Canned Laughter: Ben Glenn II, Television Historian | The Paris Review
There's an interesting article here on the evolution of laugh tracks. One of the things I find most difficult about watching television is the laugh track on any kind of sitcom. Since I worked as a projectionist, and didn't watch TV at all for several years, the effect is jarring. I find, however, that one rapidly desensitizes. At one point, I used a laugh track in an audio project traditionally formatted but intentionally placed on events that weren't funny. The joke went right over the TA's head, in part because he was accustomed to watching so much TV; inappropriate canned laughter was par for the course.