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  • Does anyone know ...

    does anyone know why they decided to change the original laugh track to the more modern one?
    and moreover, does anyone know when the last instance of them using the original laugh track was?
    Was it being used as late as 81?
    And also, does anyone know if they recorded the original laugh track at a live taping of the show? there seem to be some very specific reactions in the laugh track and I was wondering if anyone knows what the kids are reacting to when, for example, they say "ohh gross!" or make that "yuuugh" sound.

  • #2
    I think I read a Roger price quote somewhere where he said they showed finished episodes to a group of kids and recorded their laughs...something like that. The quote made it sound like they did this more than once, possibly every episode (and, of course, the '79s were done WITH a live audience in the studio).

    If you ever watch the 3-episode Seinfeld arc where they "go to Hollywood", those 3 episodes were basically filmed like a movie, then shown to an audience to record the laughs. From a few peripheral friends who have worked on sitcoms, it seems showing finished, edited episodes to an audience to get the laughs was a fairly common (if still somewhat unusual) practice in comedy TV.

    (Funnily enough the laughtrack was invented when one radio show had a comedian guest star one week who told a bunch of dirty jokes that they couldn't air, but the audience was roaring over. The producer told the show's editors to save the laughs and a few weeks later when the show bombed with the studio audience they spliced in the laughs they had saved from before and it sounded like it was the funniest thing ever written. (You can take the boy out of film school, but you can't take the film school out of the boy.))
    Last edited by John Lasher; February 21, 2013, 09:32 PM.


    • #3
      The 79s never had a live audience-if you listen to them, you'll notice they had neither a live audience nor a laugh track (Christine pokes fun at this in one episode, in fact). The links on the WTYO pilot had a live audience (and the rest of that show was taped separately but shown to a live audience, as one appears on screen as inserts), but I suspect that it was "sweetened" with an "artificical" (ie, "outside") laugh track. I don't know why I think that, but that was my impression. Many of the distinctive, specific laughs heard in that episode were used in the episodes of YCDTOTV from the early 80s, so I think either they re-used the laughs from the WTYO pilot audience, or they re-used the laughs from whatever source they used to "sweeten" the laughs on that episode. The live 1981 episodes had no laugh track or live audience, either, but the WTYO series and all YCDTOTVs from 1982 forward used some kind of laugh track (plus the edited 1981 episodes).
      Last edited by LastoftheGypsies; February 23, 2013, 01:12 PM.
      "Without a song or dance, what are we? So I say 'Thank you for the music', for giving it to me...."


      • #4
        so does this mean when the kids go "Oh gross!" and "yaauuugh!" they are in fact reacting to someone getting slimed?


        • #5
          Both of those were originally used in the WTYO pilot-but whether or not they were from the kids in the on-screen audience or an "additional" laugh track is nearly impossible to say now. Plus, the only slime scene in that was cut from the final release, though the sounds were used in other sketches (the scene where Jono gets hot chocolate poured on him comes to mind)....
          "Without a song or dance, what are we? So I say 'Thank you for the music', for giving it to me...."