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Canned laughter


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#1 Kingman

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Hi
I can't be the only one who feels that the canned laughter is annoying!

After each line they dub in the phony laughter. The show is funny and doesn't need it.

When l watch Modern Family l laugh through each episode without the canned laughter. And it is doing better in the ratings, not to mention "Hot in Cleveland and they do it in front of a live audience.

How do you feel about it?

Thanks

Alan

#2 Moonbase

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:08 PM

It's filmed in front of a live audience. They always insist there isn't any canned laughter but it does sound like there is, or they are beefing it up. I find the laughter too loud, it's off-putting sometimes.

#3 Kyzzx

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:07 PM

I've been to a taping and am going to another one.

First, you'd be surprised how loud some people laugh naturally. Honestly, I am a crappy audience member because I rarely laugh out loud. It has to be REALLY hilarious for me to laugh and even then I'm not that loud. I think last time I went, mixed with the giddyness of just being there, and the humor in the show, I giggled a lot, but definitely not really hearty laughs or anything.

Second, there are tons of microphones. It probably doesn't help with the already loud laughter, but they in no way tell you when to laugh. I remember a part of the episode I was at where Howard said something and the audience laughed, and Kaley just sat there and blanked out and said, "I'm sorry, I just wasn't expecting them to laugh at you."

Third, lots of scenes have to be done over because someone in the cast starts laughing, or Jim messes up or forgets forgets what to say, and says, "Shoot, sorry!" because his lines are obviously wordy. Tapings take about 4 hours for the 22 minutes of show, so every time the audience has to laugh like it's the first time they've seen it. It sounds fake by that point.

I swear to you, and I promise, it's definitely not made louder for aired versions. If anything, there are instances where the laughter actually has to be cut short because people laughed so long. I went to The Friendship Contraction, and after the power goes out, Leonard says, "You call that a glowstick? THIS is a glowstick." and he pulls out the lightsaber - the audience went insane. I think people clapped/ whistled/ cheered for like, thirty seconds.

Before I went, I thought the laughter was going to be a mix of audience and laugh track. Boy, was I wrong. o_O People are loud.

And I love shows like Modern Family, Arrested Development, and The Office, none of which have laugh tracks. They're hilarious.
My mom likes Modern Family a bit, but hates AD and The Office and thinks they're "stupid," but I know it's because she needs help knowing when to laugh.

#4 Paula

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:53 PM

I have been to a few sitcom tapings over the years (not TBBT). They have hosts who try to get the audience in a good mood and who remind the audience that they are part of the show and are actually participating in the show by laughing out loud. So most audience members seem to try to do a good job of laughing. I remember one time after a scene, the host said to the audience "That was great, but unfortunately we are going to have to redo that scene, and I know the joke won't be as funny now, but can you laugh as much as you did before?" So we all laughed harder than ever through two more takes, even though it hadn't really been that funny even the first time, let alone two more times. It's called acting. ;)

#5 Aevitas

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:34 AM

Ahhhh I always wondered about that. I kept thinking, "If they have to take multiple takes of each scene, how does the audience keep laughing even though it's never as funny as the first time?" Now I have my answer. :)

I know I'd be a sucky audience member too. It also takes a lot for me to laugh out loud, and I found that oftentimes the audience laughed too easily at some of the jokes. But then again, that's just me.

#6 Moonbase

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:27 AM

I've been to a taping and am going to another one.

First, you'd be surprised how loud some people laugh naturally. Honestly, I am a crappy audience member because I rarely laugh out loud. It has to be REALLY hilarious for me to laugh and even then I'm not that loud. I think last time I went, mixed with the giddyness of just being there, and the humor in the show, I giggled a lot, but definitely not really hearty laughs or anything.

Second, there are tons of microphones. It probably doesn't help with the already loud laughter, but they in no way tell you when to laugh. I remember a part of the episode I was at where Howard said something and the audience laughed, and Kaley just sat there and blanked out and said, "I'm sorry, I just wasn't expecting them to laugh at you."

Third, lots of scenes have to be done over because someone in the cast starts laughing, or Jim messes up or forgets forgets what to say, and says, "Shoot, sorry!" because his lines are obviously wordy. Tapings take about 4 hours for the 22 minutes of show, so every time the audience has to laugh like it's the first time they've seen it. It sounds fake by that point.

I swear to you, and I promise, it's definitely not made louder for aired versions. If anything, there are instances where the laughter actually has to be cut short because people laughed so long. I went to The Friendship Contraction, and after the power goes out, Leonard says, "You call that a glowstick? THIS is a glowstick." and he pulls out the lightsaber - the audience went insane. I think people clapped/ whistled/ cheered for like, thirty seconds.

Before I went, I thought the laughter was going to be a mix of audience and laugh track. Boy, was I wrong. o_O People are loud.

And I love shows like Modern Family, Arrested Development, and The Office, none of which have laugh tracks. They're hilarious.
My mom likes Modern Family a bit, but hates AD and The Office and thinks they're "stupid," but I know it's because she needs help knowing when to laugh.


Thanks so much for this. It's reassuring to know it isn't canned laughter. Maybe the sound guys could lose a few mics but as you said, the audience is loud. :icon_cheesygrin:

It must be so exciting for the actors to work directly with an audience like this. I envy you so much for being at the filming. :icon_mrgreen:


#7 Kyzzx

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:14 AM

I know I'd be a sucky audience member too. It also takes a lot for me to laugh out loud, and I found that oftentimes the audience laughed too easily at some of the jokes. But then again, that's just me.


I understand what you mean! I really felt like a lot of people laugh really loudly, really easily. I honestly think it's a mix of the energy of being there.

For TBBT, they film the scenes in order so you're able to watch it. For instance, they could have a 4 minute scene in the apartment, then have a 3 minute scene in the comic book store, then go back to the apartment for another 4 minutes... so they have to change clothes (if it's the 'next day'), move back and forth... check makeup, blah blah blah, so they play really loud upbeat music in between, they have a "entertainer" there and they have people in the audience do dance contests and things like that. They get everyone super pumped even though he's not necessarily telling jokes.

Thanks so much for this. It's reassuring to know it isn't canned laughter. Maybe the sound guys could lose a few mics but as you said, the audience is loud. :icon_cheesygrin:

It must be so exciting for the actors to work directly with an audience like this. I envy you so much for being at the filming. :icon_mrgreen:


The energy is great, most definitely. Have you ever considered visiting and getting into a taping? I know it's way easier said than done... and far... and expensive...

Half the people that are in the taping are from other countries. I was sitting next to my best friend, but behind me I had a group of guys from France, and next to them, some guys from Belgium. In front of me, a couple from the Netherlands. To the right of us, I think we had some guys from Spain, and to the left some guys from Kuwait. 90% of them don't even speak English! It's crazy.

I remember one time after a scene, the host said to the audience "That was great, but unfortunately we are going to have to redo that scene, and I know the joke won't be as funny now, but can you laugh as much as you did before?" So we all laughed harder than ever through two more takes, even though it hadn't really been that funny even the first time, let alone two more times. It's called acting. ;)


Haha, exactly! ;)

#8 Moonbase

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 06:39 AM

The energy is great, most definitely. Have you ever considered visiting and getting into a taping? I know it's way easier said than done... and far... and expensive...

Half the people that are in the taping are from other countries. I was sitting next to my best friend, but behind me I had a group of guys from France, and next to them, some guys from Belgium. In front of me, a couple from the Netherlands. To the right of us, I think we had some guys from Spain, and to the left some guys from Kuwait. 90% of them don't even speak English! It's crazy.

I had no idea you could get tickets like that, which just goes to show how little I know about the production side. It could be an option.

When they complete filming this season in April/May. Would you have any idea how long is it before the next season filming starts?


#9 netmouse

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:13 AM

@Moonbase: they usually start filming the next season in late September.

It has also (as previously stated) been confirmed in numerous threads that WB uses a live audience for the tapings of TBBT.

#10 Kyzzx

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:47 PM

I had no idea you could get tickets like that, which just goes to show how little I know about the production side. It could be an option.


Yeah! http://tvtickets.com...recordlist.xsl? shows all the future show dates. They're free, and the tickets go up 30 days before the taping date at around 8:30 in the morning (PST). They're really hard to get, you literally have to be refreshing the page and get on it REALLY quick. Worth it, though. Like I said, tapings are 4 hours-ish, and Audiences Unlimited are really nice.

@Moonbase: they usually start filming the next season in late September.


^ He knows.

#11 Paula

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:49 PM

It must be so exciting for the actors to work directly with an audience like this.


Which is exactly the reason that live audiences are used, for almost all sitcoms. Live audiences are an expensive hassle and limit the camera angles that are possible (compare the "stagey" look of most sitcoms to the more natural look of sitcoms without live audiences like The Office or Andy Griffith Show or M*A*S*H*) and adding canned laughter would be so much simpler. But the one reason that live audiences are used is that, universally, comic actors like audiences and want them and enjoy them and feel that they perform better when they hear response from the audience.

As for laughter sounding forced -- well, even if you never laugh out loud like that at home, think of how you would laugh if you knew that your favorite actors could HEAR you laughing and are playing off your laughter! They are performing for you, the live audience, not for somebody out in TV-land who will see it months away. They are taking pleasure in your laughter as they perform. So you just HAVE to help them by laughing for them!

Tapings are free, and they are fun, everyone should go to one if they have a chance.



#12 aguscooper

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

I went to a taping of "Everybody Loves Raymond" back in 1999, when I traveled to the USA, and I can tell you that the audience really laughs out loud when the joke is good. It's the good thing about a sitcom being shot in front of a live audience: they actually enjoy it.

In "Friends", when they shot the season 6 premiere, in the scene where Rachel says "Ross, this isn't a marriage! This is the world's worst hangover", the audience laughed so hard and loud that they had to cut the laughter. And whenever Tom Selleck appeared, they had to re-shoot some of his scenes wthout the audience because every time he appeared, he received standing ovations.

If I ever go to California again, I'd love to go to a TBBT taping, it must be really fun.

#13 Schrödinger's Cat

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:36 PM

GREAT story about the "Glow Stick" reveal. What were Johnny and Jim doing for the 30 seconds everyone was going nuts, even whistling!!! Did they stay in character and continue when the noise quieted down? Or perhaps let the audience enjoy the moment and then start again?

Just curious. It WAS a great moment.

#14 Kyzzx

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:37 AM

GREAT story about the "Glow Stick" reveal. What were Johnny and Jim doing for the 30 seconds everyone was going nuts, even whistling!!! Did they stay in character and continue when the noise quieted down? Or perhaps let the audience enjoy the moment and then start again?

Just curious. It WAS a great moment.


The first time they did that scene they stood there perfectly still until the noise quieted down, just staring at each other, in this position:

Posted Image

If I'm remembering correctly, they did that part of the scene three times because Penny was saying different things as Leonard was going to leave. The actual line is, "I have some wine and some bubble wrap we can pop." (I think.)

The two other times she was saying something else, like, "I have some wine and [something else]" which I forget because it didn't have the same ring to it as "bubble wrap."

A similar thing happened in the same episode while Jim is in the comic book store asking Stuart about his grandparents being alive. At the end of the conversation, Stuart says, "I can't take you to the dentist. I actually can't stress this enough... I don't want to take you to the dentist." and the first line they had Jim say actually was, "Good thing your grandparents are dead so they can't see how selfish you've become."

It was really dark and got a bad reaction from the audience for being so harsh. They immediately changed it. I personally was shocked with that one.

#15 Venomous

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:38 PM

There are Youtube videos that fans have made that edit out the laughter and it's much better in my opinion. The laughter on the show sounds forced and over the top.

#16 ElegantChaos

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

Thanks for this because my husband also loves this show but says the canned laughter has to go. Personally, I don't care one way or the other because this show always makes me laugh. I can be having a terrible day and at least know I'll have something to cheer me up. :)

#17 Convict13

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:44 PM

Here is a link that explains the best way to get tickets.

http://www.thebigban...o-big-bang.html




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