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  #1  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:21 AM
scrambledeggs scrambledeggs is offline
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Are laugh tracks really 'dead people laughing'?

In the movie, "Man on the Moon", it has Andy Kaufman (Character) say that the laugh tracks used are of "dead people", implying that they were recorded so long ago that the original people are dead.

Is that true -- how old are the laugh tracks? I would imagine if they dont update them, a good portion of the laughter you hear is indeed of the dearly departed.

A bit creepy -- does anyone know when the latest laugh tracks used on TV were actually recorded? Are we talking 1950's?
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2008, 04:30 AM
Ale Ale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat
Browsing off of the Wikipedia page I found this:



Related, but the Wilhelm Scream (used commonly by George Lucas) dates back to 1951, and the most likely candidate for the voicing died in 2003. So the new Indiana Jones is indeed playing a dead man's scream.
Hmmm, I donīt recall in which part of the movie the scream appeared (sounded?) once again, could you remind me?
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2008, 04:48 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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According to this:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/trivia

the Wilhelm scream is used when a boy in the library is crashed into by a bike.
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2008, 06:19 AM
Ale Ale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
According to this:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/trivia

the Wilhelm scream is used when a boy in the library is crashed into by a bike.
Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2008, 08:13 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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"I Hear Dead People!"
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2008, 10:01 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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What was the name of the Harlan Ellison story where a guy discovers his dead aunt's (?) laugh on an old laugh track?
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2008, 07:27 PM
pinkfreud pinkfreud is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
What was the name of the Harlan Ellison story where a guy discovers his dead aunt's (?) laugh on an old laugh track?
The story is "Laugh Track," from the Ellison collection Angry Candy.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2008, 10:19 AM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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On some episodes of I Love Lucy, December Bride and some other old sitcoms, you can hear a relatively high-pitched, very loud "HA-HA-HA" on some laugh tracks. Supposedly (I can't remember the cite) that laugh is Desi Arnaz himself. So if you ever hear that particular laugh, you can be sure that it did, indeed, come from a dead person.
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2008, 10:36 AM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is online now
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I think it's only creepy if dead laughers are responding to a current production. If the actors, writers, directors, and cameramen are also dead (or most of them, anyway), it loses some of its effect.
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2008, 11:15 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Good laughter or a good joke never dies.

Unfortunately, when Aunt Mildred appears on a laugh track to some crappy sitcom like 'Frasier!', her dead panties do get in a bundle.

I think it's kinda creepy to use 20+ year old laugh tracks. I mean, that assumes that people from 20 years ago find today's comedy funny . . . and that my friends, is a stretch.

Tripler
Now looking back for comedy? Some things are just timeless.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2008, 04:11 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler
I think it's kinda creepy to use 20+ year old laugh tracks. I mean, that assumes that people from 20 years ago find today's comedy funny . . . and that my friends, is a stretch.
Heck, using laugh tracks is a bit creepy. It assumes the TV viewers think the show is funny.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2008, 04:37 PM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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If that creeps you out you should watch old episodes of Johnny Carson.
That whole show is HOSTED by a dead guy.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:02 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou
On some episodes of I Love Lucy, December Bride and some other old sitcoms, you can hear a relatively high-pitched, very loud "HA-HA-HA" on some laugh tracks. Supposedly (I can't remember the cite) that laugh is Desi Arnaz himself.
There's no doubt in my mind that was Desi laughing off stage. It's the exact same laugh he used in front of the camera.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:51 PM
Bytegeist Bytegeist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
There's no doubt in my mind that was Desi laughing off stage. It's the exact same laugh he used in front of the camera.
This naturally raises the question: Is there any moment in I Love Lucy when Desi Arnaz, in the laugh track, is laughing at Desi Arnaz on screen?
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:54 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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In all the times I noticed it, he was not on screen. I don't think his laugh was on the laugh track, I think he was off camera, watching Lucy do her thing and his laugh was loud enough (and distinct enough) to be picked up by the microphones.
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2008, 11:57 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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I thought Frasier was filmed in front of a live studio audience...
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2008, 12:28 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John DiFool
I thought Frasier was filmed in front of a live studio audience...
Many sitcoms are filmed live. That's the problem. A sitcom can take hours to film, because of multiple takes, scene changes, clothing changes, technical problems, and general breakdowns.

By the time an audience has sat through a punchline seven times over an hour, they're not going to laugh as loudly as they would as if it were the first time they heard it. All sitcoms are "sweetened" with added laughter during post-production. That's the only way to make it appear that the live show was filmed live.
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2008, 12:41 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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I knew corpses farted, but not laughed.
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  #20  
Old 07-18-2008, 01:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slithy Tove
I knew corpses farted, but not laughed.
Cite?
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  #21  
Old 07-18-2008, 01:36 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Cite?
Just in time for Dopers' lunch breaks in the remainder of the continental US, an article about an open-air lab used to study human decomposition in nature

"As the tenth day of decay approaches, the bacteria-induced bloating becomes pronounced. Sometimes this pressure is relieved via post-mortem flatulence, but occasionally an over-distended abdomen will rupture with a wet pop. "

Also this bit:

"The students knelt alongside the slumped form, seemingly untroubled by the acrid, syrupy tang of human decay which hung in the air."

The word "human" is gratuitous, since from my own experience, decomposed human corpses in stink identically to cows and birds. The "wet pop," is, however, accurate.
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  #22  
Old 07-18-2008, 05:14 PM
Kuboydal Kuboydal is offline
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I laugh at dead people.
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