1999-11-27-flop.gif What’s this?

I don’t want to discourage you from talking about barbecue grills and chickens, but the classic cartoon today reminded me of a recent conversation with my friend Dennis. He had just returned home to Ohio from a visit to the west coast. He’d been in Los Angeles, where he was part of the audience for the taping of a television sit-com. I honestly don’t remember what show. He told me the crew and cast would go through several takes of a scene, and between takes prompters would tell the audience, “OK, we’d like you to laugh a little louder next time.” In other words, it wasn’t the old canned laugh track that has fallen into such disrepute: it was blatantly manipulated laughter from a “live” audience. I just get more disillusioned every day. And by the way, you haven’t been laughing very loudly at the cartoons, I’ve noticed.