'Big Bang Theory' in HDTV on CBS - Page 126 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3751 of 3755 Old 06-26-2017, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by WilliamR View Post
The entire show is not a laugh track. They may add in some laughs or something but its not like every moment is a laugh track.
I think people rag on BBT's Laugh track for that reason. It's too often and maybe not as funny as the producer wants you to think.

I mean, most of the best sitcoms of all time have laugh tracks: Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, etc. Probably sitcoms without laugh tracks would be a very short and lousy list.
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post #3752 of 3755 Old 06-26-2017, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post
I mean, most of the best sitcoms of all time have laugh tracks: Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, etc. Probably sitcoms without laugh tracks would be a very short and lousy list.
Obviously only true if you disqualify all single-camera comedies as "sitcoms," since most of the all-time great examples had no laugh tracks (from Arrested Development to The Office to Modern Family to Parks & Rec and on and on).

I'm sure there are more recent examples, but I remember when the network insisted on adding a laugh track to Sports Night, and how that turned into a sort of Waterloo for the whole idea of eliminating dubbed laughter from shows that never had a live audience.

BBT, of course, does have a studio audience, and I think the laugh track -- and the necessity of sweetening the track to compensate for live-audience fatigue and loss of the element of surprise through multiple re-takes -- is legitimate.

We here on the Internet sometimes forget that comedy has a strong communal element, and it functions differently when experienced live as part of a group. Three-camera sitcoms with their studio audiences are meant to tap into that head-space, which is why there's almost always some bit of slapstick or other physical comedy involved. Laugh tracks are intended just as much to help viewers feel part of a group as they are as cues for when to laugh.

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post #3753 of 3755 Old 06-26-2017, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
Obviously only true if you disqualify all single-camera comedies as "sitcoms," since most of the all-time great examples had no laugh tracks (from Arrested Development to The Office to Modern Family to Parks & Rec and on and on).

I'm sure there are more recent examples, but I remember when the network insisted on adding a laugh track to Sports Night, and how that turned into a sort of Waterloo for the whole idea of eliminating dubbed laughter from shows that never had a live audience.

BBT, of course, does have a studio audience, and I think the laugh track -- and the necessity of sweetening the track to compensate for live-audience fatigue and loss of the element of surprise through multiple re-takes -- is legitimate.

We here on the Internet sometimes forget that comedy has a strong communal element, and it functions differently when experienced live as part of a group. Three-camera sitcoms with their studio audiences are meant to tap into that head-space, which is why there's almost always some bit of slapstick or other physical comedy involved. Laugh tracks are intended just as much to help viewers feel part of a group as they are as cues for when to laugh.
Agreed. I purposely left single camera comedies off my list.

My MIL is the perfect example of what you're saying. She'll just watch Raymond or Seinfeld or what have you, stone faced sober until the laugh track. Then laugh long and loud. No laugh track means no response from her.

Odd really
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post #3754 of 3755 Old 06-26-2017, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post
I mean, most of the best sitcoms of all time have laugh tracks: Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, etc. Probably sitcoms without laugh tracks would be a very short and lousy list.
M*A*S*H was first shown in Britain without a laugh track!!! and now when I see it, here in the USA, I hate the canned laughter. :-(
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post #3755 of 3755 Old 06-26-2017, 01:59 PM
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I find that most sitcoms with laugh tracks are scripted to include a lot of one-liners and other short jokes as excuses to insert laughter, while those without laugh tracks are written to get more of the comedy from the plot development and not to depend on yuks (and to underplay the absence of recorded audience reactions).

As a result, if an episode is rerun not long after I've seen it (within, say, several months), I'll still remember the plot but will have forgotten the jokes, so normally I don't have to go as long before re-watching an episode of a laugh-tracked sitcom in order to enjoy seeing the same episode again as with a sitcom that has no laugh track.

That's independent of which one I enjoyed more on first viewing, of course.  I'm not taking sides in favor of laugh tracks here; you can easily take my observation above as evidence that sitcoms without them make a greater impression on me.

Last edited by dattier; 06-26-2017 at 02:03 PM.
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