Created By: NESBoy on June 11, 2011 Last Edited By: NESBoy on June 13, 2011

Wait Until The Audience Stops Laughing

The show can't go on until the Studio Audience shuts up.

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Seen It a Million Times.

You are watching your favorite sitcom, and Alice and Bob are in a discussion. As always, the Studio Audience bursts into immense laughter. You want to laugh along, yet you couldn't help but notice something odd about Alice and Bob. Whenever the audience laughs, they do nothing but stare at each other, unable to continue their conversation until the laughter dies down. Do people really have such frequent arkward pauses in daily conversation?
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • June 11, 2011
    This is of course a Necessary Break From Reality; it would be difficult to hear the actors over the laughing.
  • June 11, 2011
    I think this is an example of To Common To Trope and wouldn't have much to fill with, except the rare subversion or parody, which would instantly drop it into Canned Laughter anyway.
  • June 11, 2011
    Isn't this Show Stopper?
  • June 12, 2011
    • Done in the Marx Brothers films A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races. They tested scenes on the road in front of live audiences, and timed how long the laughs were so they wouldn't step on the laugh on film.
      • Also done in the Marx's first two films, The Coconuts and Animal Crackers, which had originally been stage plays so they already knew where the big laughs were.
  • June 12, 2011
  • June 12, 2011
    In Titus an outtake showed that the studio audience couldn't stop laughing at one joke, "You built me a Cop Magnet! I might as well have been a black guy driving a large powdered donut!" and the laughing only continued when the actors started looking between the audience and their watches. In the actual show the joke is actually passed by quickly due to a quick cut.
  • June 12, 2011
    One Garfield strip has him come dancing on the fence to thunderous applause. He repeatedly thanks the audience, but gets annoyed when they don't stop, and ends up telling them if they don't stop, he can't start. Then a member says "He's onto us."
  • June 12, 2011
    Happens on Tom Lehrer's live recordings. Occasionally a line in a song will get such a big laugh that Lehrer has to play an extra few bars on piano before he can start singing again.. Some of his spoken intros get big laughs as well.
  • June 13, 2011
    This was a big problem with Seinfeld. There's a certain point in season four or five where certain actions (Kramer doing a signature entrance into Jerry's apartment, for instance) that were guaranteed to get five seconds of cheering or more and it started to affect the pacing of the show.

    Also cited by some creators as a reason to go without a Laugh Track or live audience. It's pretty much the only way they'd be able to fit as many rapid-fire jokes in as they do (Arrested Development comes to mind, though I can't recall if the producer actually lampshaded this trope or not).
  • June 13, 2011
    • In Red Dwarf (original series) the actors were always pausing to allow the audience to quieten down. Usually it fits since it comes over as an I-can't-believe-I'm-seeing-this moment.

    • Comic plays of all sorts basically have to do this. It takes effort to get used to.