Why do Sitcoms have laugh tracks?
Sitcom is a situation comedy that has people, featuring repeatedly in a single and common environment like home or workplace. It also includes jokes and various types of dialogues that can trigger the viewers to laugh. Sitcoms like programs existed in Radio earlier. But, today they are also featured in television. Sitcoms are featured as narrative forms and art forms. The situation comedy will be generally recorded in the front of audience at the studio. Another way of recording the sitcom is by using a laughing sound track which involves the artificial sound of audience laughter. Laugh tracks do not mean that they are recorded in the presence of the actual laughing audience.
Unlike that of Stand Up comedy and sketch comedy, situation comedy has the story as well as the characters in it. The situation is created with a family environment or a working environment or a collection of friends. Sitcoms have traditional comedy touch which is mixed with musical and laughing tracks included in the performances. The medium of Radio made the audiences to regularly follow the comedy programs. So these programs usually have the same situations and same characters with different stories in each of the episodes. Every episode has the story line of a disturbance caused in an actual daily activity along with interactions of the usual characters. The episode ends with the emergence of a solution to the disturbance and the situation will become same as what was there in the beginning of the episode.
Sitcom has laugh tracks as it has also episodes driven by natural comedy among the characters by the gags. The status quo of the comedy will be maintained all through the series of episodes. The laugh track usage in Sitcoms is to tell the audience when to laugh. Laugh tracks will stimulate the audience moods and make them respond to the comedy situation even if they are mentally disturbed. Also when the audiences are laughing at a comedy situation along with a group, it gives them a feeling of contentment and more satisfaction from the comedy. So, Sitcoms have laugh tracks.