It’s Time for Laughter Track Comedies to Die

We loved you, but it’s time to let you go

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
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The Goddamn laughter track

Laughter track comedies have always rubbed me the wrong way, going back to the days of Seinfeld and Friends.
What I loved about Seinfeld was the amazing jokes that came one after another. What I hated was how slowly the jokes had to be delivered while the actors constantly waited for the studio audience to shut the hell up.

The History of the Laff

In 1953 Charles Douglass developed his ‘laff box’ machine to produce “canned laughter” for TV sitcom sets. His vision was to provide a better sounding studio ambiance that created a theatre effect for folks watching at home.

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Photo by Frederick Tubiermont on Unsplash

Giving Comedy a Helping Hand

The trouble with the laughter track is that it weakens the comedic value of a show. It makes audiences feel that they aren’t being trusted to know when to laugh.
Tracks are also too freely added in an effort to cover up bad writing.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

So why is it still a thing?

TV shows aren’t theatre for a reason. Television is a much more modern form of entertainment with which a lot more can be achieved.

What’s wrong with me?

I know I’m contributing to the problem by loving ‘Mom’, and I’ll never stop being mad at that show for having a laughter track.

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I write articles that inform and delight from my anti-virus bunker in Shanghai, China. 🇦🇺 🇨🇳

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