Laugh Tracks



Humans are bound to follow the herd. When you see everyone running out of the building, the instinct is to run out of the building. When everyone is looking up in the sky, the instinct is to look up in the sky. When everyone is laughing, we don't try to get the joke first, we laugh with the crowd. Only later we ask why we do it.

Show runners have exploited this psychological traits by queuing a laugh-tracks in their shows. Every time there is a joke, the crowds laugh, and we follow suit. And it works! TV shows are funnier. But then, we are in a Pandemic and TV shows can no longer have live audiences. The laugh tracks has been silently killed.

It's like a veil has been removed. The lack of laugh tracks revealed how unfunny some shows are. And then, it showed that some shows can do just fine without a laugh track.

When the quarantine end and the live audience comes back, we will never look at TV shows the same. Those who are unfunny without a laugh track, will have to come up with a new trick.