Laugh Tracks: Can we live without them?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by astrohip, Sep 26, 2011.

How do you feel about Laugh Tracks?

  1. I will not ever watch a show with a laugh track. Ever.

    8 vote(s)
  2. I don't like laugh tracks, and will only watch if I really like a show.

    32 vote(s)
  3. I don't like laugh tracks, but it doesn't affect my viewing decisions.

    29 vote(s)
  4. I could care less about LT, or don't even notice them.

    14 vote(s)
  5. Other, because this poll is screwed up.

    1 vote(s)
  1. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003


    I've seen many, many comments lately about laugh tracks. Some of you are "It has a LT, I'll NEVER watch it", others are "LT--I never even notice them". And everywhere in between.

    So how do you really feel about laugh tracks?
  2. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Garden obsessed

    Aug 1, 2004
    My back yard
    HATE them.
  3. fmowry

    fmowry Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Some sitcoms are just better suited than others. BBT is OK with it even though it is obtrusive sometimes, but the jokes are zingers as opposed to something like Parks and Rec or the Office where the joke is more involved or even quirky.

    Those comedies use the "look into the camera" to tell dummy viewers when to laugh as opposed to the laugh track.

    The last two years, the Office has needed a laugh track because I sure don't know when to laugh.
  4. Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

    Jan 30, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Where's the option for "I like laugh tracks---otherwise I wouldn't know when to laugh"? Isn't that supposedly why they exist?
  5. retrodog

    retrodog King Button Pusher

    Feb 7, 2002
    At the gun...


    Actually, it's "I couldn't care less...".

    That bugs me when people screw that up. Maybe I should start a poll. :D
  6. laria

    laria Librocubicularist

    Sep 7, 2000
    Seacoast, NH
    I don't notice them.
  7. mike_k

    mike_k Registered User

    Sep 20, 2005
    Mason, OH
    100% this.
  8. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

    May 15, 2001
    I don't really care for them, but the only time it would affect my viewing habits is if the laugh track is so loud that I can't hear the rest of the show. I've found that to be the case on the few Big Bang Theories that I've seen (and that's not technically a laugh track, it's an audience).
  9. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    I don't neccessarily mind them when the jokes are funny. When they aren't funny and there is laughter, it makes it that much more obvious that the joke failed.
  10. laria

    laria Librocubicularist

    Sep 7, 2000
    Seacoast, NH
    BBT has a live audience.
  11. Shaunnick

    Shaunnick Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    Knoxville, TN
    I love what laugh tracks do to people. Some people need them to them what to do at a particular moment, others hate them with the heat of a thousand suns.

    Remonds me of the Republican party.

    :D <------------See smiley, it's a joke.
  12. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!!

    Jun 25, 2002
    Decatur, GA
    I think that's the only time I really notice the laugh tracks...

    No, it doesn't affect my decision of whether or not to watch the show. But, too many moments like the one above, and obviously I'm not finding the show humourous or interesting enough to keep watching. Then, I'll cancel it from my TiVo.
  13. ClutchBrake

    ClutchBrake Pass the gravy!

    Sep 5, 2001
    In a perfect world there would be no laugh tracks. Hate them, hate them, hate them.
  14. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I would prefer there be no laugh tracks (and I am assuming that includes filmed in front of a live audience), but it doesn't effect my decision on whether I like the show or not. I think people make too much of a big deal about them.
  15. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

    Mar 27, 2001
    I don't think I'll ever grok this idea of "I don't know when to laugh". Laugh when you think something's funny. Why isn't it that simple? Personally I think when a viewer laughs because the laugh track laughs (or the movie theater audience laughs), when in actuality they didn't really get the joke, it makes them look foolish.

    For some reason, some people feel better about laughing when others are laughing with them. I don't get this either - I don't need any reinforcement from others to know whether I find something funny or not. I also don't feel that seeing a movie in a theater is a social experience, so maybe I'm in the minority on that one. :)

    I never thought laugh tracks existed so you'd know when to laugh - I thought they were there to make the jokes seem funnier than they really were, or "raise the level of hilarity".
  16. laria

    laria Librocubicularist

    Sep 7, 2000
    Seacoast, NH
    Oh, I thought we were talking about fake laugh tracks vs a live audience. Not no laugh tracks at all.
  17. Hoffer

    Hoffer Eat Lightning ----- Poo Thunder TCF Club

    Jun 1, 2001
    Twin Cities, MN
    I don't notice them.
  18. Fleegle

    Fleegle Chef-In-Training

    Jan 15, 2002
    In reality, we're discussing the traditional 3-camera sitcom vs the newer single camera style. The traditional sitcom uses 3 mostly stationary cameras to film their scenes, and almost always are either filmed in front of a live audience or had canned laughter added.
    The Sitcoms without laugh tracks like Community, Modern Family or Malcolm in the Middle are filmed with a single camera at a time, more like how a movie ir a TV drama is filmed. People's preferences seems to be drifting more to the single-camera style, and I can't think of any of them that have laugh tracks.

    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

    Jul 10, 2000
    Dallas Texas
    Don't matter to me. I have bigger things to fret about, If my show has a laughtrack isn't one of them.
  20. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Garden obsessed

    Aug 1, 2004
    My back yard
    It has been my understanding that most of the "filmed in front of a live audience" shows had the laughing augmented during editing.
    It certainly sounds too.... false.
    In reality there wouldn't always be the huge yucks, there'd be snickers and less robust laughter scattered around.
    I just find the sound extremely intrusive- must be my elder ears just like how commercials are not any louder than the shows :rolleyes:

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