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Fake smile in the laughter box popular TV show

Fake smile in the laughter box popular TV show

Suppose you are watching ‘Friends’, a very popular TV show of the 90’s. Chandler said a joke, great sarcasm, great punch line. You’re smiling, Monica, Joey, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe are all smiling in the scene. But that is not enough. Even from the scene you can hear the laughter of the audience, the sound of applause. Not only Friends, but other popular TV shows, such as Big Bang Theory, The Seventies Show, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Halfman – are also popular sitcom comedy TV shows?

What is the reason for this laughter?
There are many names for such laughter. In the film world, its name is Canned Laugh Track. In some shows such jump tracks are pre-recorded, while in some places they are just sound design games. But why the need for such a jump track? In the current film industry, there is a lot of criticism about this. But before we know the discussion-criticism, let’s know its history first.

Long ago, TV shows began to gain popularity in the United States. At that time such shows were shot with single camera. That is, the actors performed on a stage, a huge row of spectators in front enjoyed the show live, and then the show was broadcast on TV by recording it with just a still camera. But then the host of the show had to face a big problem with the comedy show. Naturally, the audience is most involved with the shows. After each punch line, the spectators would clap and laugh heartily. The problem, however, is that sometimes the laughter lasts too long and the director is not getting the kind of laughter he was hoping for after a certain punch line in many places.

Many in Hollywood accepted this natural truth. However, many who enjoyed the show live did not like the long applause in this wrong place. Their argument was that the smiles and applause of the audience in the wrong place spoils the beauty of the television show and many do not laugh after the real punchline.

One such person was American sound designer Charlie Douglas. He was then working for the popular television broadcasting company CBS. The name of the device is ‘jump box’. Each button had a different set of applause and laughter. Douglas used it to edit. Overnight this laugh box became quite popular.

The effect of the jump track on the human psyche
But the days were changing, now the era of single camera is no more. The era of live viewers is no more. This increased the need for jump boxes more. The directors noticed that when people used to sit in the theater and enjoy comedy shows, everyone laughed together and it was quite lively. Now if the sound of laughter comes from the TV, the viewer will think that he is laughing with everyone. As a result the jump box can directly affect the audience psychologically.

If you watch some scenes of ‘Friends’ TV show on YouTube without a jump track, you will find it quite uncomfortable. If you watch the same scene that you laughed at, except for the canned jump track, you will not have the same smile as before.

Later, new genres began to appear in the comedy genre. As a result, we saw several popular comedy shows, such as The Office Brooklyn Nine Nine, Silicon Valley, without the use of canned jump tracks.

Last word
However, the use of jump tracks in live comedy shows has decreased. The last jump track we saw was in 2016, in the season finale of Big Bang Theory. Despite much criticism of this jump track, many viewers still like it.

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