Toronto Mike

Fake Crowd Noise? No Thanks!

Mark Hebscher and I have a recurring disagreement over whether sports telecasts without fans in attendance should pipe in fake crowd noise. Hebsy believes hockey games will sound strange if there's no cheering after the home team scores a goal. He'd like an audio engineer to bring in cheers and boos and others crowd sounds so it sounds "normal".

I'm repulsed by the mere thought of fake crowd noise. I agree, it will sound strange if there's no cheering after the home team scores a goal, but there are no fans to cheer. This is the reality of playing during a global pandemic. Keep the phony baloney sound effects for video games and give me the authentic game sound, even if there are no fans to be heard.

Sixteen years ago (man, I've been blogging here for a long time), I wrote about how much I hate a laugh track in television shows.

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.

I rallied against canned laughter in 2004 and I'm rallying against canned cheering in 2020. Keep it real, please.

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