Douwe Osinga's Blog: Making the world funnier

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Making the world funnier

The simple reason why they play laughter in comedies, is that the jokes seem funnier when more people laugh. The viewers might think the taped hilarity irritating, but he or she enjoys the show more. This got me thinking, why don't have laughter boxes in every day life situations. The jokes we tell each other are not that much worse then the stuff that passes as prime time television, it is the canned laughter that makes most of the difference. So, if we outfit every office with a big red button that chuckles as opposed to the mythical Internet button that does nothing, we would all laugh more and enjoy each other more.
Another reason why people in comedies seem funnier that people in real life, is that they have text writers. That seems harder to implement in day-to-day life, but it is possible. I mean, situational comedy is based on the situation one is in and we mostly share the situation we're in with a lot of other people. Who cares if a hundred or even a thousand other people crack the same jokes as I do in the same situation that I am in, what is important is that the people I tell the jokes to don't know. Really, even that is not important, important is that they don't know the jokes and can laugh about them. So, if we pipe the jokes through mobile phones, e-mail or whatever is your favourite modern communication medium, then the joy gets spread around more.
If everybody had a script, we could even work out complete plays. If the lines are piped in on a last minute base, it would be a truly mixture between watching a set piece and playing in one. It would be fun to be in one, because you would lead the life of somebody else while completely experiencing that life. And it could be executed parallel with whole groups, i.e. we could have an episode of say Friends playing a hundred times parallel with 600 friends. Could be fun.