TV shows with excessive canned laughter

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by willy, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga Thread Starter

    I hope I don't come across as grouchy...

    My own example is that, for the first time ever, I decided to watch an episode of 'Friends' last night (Episode 1, Season 1) to see what the fuss was always about.

    I got through about 3-4 minutes and realised that no matter what one of the "characters" said, there was a wholly disproportionate burst of canned laughter... or is it a studio audience, or both?

    Had to switch off. Is it just me in my autumn years?
  2. AKA

    AKA Senior Member

    Friends had a studio audience, but they “sweetened” the laughter in post.
  3. varispeed

    varispeed what if?

    Los Angeles Ca
    I'm in shows that add heavy canned laughter to what even the live audiences do.

    As an aside, several shows I'm on have 5-6 professional "laughers" in the bleachers during the day rehearsals.....true story. They're mostly there (following sides no less) to provide continuity.

    Canned laughter is getting heavier and weirder all the time. Weird because so much stuff is so un-funny.
  4. Torontotom

    Torontotom Forum Resident

    One of the reasons I haven't enjoyed the new Will & Grace is that the laughter sounds so unnatural, and yet they film it before an audience so there must be a lots of dubbing or canned laughter inserted. I find it really distracting.
    Keith V and Greenalishi like this.
  5. GullGutt

    GullGutt Forum Resident

    I tried "2 Broke Girls" because I find Kat Dennings "massively" talented, but gave up 10 minutes in for the same reasons. After EVERY line there was hysterical laughter. You'd have to be insane to be able to watch....but it lasted 6 seasons, so what do I know
  6. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    You can admit it-You didn't turn it off because of the laughing, you turned it off for the same reason I would: The show "Friends" sucks.
  7. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    You can call me insane, because I've watched "Two Broke Girls" and liked what I seen... I never watched it in first run, but I've seen some of the episodes in syndication and thought it wasn't a bad show. Is it for everybody? Absolutely not. Do I watch it on a regular basis? No, but I wouldn't say "turn this crap off" either...
  8. xrey®

    xrey® Forum Resident

    Long Beach, CA
    Generally don't like most corny sitcoms because of the canned laugh tracks. It's as bad as most of the current hit songs with suto tune. "I Love Lucy" was iconic as they filmed in front of a live audience, and the reactions were natural. Same with "The Carol Burnett Show" (currently on MeTV at 11pm Pacific M-F.) These hold up 40+ years later where the outstanding "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" was topical in the late 60's, but is very dated now. I'm probably in the .001% of the viewers that can't stand "Friends", "Big Bang Theory", or "Seinfeld". When I watch TV to chill, give me a formulaic Dick Wolf series like the "Lawn Order" franchise (sic) "CSI Miami", "NCIS Los Angeles / New Orleans" or "Chicago Med/Fire/PD" any day. Or Perry Mason, Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock. I can marvel at the constant cigarette smoking in these old B&W shows better than hearing fake laugh tracks and "sweetened" sitcoms in living color.
    Danny Coffin, SomeCallMeTim and willy like this.
  9. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga Thread Starter

    I found it embarrassingly bad. Canned laughter at whatever was said, or whichever dorky facial expression.
  10. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    I was never a huge fan of ' Friends ' but I have seen many episodes. But I had never seen the first one until very recently.
    It was a bit strange watching it because the actors haven't ' settled ' into their characters yet and they're all speaking very quickly and the pacing is way off.
    carrick doone, Matthew Tate and willy like this.
  11. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    Who would have thought that a series about a buncha guys cutting grass would have a huge following.
  12. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    "SCTV" is arguably the funniest series ever, but man, did it use an oppressive laugh track!
  13. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    If you ever re-watch a lot of those 70s sitcoms that were so popular, you'll find the same thing. It used to be considered a normal part of watching TV, like commercials. Don't know when it changed, but as funny as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, or Sanford and Son may be, I have a hard time with the laughter on command nature of the shows. If those were studio audiences, they were really overdoing it.

    I noticed this recently while re-watching The Odd Couple. It might not be as bad as what you saw when you watched Friends, but I think I prefer life without laugh prompts, applause signs, and canned laughter.

    However, if I were a comedic actor, I'd want all of those things. :laugh:
    BrentB and willy like this.
  14. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Regarding "Friends"-I've seen part of one, one time, and that was enough... From what I seen, and all the hype around it, I decided it's the sitcom equivalent of a "chick flick", and that's being nice about it. :)

    PS: If I said what I really think of "Friends", I'd have harsher words, but I don't want my posts deleted.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  15. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Real audience laughter or canned laughter have never bothered me... It's just a part of the show to me, and in a way, I guess you could say it adds atmosphere...
    carrick doone, Suncola and Jimmy B. like this.
  16. evillouie

    evillouie Forum Resident

    I think they went way overboard with the laughter on all of Bob Hope's Christmas specials. They would show him doing a monologue while he was overseas entertaining the troops, and when they would pan over to the audience, most of them would hardly be laughing, and it was obvious a huge amount of explosive laughter was dubbed on. I mean, come on. The guy's jokes weren't THAT funny!
    JediJones, goodiesguy, Gumboo and 5 others like this.
  17. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    Some time ago I went on a ' MASH ' binge and watched all the episodes on box sets from the library..
    There was an option to be able to watch them without the canned laughter. It was so much better that way.
  18. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Richmond, Virginia

  19. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Silver Creek, NY
    I don't mind laugh tracks if used in moderation and if is not distracting. 60s sitcoms like Bewitched or Hogan's Heroes had laugh tracks that seemed mostly unobtrusive. M*A*S*H* didn't need a laugh track, but they rarely overused it.

    I can't stand the over-the-top laugh tracks where, in addition to normal laughing, the "audience" hoots and hollers or shouts "Ooooooooooh!" in unison when a character makes some kind of snarky/inappropriate remark or reveals something to another character they weren't supposed to or some other such cliche. Also, when the "audience" goes into a fit of righteous shouts of approval when one character "tells off" another who "had it coming".

    Fox sitcoms during the 90s seemed to amp up the trend for a lot of this kind of overkill. And it hasn't gone away.
  20. Sometimes the overamped laugh track is a real live audience going OTT. I know this was an issue on Seinfeld, where the audience's reaction to Kramer's antics - particularly his entrances - would sometimes throw off the pacing of the show.
  21. rockclassics

    rockclassics Senior Member

    Mid-South US
    And multiple spinoff series.
  22. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    ' Love and Marriage ' was possibly the worst offender of this very thing.
    JediJones likes this.
  23. pdenny

    pdenny 20-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
  24. Ignatius

    Ignatius Forum Resident

    I remember with annoyance the "hooter" in various Sherwood Schwartz sitcoms.
  25. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    fr in sc likes this.

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