Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Tv shows (especially comedy shows) have a background audience laughter and I remember there's a word whose synonym is the background laughter on tv shows. But, I'm not able to identify the word. Any of you know the word? It is not laugh track or any other word given here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laugh_track. I distinctly remember that the word doesn't have 'laugh' in it.

share|improve this question
1  
Folks, please try harder. I vaguely remember having heard a term that means precisely this, but without the 'laugh'. Sorry, I'm unable to recall right now. Will post here if I remember it. –  Kris Jul 18 '12 at 13:28
1  
You may want to try your question on our Audio-Video Production site. They're the experts on the subject and this isn't really an English usage problem, per se. –  Robert Cartaino Jul 18 '12 at 13:47
7  
"Please try harder"? When's the deadline? –  Mitch Jul 18 '12 at 13:57
1  
An audience prompt? A simulated audience response? Backing track? –  KitFox Jul 18 '12 at 14:38
1  
The only related thing I can think of that doesn't contain "laugh" is "rhubarb". It's not quite the same thing, though. –  minitech Jul 18 '12 at 17:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Are you possibly thinking of 'sweetening'?

In television sweetening refers to the use of a laugh track in addition to a live studio audience. The laugh track is used to "enhance" the laughter for television audiences, sometimes in cases where a joke or scene intended to be funny does not draw the expected response, and sometimes to avoid awkward sound edits when a scene is shortened or more than one take is used in editing.

share|improve this answer
1  
I think sweetening is too general, as it can refer to any sound that's added in post. For example, if a company was dubbing a foreign film and decided that a storm scene didn't have enough impact, they would do some sweetening by layering in additional/higher quality storm sound effects. Edit - My apologies, I forgot he was looking for a specific word, not the best word. –  Dean Jul 18 '12 at 20:46
    
@Dean - I agree, it sounds like the OP is asking for a specific word that's on the tip of his tongue. –  Mark Beadles Jul 18 '12 at 20:51

It's canned laughter - often used today in broadcasting to simulate the reaction of a nonexistent live audience. [c. 1900]

share|improve this answer
1  
OP notes that it is a word that doesn't have 'laugh' in it. –  coleopterist Jul 18 '12 at 12:55
1  
He also states that the word is not found in the Wikipedia link, but canned laughter is listed at the very beginning of said link. –  Mahnax Jul 18 '12 at 13:00
5  
@coleopterist: OP is probably misremembering. It's either called canned laughter or a laugh track. –  Robusto Jul 18 '12 at 13:03
    
@ all thanks for your responses. i'll wait for some more time, if no one here can find the word, then I'm misremembering as @Robusto says in the comment above. :( –  Senthil Kumar Jul 18 '12 at 14:55
2  
Given that virtually everyone will say the despise "canned laughter", it's likely that people actually in the business of using it prefer more euphemistic alternatives (laugh track, sweetening, whatever). But (Shakespeare's rose by any other name notwithstanding) for those of us who like to call a spade a spade, the only real name for what OP is talking about is definitely canned laughter. –  FumbleFingers Jul 18 '12 at 15:05

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.