Laugh tracks

I read an interesting article today on BBC news about the origin of “laugh tracks” for television shows. It’s an interesting read –

All of my current favorite shows do not use canned laughter, as it hasn’t been popular for many years now, and I have to say that I’ve noticed how odd it feels to go back and watch a show I used to enjoy, and hear canned laughter behind it. It’s hard to find it as funny.

My favorite part of the BBC article is this, which is something I’ve also thought about:

“Even 1960s cartoons such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons used laugh tracks, though the device made no intuitive sense in that setting – no sane viewer suffered the illusion that a human audience was had watched these animated characters.”

I’m glad that these days, we as a home audience are finally being trusted to know when something is funny without a prompt.

Of course, I wouldn’t be opposed to laugh track use on political debates and news.