My HaHa vs. Laugh Track HaHa:
Most of the great sitcoms have laugh tracks. At some point it became commonplace to have some invisible audience laugh along with us. It’s comforting in a sad pathetic sort of way; especially for people who don’t have any friends. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia doesn’t use a laugh track. I find myself laughing hysterically sometimes. Then I’ll look around the room and…nothing, just silence. No one else is there to laugh with me. It’s not always sunny in my living room that’s for sure. Sometimes I need that laugh track. Not to tell me what is funny, but to accompany me with laughter; to fill a void that no one else can fill. Unless I hire my own live studio audience to sit with me while I watch shows that lack said laugh track. And this doesn’t exclude dramas. Every once in a while dramas have comedic relief. Therefore I’ll need my LSA (Live Studio Audience) there to remind me to laugh at the smidgen of humor laced in with the drama and trauma found in such shows as Law & Order: SVU and Barefoot Contessa.
Some people believe that laugh tracks are some kind of crutch for viewers. It’s like those metal slide things that kids use in bowling alleys. Oh, and don’t forget the bumpers. It’s like a guaranteed strike every time. If you have to use bumpers and the slide thingy, then maybe you shouldn’t be bowling. You can’t always be scoring in life. Because let me tell you kids, life isn’t full of strikes and turkeys. Sure, one day you might play a perfect game. But the next day you could find yourself working in the pro shop, polishing balls all day. It’s actually a form of laziness. You mean to tell me these bastard kids can’t pick up the bowling ball and roll it down the damn alley on their own? It’s the same exact thing with these laugh tracks. People feel that production companies put in laugh tracks as a guide to tell us when to laugh. Like, “Hey, this is a joke…laugh.” As if we’re too dumb or too lazy to decipher their clever, clever jokes. It’s flawed though. Because realistically, I’m not going to laugh at something that I don’t think is funny, period. Laugh tracks can try all they want to lure me in…
It would be interesting if everyone had their own live studio audience; in real life. It would be like having insurance though. There would be different types: great, moderate, and straight shitty. One day you could be at a store confronting a customer service representative. Then you hear your trashy talk show live studio audience cheering you on, “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” You could be having sex with your wife and all of a sudden you hear, “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” You could be in the delivery room with your wife. Sure, she has her Golden Girls-esque live studio audience cheering her on. Then out comes a baby with green eyes and blond hair. The doctor turns to you and says, “Mr. So & So, you are not the father.” Then you hear, “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” Your name isn’t even Jerry. But, it comes with the plan. So, one day you say “Screw it” and just change your name to Jerry.
Sure, it could get better. You could get a better plan, maybe a Wipe Out plan. Perfect. Or is it? This plan actually comes with two sarcastic commentators. That’s just what you want when you accidentally fall down the stairs and can’t get back up. For some reason they have the instant replay option, which they abuse. “And this is where he slips. This is where he slides down, whacking his head on each step. Let’s put that in reverse. Where are you going Ryan? Come back. Oh here he comes, in slow motion. Now cue up Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. Perfect.” You could get a live studio audience that loves slapstick comedy. Every time you stub your toe or cause any accidental self inflicted pain, they’ll be right there to laugh in your face. One day you’ll bang your knee on that table that sticks out a bit too much, fall to the ground in pain, and start crying. Your live studio audience won’t hesitate; actually they’ll jump the gun and laugh uncontrollably. You look around searching for the source of the laughter and shout, “Shut up! This isn’t funny. I think I really hurt myself.” The volume of the laughter increases. Even your couches and appliances are laughing at you as if you were on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Everything but that micka-licka high micka hiney ho guy. Oh no wait, no, there he is.
Yeah. In the end, I don’t really mind laugh tracks as long as they’re not overbearing.