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When the laugh track is removed...

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When the laugh track is removed...

Old 01-16-10, 03:24 PM
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When the laugh track is removed...

Found this link off of Rainn Wilson's twitter:



It actually blew my mind how calculated the writing and delivery is for the later inclusion of the laugh track.

It's also a bit sad when you look back at an older show like M*A*S*H where the laugh track was a studio mandate and actually makes the show hard to watch.
Old 01-16-10, 03:34 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
It actually blew my mind how calculated the writing and delivery is for the later inclusion of the laugh track.
Why would it blow your mind? It's a perfectly logical way to structure the show. Actors do the same thing with a live studio audience - they pause during big laughs before delivering the next line.
Old 01-16-10, 03:36 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
Why would it blow your mind? It's a perfectly logical way to structure the show. Actors do the same thing with a live studio audience - they pause during big laughs before delivering the next line.
Eh, the pauses in that clip seem a lot longer than stuff I've seen from some live audience shows. I get the concept of pausing for the big laugh, but it seems like they expected the big laugh at least four times in that clip.
Old 01-16-10, 03:46 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

By the way, I agree with you on M*A*S*H. The laugh track is unnecessary and cringe-inducing.
Old 01-16-10, 04:04 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

I only see two unnecessarily long pauses in that scene. Of course, two in that time span is bad enough. I think the other two pauses are actually probably related to the way that show is structured and the awkwardness of the characters. That's from seeing the show maybe 5-6 times (mostly thanks to TiVo -- I love it when it finds something I don't usually watch that is watchable).
Old 01-16-10, 04:25 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

This is not pre-laugh track. The laughs have just been dubbed out. BBT is filmed in front of a studio audience, so the laughs are real. Listen carefully & you'll notice all background noise is removed between lines (as well as the laughs). You can even hear some laughter over one of the lines near the end when the dialouge starts back up for the line "there, problem solved".

I hate laugh tracks as much as anybody but there's a world of difference when the laugh track is inserted vs. people actually laughing in the studio.

Last edited by Eddie W; 01-16-10 at 04:28 PM.
Old 01-16-10, 04:32 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
This is not pre-laugh track. The laughs have just been dubbed out. BBT is filmed in front of a studio audience, so the laughs are real. Listen carefully & you'll notice all background noise is removed between lines (as well as the laughs). You can even hear some laughter over one of the lines near the end when the dialouge starts back up for the line "there, problem solved".

I hate laugh tracks as much as anybody but there's a world of difference when the laugh track is inserted vs. people actually laughing in the studio.
Ah, well that makes sense. My mistake.
Old 01-16-10, 05:44 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

People actually laughed at that?
Old 01-16-10, 05:48 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
I hate laugh tracks as much as anybody but there's a world of difference when the laugh track is inserted vs. people actually laughing in the studio.
There's definitely a difference between the two, but I don't know how authentic the laughter is from a studio audience when there's an applause sign telling them when to laugh.
Old 01-16-10, 07:21 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Wow, that clip made me appreciate Arrested Development, The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, etc... even more than I already do.
Old 01-16-10, 07:28 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

The only good show with a laugh track was Seinfeld.
Old 01-16-10, 08:40 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
By the way, I agree with you on M*A*S*H. The laugh track is unnecessary and cringe-inducing.
The dvd series lets you chooose a non laughing soundtrack.
Old 01-16-10, 08:56 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Osiris3657 View Post
The only good show with a laugh track was Seinfeld.
Amen to that.


All in the Family was great as well. Often, even during a huge laugh, the actors would just power on through to the next line.
Old 01-16-10, 08:56 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by whotony View Post
The dvd series lets you chooose a non laughing soundtrack.
Which is awesome. If only they had done the same for the first season of Sports Night.
Old 01-16-10, 11:16 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
By the way, I agree with you on M*A*S*H. The laugh track is unnecessary and cringe-inducing.
To be fair, M*A*S*H's producers fought CBS tooth-and-nail about the laugh track. The only concession they ever got was no laugh track in the OR sequences.


Originally Posted by Osiris3657 View Post
The only good show with a laugh track was Seinfeld.
I'd include Taxi and Cheers on that list. Those were two great shows filmed in front of a live studio audience.

You've got to remember that the one camera, filmed on closed set sitcom is a relativity new thing. You can't hold it against older shows that they have genuine laugh tracks, as that's how it was done. These days it seems archaic (like when Scrubs tried the technique in a Cheers tribute), but back in the Seventies and Eighties, it was standard practice. Now it's just standard on CBS.

If you want to really appreciate a laugh track, watch an old Brady Bunch episode. Not only is the laughter obviously canned and added later, but it usually comes in the total absence of any joke -- as if any mildly pithy comment would erupt waves of hysterical laughter.
Old 01-16-10, 11:19 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

I'm not exactly sure what this clip is supposed to prove???
Old 01-16-10, 11:23 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
By the way, I agree with you on M*A*S*H. The laugh track is unnecessary and cringe-inducing.
Originally Posted by whotony View Post
The dvd series lets you choose a non laughing soundtrack.
I never heard about that. Pretty cool that they would give that option.
Old 01-16-10, 11:24 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

The episode of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter they did without a laugh track after John Ritter died was incredibly awkward.
Old 01-16-10, 11:48 PM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Osiris3657 View Post
The only good show with a laugh track was Seinfeld.
Fuck that, Titus fucking owned.

And I think you mean "live studio audience," and not "laugh track." As has been pointed out, M*A*S*H had a laugh track, as have many other quality shows that had a laugh track, either against or according to the producers' wishes.

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
You've got to remember that the one camera, filmed on closed set sitcom is a relativity new thing.
Not true. Leave it to Beaver was a one-camera, closed-set sitcom. Also, shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, and My Three Sons.

Of course, the more fantastical sitcoms were one-camera shows as well, like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, and Mr. Ed.

All these shows had laugh-tracks though, so maybe what you meant was that the one-camera laugh-track-free sitcom is relatively new. Shows like The Monkees and Sledge Hammer dropped their laugh tracks partway through their runs, but a one-camera sitcom that aired from the beginning without a laugh-track didn't really gain steam until the 90s.
Old 01-17-10, 02:25 AM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Not true. Leave it to Beaver was a one-camera, closed-set sitcom. Also, shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, and My Three Sons.

Of course, the more fantastical sitcoms were one-camera shows as well, like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, and Mr. Ed.

All these shows had laugh-tracks though, so maybe what you meant was that the one-camera laugh-track-free sitcom is relatively new. Shows like The Monkees and Sledge Hammer dropped their laugh tracks partway through their runs, but a one-camera sitcom that aired from the beginning without a laugh-track didn't really gain steam until the 90s.
Thank you. That's what I meant -- the single camera, closed set, canned laughter-free sitcom. For the longest time the networks wouldn't allow comedies to air without laugh tracks for fear that the audience wouldn't know where the jokes are (a legit fear for a bulk of the crappy sitcoms on the air -- my daughter watches those Disney Channel sitcoms and I'm stunned at what the "audience" is laughing at, literally every other line).

I think The Wonder Years might have been the first one I was aware of. Either that or The Simpsons, not sure which came first.
Old 01-17-10, 04:48 AM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Coral View Post
There's definitely a difference between the two, but I don't know how authentic the laughter is from a studio audience when there's an applause sign telling them when to laugh.
The applause sign is used more for talk shows like Leno, and they're used more to tell people when not to applaud.

For sitcoms, at least for the one I went to, you're not told when to laugh. The applause sign would go on at act breaks, but again it's done more to let the audience know when its OK to make noise than telling them "hey laugh at this!"

If they want a laugh for a certain joke, they go in during post and "sweeten" the laughs with a track.
Old 01-17-10, 07:59 AM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
People actually laughed at that?
You're obviously not familiar with Sheldon or The Big Bang Theory. Within the context of the show, this scene is hilarious.
Old 01-17-10, 09:33 AM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

The problem isn't confined to TV shows. There are lots of movies where the editors leave long pauses after laugh-lines, anticipating that the theater audiences would be yucking it up. The problem is, it's awkward when you're watching the film on TV.

A perfect example is inSpaceballs, during the "Comb the desert!" scene -- when the black guy says, "I ain't found shit," the camera lingers on him extra long.
Old 01-17-10, 09:41 AM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

Originally Posted by Double_Oh_7 View Post
You're obviously not familiar with Sheldon or The Big Bang Theory. Within the context of the show, this scene is hilarious.
I'm no expert on the show, but as a casual viewer who gets what makes it a funny scene, it's not quite as hilarious as a couple of those pauses make it out to be.
Old 01-17-10, 09:43 AM
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Re: When the laugh track is removed...

^there's also the scene in Airplane, where Kareem goes off on the kid. The directors admit they held on the kid for a while to make room for the riotous laughter in the theaters

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