No Laughing Matter

by duncanr

One of my pet hates is the canned laughter that accompanies so many TV and Radio shows now. I find it intensely irritating and insulting – implying, as it does, that I am so incapable of recognising humour that the producers need to use fake laughter to signpost where the funny parts are

It’s a form of cheating also – designed to artificially enhance an artist’s performance. Much like auto-tuning can make a singer seem better than they actually are, canned laughter can make a comedian seem funnier than they are actually are.

Like I said, fake laughter really, really irritates me. So if this lot woke me up every morning I’d be as annoyed as these residents of Mumbai who are seeking a Court Order to shut the f*ckers up !

Explanation here –


13 Comments to “No Laughing Matter”

  1. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha… *takes a deep breath*… Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha… *takes another deep breath* Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha- are you getting annoyed, Duncan, or do I need to continue?


  2. Smilies are the internets canned laughter.


  3. Off-topic I know, but I couldn’t help but notice the BBC News box (on the right of this post) where it states that “Egypt’s Mubarak ‘health worsens.'”

    Yesterday it was announced that he was clinically dead. How much fucking worse than that can you get?


  4. Back on topic again.

    Canned laughter is also one of my (many) pet hates.

    From anything written by Roy Clarke to almost any deeply unfunny, formulaic American sitcom, it is patronising, offensive and as you say, a mask for inept scriptwriting and performing.

    Mrs N is rather fond of American sitcoms (she actually finds King of Queens funny! – I’m amazed.) and a few nights ago, I was sitting in my office pretending to work, while MrsN was watching yet another dreadful episode of the truly shite series, ‘Friends’.

    Fortunately, I couldn’t actually make out the inane script that was being clumsily followed, but was amazed at how easily I could distinguish the individual characters from the intonation of their whiny voices. I was also struck by the regularity of sudden bursts of canned laughter, clipped at start and finish and all of regular length. It was like a bleeding metronome it was so regular.

    TV for sheep.


  5. I’m with you! This is one reason I avoid sitcoms that aren’t filmed before live studio audiences. The best, including “All in the Family” (which got the highest ratings of any American television program in the 1970’s) and “Cheers” were–a big reason they were so good.


    • And regarding the article, I’ve heard of that “laughing yoga” before–absolutely ridiculous.

      Old joke:

      A farmer with a very somber donkey called the local vet for help. The vet took the donkey into the barn, and the donkey emerged, laughing his ass off. But after a week, the donkey’s continuous laughter began annoying the farmer–so he called up the vet, and asked him to reverse the procedure. The vet took the donkey into the barn, and the donkey emerged somber again, this time with tears in his eyes.

      The farmer asked, “How did you get my donkey to laugh?”

      The vet replied, “I told him my penis was larger than his.”

      The farmer asked, “How did you get him to stop laughing?”

      The vet replied, “I showed him.”


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