The Big Bang Theory Without A Laugh Track

The internet is a weird, inspiring place. We often find things we never even realized we wanted- like The Big Bang Theory without a laugh track.

The laugh track is separate audio of an audience laughing at a comedy. In The Big Bang Theory‘s case, the laughter heard while viewing the show on TV is actually coming from a live studio audience. In Los Angeles, the cast has what they call “tape nights” where they film the show in front of fans. These fans are cued about when to laugh, although most of the time it happens automatically.

Charley Douglas, an American sound engineer, invented the concept of the laugh track. These days shows like Modern Family and The Office often remove the laugh track to give a more dry type humor, but shows like Friends and Big Bang still keep the laugh track alive.

We suppose there’s a good reason for that. In this doctored video, you can watch an entire scene of Big Bang Theory without the laugh track. It’s cringe-worthy, to say the least. Raj’s confusion about where the Rocky Mountains are just aren’t as funny without other people’s laughter.

But why is that?

The Science Behind The Laughter

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In true Big Bang fashion, the laugh track has scientific evidence to back it up. A professor at Dartmouth University named Bill Kelley explained, “We’re much more likely to laugh at something funny in the presence of other people.” Kelly studies psychology and specifically researches the brain’s response to humor. Studies have actually proven that humans are more likely to laugh at a joke if it followed by other’s laughter.

Kelly did admit that the laugh track has to be placed well for it to work. The track can be helpful to audiences, but if it comes at an awkward time it can actually take away the enjoyment.

Did you cringe while watching Big Bang Theory without a laugh track?

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