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Joseph Scarbrough launched what he called "The Scarblog" as a way of cataloging his work over the years, as well as going into greater detail of things on his mind (known as "Unfinished Thoughts").

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Unfinished Thoughts on THE BIG BANG THEORY and Laugh Tracks

So, let me start off by saying, I don't like THE BIG BANG THEORY, I don't watch THE BIG BANG THEORY, Chuck Lorre has done a tremendous disservice to nerds the world over, but this post isn't about my list of grievences I have with this show, but rather, this is about my complaint about everybody else's major complaint about this show.

Of all the things wrong with THE BIG BANG THEORY, the one thing I see people complain about more than anything else is the "laugh track". Television viewers have been complaining about laugh tracks ever since they came into vogue decades ago, however, the way people keep complaining about the sounds of laughter on THE BIG BANG THEORY, you'd think this show was full of fingernails scratching across a chalkboard.

There's just one problem though... THE BIG BANG THEORY is NOT a laugh track sitcom... I know it's hard to believe, but the sounds of laughter on a sitcom aren't always canned, or prerecorded... there IS such a thing as a live audience, and a lot of sitcoms have live audiences, including this one. Sitcoms today seldom rely on laugh tracks alone anymore, but they do usually use them for a process known as "sweetening": this process is when a laugh track is utilized only to augment undesired audience reactions, for example, the sitcom ALICE once involved a situation where the actors kept blowing their lines, and after so many takes, the audience wasn't laughing anymore, so a canned laugh to inserted into the finished product to compensate. I don't know if THE BIG BANG THEORY uses a sweetening process or not; Chuck Lorre swears he never uses any canned laughter on any of his shows at all, yet I know a few people out there insist his shows are sweetened.

Either way, I just wanted to say THE BIG BANG THEORY is NOT a laugh track sitcom, and not all laughter on a sitcom is canned laughter.

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