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Canned Laughter Justification Captions

Because canned laughter annoys me
  (+10, -3)
(+10, -3)
  [vote for,

There are TV shows I like, then there are other TV shows everyone else seems to like, but which leave me wondering what the joke is. I then find myself watching them and getting annoyed because I'm unable to see the joke that apparently, the rest of the world is enjoying except me. I end up developing a dislike for the show and will from then-on refuse to watch it there-after.

So, to combat this sense of niggling insecurity, and to raise further advertising revenue, I propose a special set of closed captions that justify the use of canned laughter. So when something that's supposed to be funny comes up, a little caption appears saying ("It's funny because he's outrageously gay" - or, "It's funny because she's got a squeaky voice and despite her cute appearance, she's actually sociopathically unbalanced") Of course, if I get the joke already, I'll leave the captions off, but when I'm sitting there thinking "What was that all about?" I have some recourse to turn to.

Now, if I watch a show that I don't get, I get the chance to *know* whether I'm missing something, or if it's just another crappy TV show.

In addition, if hack writers were asked to provide explanations for each use of the can, they might be less inclined to use it, and potentially consider alternative employment.

zen_tom, Sep 03 2004

Laughter studied.... http://cms.psycholo...PTO-20001101-000036
.......cracks me up...... [normzone, Oct 22 2004]

Explanatory captions http://www.youtube....watch?v=XZv-3JdYiE8
Found this video of a Chris Rock stand-up show, in which the uploader has inserted subtitles in Portuguese. The reason I thought of this idea is because the man behind the subtitles adds in brackets explanatory statements to what might otherwise be unfamiliar cultural references (see 7.58, when the poster explains that New Jack City was a film from 1991 in which Rock starred). [theleopard, Feb 12 2013]


       This is especially annoying when you miss the groundwork of a joke in a sit-com, and then the rest of the scene relies on you having understood the groundwork, and by the end of the skit, the 'audience' are in hysterics but you're just sat there, all furrowed brows and no pot-noodle left.
spiritualized, Oct 22 2004

       I abhor canned laughter, and love subtitles [+].
normzone, Oct 22 2004

       (Dave Barry) I'll allow it. (/Dave Barry)
ato_de, Oct 24 2004

       Hmm, I feel a specific show may have been attacked here. TV shows tend not to use canned laughter anymore, sadly that noise is the laughter of real people. The problem is that the vast majority of people are pretty ignorant unfortunately. I think the captions would be the same every time.   

       "People find this inoffensive and unchallenging."
harderthanjesus, Oct 24 2004

       [harderthan], methinks you're a bit harsh. I was watching the excellent Little Britain series on Australian TV last week, and (despite the original shown in the UK last year not having them) they had awful, loud, canned laughter, and it completely spoilt it. I'm all for subtitles like this, especially useful when trying to learn what's funny in different languages/cultures.
neilp, Oct 25 2004

       Find the fake laugh and win $1,000,000!!!
During this broadcast, one background laugh will be inappropriate. Simply write the last 3 words before the inappropriate laughter on a 3x5 card and mail to Fake Laughter, 101 Alameda Avenue, Los Angeles CA 71348, and you'll be entered in our free 1 Million Dollar "What's So Funny" Sweepstakes!
phundug, Oct 25 2004

       I hate canned laughter. If it comes on, the TV goes off or to a different channel.
UnaBubba, Feb 14 2013

       When I read the annos, they all seem to come with canned laughter in my head.   

       //It's funny because she's got a squeaky voice and despite her cute appearance, she's actually sociopathically unbalanced.   

       Damn, you've dated her too?
not_morrison_rm, Feb 14 2013

UnaBubba, Feb 15 2013

       One could steal the video, place these captions, and also place a silhouette of one's own head plus robotic companions ala MST3000. If they (you) were foreigners with accented english that would be even funnier. The Russian robot's job could be to read the captions out loud. Sometimes a Russian caption would come on and the Russian robot would laugh loudly but not explain.
bungston, Feb 15 2013


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