'Canned Laughter' Page 6

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Aaron

  • Thursday 8th August 2019, 4:42pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,746 posts
Quote: Michael Monkhouse @ 5th August 2019, 9:07 AM

you get a prize if you laugh the loudest etc

This does not happen in Britain.

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Rood Eye

  • Thursday 8th August 2019, 9:04pm
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

The Chase is one of ITV's most successful afternoon game shows ever.

The studio audience can be heard applauding as the show begins and thereafter laughing throughout the show as Bradley, the chasers and the contestants give it their all.

The snag is, however, that I've talked to a few people who have been contestants and they assure me there is no studio audience (except on the celebrity version of the show) so where is all that applause and laughter coming from?

Out of a can, apparently.

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Text Lexus

  • Thursday 8th August 2019, 11:06pm [Edited]
  • West Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 122 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 8th August 2019, 9:04 PM

... I've talked to a few people who have been contestants and they assure me there is no studio audience (except on the celebrity version of the show) so where is all that applause and laughter coming from?

Out of a can, apparently.

No, I'm not having that - you have to be 'shitting us.

I used to quite like the show but now feel I have been made a fool of ;-(

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Text Lexus

  • Thursday 8th August 2019, 11:46pm [Edited]
  • West Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 122 posts
Quote: Nogget @ 30th November 2009, 2:24 PM

".....when you hear laughter during a sitcom, it is almost always the case -- and I'm going to put this in italics for any TV critics reading -- that that laughter will be the sound of the studio audience, yes, laughing."

I believe that's not quite true. The sound we are hearing has been recorded by technicians, who have taken a whole series of decisions about how to present the sound. They have chosen where to put the mics, and at what level to mix the audience sound, relative to that of the performers. What we hear is not 'canned' in the sense of another laughter track being added to the show, but it's certainly not 'the' sound of the studio audience.

You're not wrong.

When I found myself in a humble assistant editor job on a primetime 'shiny floor' LE show (being more used to documentaries and drama) I was struck by the almost obsessive emphasis placed on leaving all options open for remixing the studio audience's reaction. There was a separate dedicated multi-track recorder purely for the variously placed audience mics - some directional, others less so, some overhead etc. Of course this all helps to get a good sound free of any echoey ambience from the room but crucially also enables a lot of manipulation 'in post' as every mic is isolated on its own track as far as possible and mixing and sweetening the laugh track can therefore be treated as a separate project in its own right.

Being inexperienced I did wonder at the time if this was because there wasn't much confidence in the programme (as it happens it failed to get a second series) and it might have become necessary to augment or juxtapose the laffs if it failed to amuse much. I haven't done much more work of this sort - it's boring, it means weeks of night shifts and you're treated with all the respect a junior chimney sweep might expect ... "Go to London - I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated" :-)

... but from my slender familiarity with these sorts of productions I can confidently claim that this is common practice. We had, IIRC, 48 audience mics and at least 24 seems to be the very minimum. A bit of googling has just revealed that Saturday Night Live, for example, have sixty 'permanent' microphones for the audience - implying that others may be added as the sound supervisor sees fit.

Of course, there is necessarily some level of artificiality in all sound and video / film recording.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Thursday 8th August 2019, 11:46pm
  • England
  • 17,904 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 8th August 2019, 9:04 PM

The Chase is one of ITV's most successful afternoon game shows ever.
.

And one of the most boring. Same thing, day in day out Sleepy. Chasers have their stock quips and Bradley's "jokes" when he introduces each one are pathetic.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Thursday 8th August 2019, 11:54pm [Edited]
  • 2,130 posts

The Chase? I'm sure I've seen camera angles from behind the audience but maybe that's only on celebrity editions. It would be a poor show if it's true because a lot of the show's appeal is the host so if the laughter to his antics is fake then it will anger a lot of people. Myself ruddy included. The opinions of a few people doesn't make it fact though. So there's that.

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Rood Eye

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 12:25am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

Apparently, The Chase and Pointless sets are not far away from each other.

In an interview with the Express in October 2017, Richard Osman said Bradley Walsh often pops into the Pointless set to mess about with the live audience. He says "He comes into our studio because they don't have an audience for their show, so he likes to get a little fix."

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Text Lexus

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 12:44am [Edited]
  • West Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 122 posts

A couple of links here - apologies for not prettifying them

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2018-11-22/secrets-of-the-chase/

https://www.sroaudiences.com/default.asp?file=shows.asp

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/tv/where-is-the-chase-filmed-15834141

In summary, the show has been shot at Elstree since 2014 whereas the beaudienced celebrity episodes were recorded at White City, so these can be considered separate productions. I wonder if they had two identical sets at one point or simply transported it...

Anyway, I can find no mention whatever of audience participation, how to apply for tickets etc, only how to apply to be a contestant.

... all of which points towards a grand deception as exposed by Rood's contacts. I can tell you that, though an ITV show, it's contracted to BBC Studios and Post Production at Elstree's stage 9 and utilises a 7-camera setup.

Again, no sniff of the great unwashed being present!

Edit: sorry, just seen Rood's Pointless post directly above this, which clinches the f**ker, to speak plainly.

Quote: Hercules Grytpype Thynne @ 8th August 2019, 11:46 PM

And one of the most boring. Same thing, day in day out Sleepy. Chasers have their stock quips and Bradley's "jokes" when he introduces each one are pathetic.

You've watched it more than once or twice then, Herc *theatrical wink* ;-)

(I don't disagree).

I don't watch much 'normal' telly, but quite enjoy General Knowledge quizzes such as this and, sad to relate, Mastermind which is less taxing these days, meaning that one can feel clever on correctly answering the easy ones whilst storing up more obscure facts in case they come up in the pub quiz - which they invariably do as that's how the setters round here seem to come up with their questions, the lazy bastards.

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Text Lexus

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 2:02am [Edited]
  • West Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 122 posts
Quote: Lee @ 29th November 2009, 9:07 PM

Do you not find it distracting sometimes, Aaron? I don't mind it most of the time, but there are occasions like in Mr. Bean for example, where you have one person snorting and shrieking their head off. It detracts from the show.

70s/80s are normally the worse offenders, and I'm not even talking about canned laughter, just the live audience.

Sorry for digging up a post from the digital detritus a decade after the fact...

This became an issue for me on re-listening to some Hancock's Half Hours recently when I became distracted by a loudly over-enthusiastic female audience member on a couple of recordings. At one point I think TH directs a remark towards her along the lines of, "madam, could you leave please?"

I had to do a fair bit of googling to discover the truth: it turns out it was none other than the legendary Beryl Vertue.

The Mystery of The Shrieking Woman

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 6:45am
  • England
  • 17,904 posts
Quote: Text Lexus @ 9th August 2019, 12:44 AM

... all of which points towards a grand deception as exposed by Rood's contacts.

Does Google count as "contacts"?

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 8:29am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 5,554 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 8th August 2019, 4:42 PM

This does not happen in Britain.

I watched the second series of The Jack Dee Show being recorded (circa '94) and they gave a bottle of champagne and tickets to his next tour 'to the person who laughs hardest'. I remember cos it was the lady next to me.

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Aaron

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 8:05pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,746 posts
Quote: Michael Monkhouse @ 9th August 2019, 8:29 AM

I watched the second series of The Jack Dee Show being recorded (circa '94) and they gave a bottle of champagne and tickets to his next tour 'to the person who laughs hardest'. I remember cos it was the lady next to me.

Fair enough! I've been to dozens of recordings (and heard reports from many others) in the last 20 years though and never experienced anything of the kind, so it must be rare.

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Chappers

  • Friday 9th August 2019, 10:31pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 31,512 posts
Quote: Michael Monkhouse @ 9th August 2019, 8:29 AM

I watched the second series of The Jack Dee Show being recorded (circa '94) and they gave a bottle of champagne and tickets to his next tour 'to the person who laughs hardest'. I remember cos it was the lady next to me.

Were you tickling her?

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billwill

  • Saturday 10th August 2019, 12:36am
  • North London, England
  • 5,849 posts

One thing commonly done, I think, is to use the laughs from the FIRST take of any scene, because if they have to repeat the scene the audience don't laugh so well on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th take etc.