Drama, laughs and lessons for the family… all in under 30 minutes! What is it about sitcoms that draws us in year after year? We talk about our favorites, the importance of cultural representation and learn about canned laughter.
After binge-watching One Day At A Time on Netflix, we got to thinking about sitcoms in general. Why have they stood the test of time (in fact, the more traditional multi-camera format is having a resurgence) and why do we enjoy them so much?
We discussed some of our favorite sitcoms from over the years including The Cosby Show, A Different World, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, Boy Meets World, Modern Family, Black•ish and many more. Mike talked about how cultural representation on sitcoms is important so kids can see others that look like them on TV and have role models to look up to and aspire towards.
Steve walked us through the history of canned laughter and we talked about how we’re used to this oddity even though a lot of times it doesn’t make sense (especially when cartoons have a laugh track). We listen to some clips to hear how shows designed for laugh tracks sound really weird without it.
We had a great time reminiscing about some of our favorite TV this week and learning why this format continues to succeed.
Clips references in this episode:
- Indiewire – The History of the Sitcom Laugh Track
- The Baron Blog – The Mystery of the Laff Box
- Ad Age – Don’t Cry for the Laugh Track
- Thrillist – The Mysterious Machine That Changed TV Sitcoms Forever
- Paste Magazine – How Netflix’s One Day At A Time Resuscitates The Multi-Cam Sitcom
- Refinery29 – Will & Grace Cast Promises They Do Not Use A Laugh Track
- NBC News – We May Hate Laugh Tracks – But They Work, Studies Show
- New York Magazine – Please Chuckle Here
- DanSchneider.com – Laugh Tracks on TV Shows