No Laugh Track, Please

Laugh TracksI'm busier than a one-toothed man in a corn-on-the-cob eating contest. Too busy to produce some wonderful fresh original content for you, here's something I wrote four years ago today.

I've been pretty busy this week, so I only got around to reading this week's Starweek television guide this afternoon. There was an article about the second season of Corner Gas and it referred to the fact this sitcom has no laugh track. The writer found it difficult to get used to this and claims it took him a few episodes before he got over the emptiness.

I have the opposite problem. I dislike hearing a laugh track in my television comedy. When it comes to comedies on television, there's only one with a laugh track that I truly found funny and that's Seinfeld. "The Simpsons", "The Larry Sanders Show", "The Kids in the Hall", "The Family Guy", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Arrested Development" are all shows I've found hilarious over the years and not one of them employs a laugh track.

Laugh tracks come across as both corny and phony. Are we as an audience so inept that we can't be trusted to know when to laugh? Have you ever noticed how the laugh track finds absolutely everything said to be absolutely hilarious? Heck, all Raymond has to do is say hello to that prissy wife of his and the crowd erupts in laughter as if Groucho Marx just presented his A material.

No laugh tracks for me, thanks. I often regret that a great comedy like Seinfeld felt one was necessary. Truly funny programs don't require one.

I still feel this way. The best comedies don't have a laugh track. You can add "Flight of the Conchords", "The Life & Times of Tim" and "The Office" to that impressive list above. No laugh track, please. I'll know when to laugh.


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Chemmy

If you knew when to laugh you'd never hear the laugh track. Jeez.

October 8, 2008 @ 10:24 AM

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