Audiences and laughter in Gomer Pyle USMC

John*Wells

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I got Season 1 and I am enjoying it. Its nice to be able to watch something uncut by syndication and get the full 24 mins or 25 mins out of the 30

I was wondering however about the laughter and the audiences. Don't laugh but I was born in 1973 and I was once told the laughter was pre recorded in the early TV Era ...is that true?? It does seem that a lot of the patterns of laughter are repeated in that show and Mr Ed which are two of my favorites
 

Greg_S_H

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I don't know about Gomer in particular, but prerecorded laugh tracks are still in use today. Of course, some shows use live studio audiences, but others just simulate.

It's funny, but there is one particular laugh that I always hear on the Brady Bunch, and I heard it on Happy Days the other night.
 

Joe Lugoff

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Shows were either filmed (or later taped) with three cameras before a live audience, and the audience's real laughter was used (sometimes augmented) -- or -- shows were filmed with one camera (like a movie) without an audience and canned laughter was used. "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." were filmed like movies, and the laughter was added later. You do hear the same laughs a lot. You get to know them after a while.

[In the earliest days, some filmed shows (such as "Amos 'n' Andy") were shown to a real audience and their actual laughter was recorded onto the soundtrack, but it didn't work well, because sometimes the laughs drowned out the dialogue. That's why every filmed show went with canned laughter after a while.]
 

Mark_TS

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in the early days, most shows only used pre-recorded "canned laughter" as it was called.
It wasnt untill the 1970's where "authenticity" became the word, and most series were touted as being "Filmed before a live audience"
 

Joseph Bolus

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I always thought that "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was the first 70's show to be "Filmed before a live audience". That proved to be so succesful that it soon became SOP for all TV comedies to be made that way.

In any event, I wish all the TV comedies that utilized canned laughter came with an option to listen to the show *without* the laugh track. As far as I know only the M*A*S*H TV sets currently provide this feature; and it was a revelation to experience that series without the track.
 

Radioman970

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That's funny. But true. Studios had no idea these shows would have such longevity. So if the laughs sounded the same it didn't matter.
 

Rob_Ray

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MTM may have been *one* of the first 70s shows filmed before a live audience because it premiered in the September 1970 season. But live audience shows go back to the beginning of television and never truly went away, although they grew fewer in number in the late sixties when bucolic shows and gimmick comedies which required stopping the camera for trickery became commonplace. But during the one-camera heyday of shows like Bewitched and Andy Griffith, the schedules still found plenty of room for shows filmed in front of studio audiences. Shows like Lucy's, He and She, The Mothers-in-Law, The Dick Van Dyke Show, the short-lived Debbie Reynolds Show, Good Morning World and others. The only reason people today think that MTM and All in the Family resurrected the "I Love Lucy" style of filming is because they were the first huge hits using the format in a number of years.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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Even shows shot before a "live audience" almost always had laughter augmented by recorded laughs. (Especially when the audience simply didn't laugh at a given "joke")

The freakiest thing about canned laughter is that many of the people laughing at these shows are long dead - and were even when the shows being made. Early television needed a much bigger library of laughs than early television itself could provide, so they borrowed laughter from radio audiences of the 30s and 40s, when radio comedy was at its peak. These recordings are still in use (like the sound effects scream everybody complains about.) The guy you hear laughing at a weak joke on The War at Home today might originally have been laughing at something funny that Bob Hope said in 1941.


Regards,

Joe
 

Radioman970

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Anybody ever watch the totally nutty britcom The League of Gentlemen? Great show. But the first 2 series/seasons had a laugh track then they suddenly dropped it in the 3rd. For me, it was awkward. It took a rewatch to enjoy it fully.
 

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