原文網址:In a fall TV season bereft of comedy, the laugh track continues to fade


You can still find funny on television — but there’s definitely less laughter.

你還是可以在電視上看到喜劇-- 但是罐頭笑聲漸漸減少。

A quick survey of the fall television schedule shows that traditional sitcoms featuring so-called laugh tracks, or live audiences sweetened by the canned outbursts, are fading.


Of the 15 half-hour live-action comedies currently on the five major networks, only five contain laugh tracks.

在五大主要電視網目前播出的 15 部半小時的現場情境喜劇中,只有五部喜劇有罐頭笑聲。

The ratio suggests not only the drastic change in the number of multi-camera sitcoms on air — but also how the comedy genre is slowly vanishing from network television.


Just 10 years ago, the TV season started with 34 live-action comedies on air, archived scheduling shows. Ten years prior to that, there were 55 comedies on television — and all featured an audience’s laughter.

僅僅十年前,電視節目表上有 34 部現場情境喜劇。再更早之前有 55 部情境喜劇 - 並且都包含罐頭笑聲。

The laugh track was invented by Charley Douglass in the 1950s, but wasn’t widely used until a decade later, when the invention was used to create stronger reactions to shows like “Bewitched,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” and “The Brady Bunch.”

罐頭笑聲由查理道格拉斯(Charley Douglass)於1950年代發明,但當時尚未廣泛使用,一直到1960年代才開始廣泛使用。當時罐頭笑聲是為了表現比較強烈風格的影集,例如「神仙家庭」(Bewitched)、「安迪·格里菲斯秀」(The Andy Griffith Show)以及「脫線家族」(The Brady Bunch)等影集。

The original box that Douglass invented — called the "laff box" — was found in 2010 and appraised at $10,000 on another TV staple, "Antiques Roadshow."

最初道格拉斯發明的罐頭笑聲被稱為「laff box」,在 2010 被找到,並且在鑑價節目「Antiques Roadshow」中評估價值約美金一萬元。

Using fabricated laughter gave television producers more options to shoot shows outside the typical three-walled model, and the laugh track became a norm for decades with shows like “Cheers,” “Friends” and “Seinfeld.”


“The Big Bang Theory” is known for its use of a sugar-charged live audience, but since the 90s, shows have been using laugh tracks less.

影集「宅男行不行」(The Big Bang Theory)雖然使用現場觀眾的笑聲,但是從 1990 年代以後,喜劇節目越來越少使用罐頭笑聲。

The reason seems to be different style choices made by producers.


Many current comedies are shot with single-camera scenes with no live audience. Shows like "Sports Night," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Scrubs" gained passionate cult audiences that appreciated the format.

目前許多喜劇選擇使用單攝影機拍攝並且沒有現場觀眾。過去越來越多觀眾喜歡類似「Sports Night」、「左右做人難」(Malcolm in the Middle)以及「實習醫生成長記」(Scrubs) 等類型的喜劇影集。

Ten of the 15 comedies currently on air, including "Modern Family" — which follows a mockumentary style that allows characters to regularly break down the fourth wall — don’t use any laugh track.

在目前尚硬中的 15 部情境喜劇中,包括「摩登家庭」(Modern Family) - 由於偽紀錄片風格的原因讓角色很自然地打破第四道牆- 也不使用任何罐頭笑聲。

In a review of Fox's quickly cancelled comedy, "Mulaney," the entertainment website A.V. Club wrote: "It's hard to pull off a multi-camera sitcom these days, because rhythms and conventions that audiences once accepted as natural and organic now seem strange and jarring."

在福斯很快就取消的喜劇影集「Mulaney」的評論中,娛樂網站 A.V. Club 表示:「這年頭越來越難推廣多攝影機情境喜劇,因為觀眾一旦接受現在的節奏和喜劇公式,傳統的方式就顯得很奇怪和不搭嘎。」

And aside from a cluster of shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mom” — both of which have won multiple Emmy Awards — the old format appears close to death.

傳統的喜劇風格像是「宅男行不行」(The Big Bang Theory) 以及「極品老媽」(Mom) - 兩部都曾獲得多部艾美獎 - 這種風格即將進入死亡。


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