September 30, 2002
M*A*S*H, 30 years later
Would M*A*S*H have been able to survive its early ratings problems if it came along today? Would it even have gotten onto network TV? Larry Gelbart doesn't think so.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 30, 2002 to TV and movies
Why is it whenever you see M*A*S*H now, it has a terrible canned laughter track?
It never used to, did it?
The first few seasons of M*A*S*H did feature a laugh track. I believe (tho' I could be wrong) that the producers were eventually able to dump it. You're right, it's jarringly out of place, but most sitcoms were filmed before a studio audience back then, so a comedy without any laughter was considered unusual.
It's just a different programme altogether when it has the canned laughter. It makes Alan Alda even more annoying.
In 20 years time we'll probably be watching re-runs of '6 feet under' with a laugh track.