Whatever happened to …

… live television audiences?

A television show of great friction around here is The Big Bang Theory. I’m not a fan but I’m not the only one in the family viewing audience. The show drives me crazy on two levels.

  • I find much of the “humour” not funny at all but it doesn’t matter for television production because a laugh track is played to help you understand what the producers think are the funny points
  • Not all people who enjoy science, mathematics, computers, technology are geeky or nerdy as portrayed in the show

I’m not alone – read this. (Warning – language)

Of course, this isn’t the only show that has or had used a laugh track. How does it work?

I think of some of the great comedies.

  • All in the Family
  • Saturday Night Live
  • I Love Lucy
  • Cheers
  • you can pick your own, I’ll bet.

They always closed with the message “XXXXX was filmed before a live audience”.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • What’s your favourite comedy show? Does it use a laugh track or is it live?
  • Does a live performance require better acting and writing on the part of the actors and writers knowing that they have to generate the laughter based on its merits?
  • Do you feel manipulated by a television show that uses a laugh track letting you know what you think should be funny?
  • Regardless of how the show was produced, have you ever laughed out loud while watching a comedy?
  • Can nerdy, geeky characters in a show actually be funny without it being condescending?

As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts via the comment below.

This post originated at:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete