The Frenzy of the Audible: Pleasure, Authenticity and Recorded Laughter

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The recorded laugh has been a potent index of authentic presence used to bridge the gap between recorded sound and listener. An analysis of the recorded genres of laughing songs and laughing stories shows that the phonographic laugh played an important role as a precursor to broadcast laugh track. Moving from these early phonographic examples, the pre-recorded laugh track is placed in the historical and discursive contexts of radio and television and their ideology of liveness. Throughout these different media contexts, the laugh has been presented as the ultimate expression of the human, and its mechanical reproduction serves as a lightning rod for anxieties concerning authenticity and the social dimensions of mass media consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-47
JournalTelevision and New Media
StatePublished - Feb 2005


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