#36 OFFLINE   koji68

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:00 PM

As opposed to a dead studio audience?
(Sorry CJ9788)


That joke needed a laugh track. Here it is :lol::lol::lol:
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#37 OFFLINE   lwilli201

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 06:37 PM

I just realized that I do not watch any shows with a laugh track.
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#38 OFFLINE   pablo

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 07:25 PM

Laugh tracks: are they really necessary?

Yes. How else would you know when to laugh? :shrug:


While flipping through channels I landed on some teen series on one of the Nick channels. The audience (or the track) laughed after nearly every line the actors spoke. It was weird. And it wasn't even funny.

#39 ONLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:02 PM

In today's digital TV world, laugh tracks could be toggle-able, not unlike CC. Won't happen, but it's a thought. Actually it could be implemented right now without a lot of change: Make one SAP the track without the canned joy.

Still won't happen.
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#40 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:14 PM

I'm beginning to dislike live audiences as much as laugh tracks.

Must they interrupt after nearly every line from any character in the Big Bang Theory? Isn't there some way to mute the audience while they tape?
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