Laugh Tracks and Awful Lighting in The Town of Llareggub

  • Feb. 21, 2016, 6:56 a.m.
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  • Public

Ah, sittin’ with some iced white tea and an episode of Dobie Gillis. I’ve realized lately that I can’t watch any show made past the mid 90’s that uses a laugh track. It’s not quite the laugh track itself, though that does get irritating after a while, but the style of show that tends to use a laugh track beyond that era. Like, ultra cheesy, bright glaring white light saturating the entire set, with jokes that are so predictable and cheap, that when the laugh track cues that something was supposed to be funny, it becomes painfully apparent to me that I did not find it funny at all, just disappointing, boring, and/or obnoxious. I think I tend to find older shows funnier, especially a lot of them in black and white, and so I don’t mind the laugh track as much. Plus, it’s a part of nostalgia. There could be a laugh track-utilizing show or two made this century that I could possibly find funny, but I haven’t found any.

About that glaring white saturated light issue, that also tends to be an indication that I will not like a particular show. The aesthetic is kind of painful to my eyes and overall unpleasant to stare at for long periods. The jokes on shows that utilize that type of lighting are usually also just not funny to me. From last decade’s sitcoms, I really loved Everybody Hates Chris, which incidentally does not use either a laugh track or blinding-bright sets. The music in it’s ultra cool and kind of a trademark of the show, the jokes are actually funny, the lighting allows my eyes to relax, and I love that it’s like an answer to that show-title Everybody Loves Raymond, which I’ve never been able to stand. I also loved, from last decade, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Can’t recall if it’s still on or not. The only thing about the show that ever so slightly furrowed my brow was that it never, not even in the slightest bit, seemed like it took place in Philadelphia. Aside from a couple of landmark fountains and such, it just seemed completely unrelated to Philadelphia or any of the culture there. Like, I couldn’t picture any of the show actually happening in Philly, and the characters, even minor ones introduced, never seemed like anyone I could picture living there. No one’s stuck-up enough, honestly. Though I wouldn’t notice that peculiarity if I didn’t used to frequent that city. I can however, easily forgive that minor detail because the show makes me laugh so much, and actually lets me decide when my laughter is appropriate. You know, strangely enough, I could totally picture that show taking place in Baltimore! Just this morning’s sleepy thoughts…

I was watching Car 54, Where Are You? earlier tonight and was reminded of my favorite scene from that ridiculous series, a series I actually find to be one of the funniest I’ve seen. Never saw it until a couple of years ago. Here’s a great Larry Storch moment, a great scene from the episode called, “Here Comes Charlie”. Larry Storch plays a regular town drunk coming out of the drunk tank, and Officers Toody and Muldoon are trying to help him get his life in order:



The full episode is great too, if you can find it!


Last updated February 21, 2016


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