Originally posted by Melanerpes
I agree that canned laughter is generally pointless and often annoying.
If they want to have laughter, they should show the episode to a live (uncued, unintoxicated) audience and go with whatever their response is. There have been many times when I would love to hear the groans that you would expect to follow the various lame jokes that inflict even the best comedies.
One of the best IMO was the Carol Burnett show, all before a live audience and although they sometimes did several takes and used the best one on the air, it was still with like you say, sober audience without laugh signs or laugh tracks.
The antics of the Johnny Carson show was also real, like the animal tricks that came on and the reactions of Carson to them which was spontaneous and funny.
I really miss Carol Burnett. Comic genius.