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Culture Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    Main Poster
    15 Jan '10 16:08
    M*A*S*H canned laughter... what were they thinking??

    I am working my way through a downloaded DVD-RIP of the 11 series of M*A*S*H. The first 4 series had no laughter track - as was the case when they were broadcast in the U.K. in the 70s. I've just reached series 5 and whoever ripped the DVD left the canned laughter 'switched on'.

    It ruins M*A*S*H. COMPLETELY RUINS IT. I can scarcely watch it. Got as far as episode 2. I plan to move directly to series 6 with fingers crossed that it's not the same story.
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    15 Jan '10 17:47
    Ha ha ha ha
  3. 15 Jan '10 19:29 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    M*A*S*H canned laughter... what were they thinking??

    I am working my way through a downloaded DVD-RIP of the 11 series of M*A*S*H. The first 4 series had no laughter track - as was the case when they were broadcast in the U.K. in the 70s. I've just reached series 5 and whoever ripped the DVD left the canned laughter 'switched on'.

    It ruins M*A*S*H. ...[text shortened]... de 2. I plan to move directly to series 6 with fingers crossed that it's not the same story.
    Maybe you'll have to break down and pay for a legitimate copy
  4. 15 Jan '10 22:37
    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.
  5. Subscriber FMF
    Main Poster
    16 Jan '10 07:58
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    I agree that canned laughter is generally pointless and often annoying.
    Especially M*A*S*H, which was sardonic, ironic, deadpan, witty, and the overlap between funny and poignant was so consciously manipulated. I am not too worried about laughter tracks on things like "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Frasier". But the ABSENCE of a laughter track on programmes like "The Larry Sanders Show" and M*A*S*H is essential, partially definitive.

    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.

    "Cheers" was filmed before a live studio audience.
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    16 Jan '10 17:10
    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.