May 2008

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« Practical Jokes I Wish I Had Played | Main | IT'S A BOOK!!! IT'S A CONTEST!!! »



Hahaha, I watched 2 and half TV show when Jenny McCarthy guested and I hear in 2 moments when someone laugh too loudly. LOL, I didn't notice that before you said it. :)


I agree: Two and a Half Men has some great one-lines in it. I find myself laughing out loud sometimes when I'm watching that show, which is rare for a sitcom.


Awesome that you tried to laugh at a moment when you'd be able to hear yourself. I went to a taping of the Craig Kilbourne show, which I then didn't watch on TV. One of my friends caught it and said that he heard both me and my cousin laughing. (It was a very small audience.)

To those who complain about laugh-tracks, I don't think they use laugh-tracks in the same way that they used to. The shows that no longer use them do not tape in front of a studio audience (The Office, Earl, Scrubs, 30 Rock, etc). They are single camera shows, shot like a movie. It was a big deal that Sports Night was forced to use a laugh-track in it's first season despite being a single camera show. They (and subsequent dramadies) were able to ditch the laugh-track in the second season.

Three camera shows (the traditional set up for a sit-com) typically have a studio audience (like 2-1/2 Men) and use the audience's real laughter. I think shows sometimes supplement laughter when the audience didn't laugh as loudly as the writers thought they were going to (or when someone brays like a jackass and calls too much attention to the laughter sounds). But the "good" shows will re-write and re-film the line on the spot to make it funnier (thinking that if the live audience didn't laugh, people at home won't think it's funny either).


Keenan. We Brits hate canned laughter as well. In fact, so much that none of our comedy shows have these tracks as part of the original taping, unless recorded live. Somewhere there is a pointy-headed boss that thinks TV audiences in the US need help in understanding British humour


Never did I expect to envy Robert Wagner's giant head.

Tom Pearson

I laughed so hard at the thought that idiots will actually shell out good money to read these recycled blog posts that I peed out an entire espresso while I was drinking it. Then I ordered another espresso, and damn if it didn't happen again! It's not a book- it's a paper-and-ink diuretic!


"It was wrong on many levels"

ROFL, that is just genius



Scott's book has enlightened me in ways the Tao never could. I was once a soul caught in samsara seeking nirvana. Since reading this book my spirit has realized the ultimate truth: I like naked women and I am not alone.

The Sound of KOINK

The most canned laughter I have ever heard is on those British shows. Don't get me wrong, they have some good ones (Faulty Towers is the best) but everytime there is laughter it all sounds like the same laugh track. Has for years.


So, did Wagner invite you out on a boatride, Scott?


Gah, I hate living in Sweden while having an internet connection!

I have to wait atleast one or two years for an then current episode to air. Which means when the episode finaly air, I already know everything there's to know. South Park, the smartest show ever to be aired on TV, is only at it's sixth season out of eleven. The Simpsons, seventeeth season out of nineteenth. And Two and a Half Men, season two out of four.

According to my calculations, I'll hear you laugh sometime in the year 2010. I never were good at math, but this should be correct.

Atleast I'll be reading "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain" in two to three working days. I better keep off the internet until then.


I just can't stand any show -- like Two and a Half Men -- that uses a laugh track. Laugh tracks instantly make any joke unfunny because they make it feel like you need to be reminded to laugh. If you could add a laugh track to Dilbert strips, it would make them less funny than Cathy.

The best comedy shows (in my opinion) have discarded the laugh track entirely, like Scrubs, The Office, My Name is Earl, and the short-lived Arrested Development.

Geoffrey James, Sales Machine


Please stop placing fake news stories:


I, too, have tried the 'distinctive laugh' at show tapings. Since I frequently have trouble picking myself out of group photos, though; I wasn't surprised to find that I also could not pick my laugh out of the general merriment.

rita mae

Never seen 2 1/2 Men. Is it on ESPN or the History Channel? I'll have to ask the ex-Marine if I can use the remote sometime to check it out. Like that would ever happen. Hell, he takes the remote into the bathroom with him during commercials.

Rita Mae

Real Live Girl

Your crotch and Robert Wagner's head - two great things that go great together!


I am a fan of the show, so I will have to keep an ear out for your laugh track. That is, of course, except when Jenny McCarthy is on the screen. Did you get to meet her, or did your wife keep her at bay?


Well well, I think coincidences are just... coincidences. Still amusing, though. I think it is interesting, though, that with Jenny McCarthy there (flaming HOT) you'd pay so much attention to Charlie and Robert. Not saying anything about your sexuality, Scott, only pointing out your poor priority selection process. Or was it because your wife was with you? THAT I can understand...


"and I let out a good horse laugh of the HAA-HOO-HAA-SNORT variety. You can’t miss it."

I don't know the show, when it's on or even what network, so I'm sure I'll miss it, but I hope YOU won't be too disappointed when you DON'T hear it.

They edit the "laugh tracks" on all live comedy shows, adding laughter when there isn't enough live stuff (joke bombed) and deleting stuff when it's too much or inappropriate.

Bret Wunderli

Speaking of Dilbert references, I hope that you are aware that there was a wonderful one on a recent episode of The Simpsons.

A Wart

Two Comments.

How do you know it Robert Wagner in your crotch did you ask the other members of the audience, they may have all been hypnotised and perhaps thay have all get the feeling that big Rob was in thier crotch area, now they are all telling the same story. That's a good practical joke.

Also this explains why most american comedy shows get laughs they hypnotise the audience into thinking it's good. I always thought it was canned laughter.

Andy Watt

"Dilbert is usually funny. Two and a Half Men is only rarely funny, but mostly insipid and unaccountably popular, like Cheers, or Friends, or Will and Grace, or Scrubs.

I guess there's no accounting for taste."

Or, indeed, for sense of humour. You need to humanise, man! :)

Dilbert's humour often seems to be rooted in the differences of understanding between people of different mindsets who have to work in the same company office: those other comedies which you don't relate to are often about the experiences of slightly dysfunctional personalities, and they're usually related in a warm, conversational and rather human style which can be viewed as "insipid", as you put it. Dilbert's 3-panel punchline is more succinct (and way different to write for that I bet) and often based around things which anyone in an engineering background can relate to. I'm a software engineer myself but I find all of these comdedic shows and strips funny. Get in touch with yourself!

Oh, and bravo for taking advantage of the "courtesy" call from the show Mr A, we'll make a schmoozer out of you yet.

However, revealing the stuff that passes through your head is sometimes not a great idea. Thankfully I never think about you as a person (or personality) when I read dilbert. Good job too... I'd get to the third pane and have "heh heh nice one Mr Adams Robert Wagner Penis Pants ARGH...." running through MY head.


I predict a sudden, brief upswing in 2&half men's ratings.

LA Clay

Ha! Your story reminds me of when I introduced my (ex) wife to Sting. As a huge fan and musical artist her words were, "I goob de ogg urk". Translated it means "I'm a huge fan" or "Can I blow you?" I was never quite sure which.



nice article... i feel the same



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