Episode/s with the worst audience?

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  • #235758

    Warbodog

    Canned laughter bloke aside (or maybe not), are there any Red Dwarf episodes where the audience irritates you to the point that it affects your enjoyment or even takes the episode down a peg? Whether they’re overly excitable about everything or conversely don’t seem to be getting any of the best jokes, someone’s got an annoying laugh, or whatever.

    I mean in terms of an entire episode rather than specific gags, e.g. The Young Ones’ ‘Oil’ is supposedly ruined by an over-the-top audience while Fawlty Towers’ ‘The Builders’ had a muted response due to the non-English-speaking investors in the front rows, not that I’ve ever noticed those. On my recent Monty Python rewatch, ‘The Buzz Aldrin Show’ was intermittently ruined by a screaming drunk.

    #235760

    Ben Saunders

    Quite often on XI/XII I feel the audience is a bit too happy to be there and eager to laugh at the medicore jokes, but I guess it’s better than silence

    What was it exactly that made the crowd for Kryten (Series 2) so raucous?

    #235761

    Warbodog

    ‘Kryten’ was the one I thought of too, but only the last scene, where Kryten giving Rimmer the finger is the most outrageous thing some of those people have ever seen. I don’t know if it extends to the rest of the ep, since I think the skeleton reveal gets the appropriate response.

    VIII has an easily pleased audience in general, with all the unearned applause, but that hardly ‘ruins’ VIII for me so I don’t care.

    #235762

    Warbodog

    Oh yeah, they overreact to Cat being dragged away from the mirror as well. Glad they enjoyed themselves anyway.

    #235764

    tombow

    the conversation here about Mr Bean yesterday had me looking up some Bean clips, and I’d forgotten how ..idiosyncratic the audience could be, such as the person who keeps doing this loud honking laugh gasping for breath after the laugh has finished, and someone screeching. RD, I guess I always thought the Series 1 audience was easily pleased by some of the more panto-ish broad Lister/Rimmer banter.

    #235766

    Warbodog

    There’s a distinctive laugh in the Mr Bean park bench sandwich skit that sounded so unlike a laugh to me as a child, I thought it was a surreal joke about his bread crying out in pain when he cut into it.

    https://youtu.be/jtqpuYvOfHY?t=40s

    #235769

    tombow

    oh that is a funny sketch, I haven’t seen that for years. How did he get the bottle stopper to pop out of his ear on cue…?

    #235771

    paulf

    The beauty of hindsight! I rewatched series 1 again today and there were quite a few moments when I thought how can the audience not appreciate this more? What a privilege to be at the recording. Loan me the temporal, integration, manipulation and extrapolation machine please.

    #235772

    Plastic Percy

    That over enthusiastic person in the audience for ‘Backwards’ who tries to start a round of applause at the “do you think Wilma’s sexy?” joke.

    #235775

    Timewave Part Two

    Never, boring answer I guess its never bothered me at any point.

    Though I’ll mention how the audience kinda made the beginning joke at Samsara funnier for me, when Lister is shushing Rimmer as his ice cream melts and that one guy in the audience is laughing hard.

    That was pretty funny.

    #235780

    International Debris

    Everything from VIII onwards has got over-enthusiastic responses. It’s the point where the audience feels more like keen Red Dwarf fans excited to be there, rather than an audience of comedy fans appreciating the show.

    #235782

    Toxteth O-Grady

    Think I’ve mentioned it on here before, but there’s a woman’s laugh at the end (or beginning?) of the bar room tidy sequence in Backwards that’s really loud and weird. It sounds like a phone ringing underwater.
    Stranger still, it sounds the same backwards as forwards.

    #235784

    paulf

    Toxteth O-Grady! My favourite name on this site so far. Just managed to get tickets to see Nigel Planner/Adrian Edmondson in Bath just before I head back home after DJ.

    #235786

    quinn_drummer

    I think the laughter in the Backwards scene is meant to be someone in the pub isn’t it? It’s at the end of the brawl scene and it’s her laughing backwards, which is why it sounds weird.

    #235787

    Dave

    Are you sure it’s not someone un-laughing because the scene stops being funny?

    #235790

    Stephen Abootman

    Good job that there’s a High & Low 3 years in the making that will definitively answer this issue.

    https://twitter.com/ganymedetitan/status/626833307448152064

    #235793

    bloodteller

    Tikka To Ride Xtended has a pretty bad audience

    #235795

    Pete Part Three

    Tikka to Ride UnXtended ain’t much better. I hate the groans during the “be a second gunmen” bit. You’re there to laugh, not fucking groan and proclaim how clever you are for seeing where this below-par episode is going. Fuck you.

    #235796

    bloodteller

    I hate that Timewave’s “Spitonawrist” joke gets a big laugh from the audience. Surely not that many people thought it was a funny joke? I’d expect at least one groan from how cheap it is, but everyone just seems to like it.

    #235798

    Ben Saunders

    I’m more bothered when the audience -doesn’t- laugh at a quite-funny joke, I think Awooga Waltz might be one of them but I can’t quite remember. There’s a handful scattered throughput the series, though.

    #235799

    Timewave Part Two

    I hate that Timewave’s “Spitonawrist” joke gets a big laugh from the audience. Surely not that many people thought it was a funny joke? I’d expect at least one groan from how cheap it is, but everyone just seems to like it.</bockquote>

    Probably since its their initial reaction, plus people have different tastes in comedy.

    #235800

    Timewave Part Two

    fuck me sideways

    #235801

    bloodteller

    >I’m more bothered when the audience -doesn’t- laugh at a quite-funny joke, I think Awooga Waltz might be one of them but I can’t quite remember. There’s a handful scattered throughput the series, though.

    To be fair, that line is said so fast that it’s difficult to hear. I heard it as “the Wilbur Awards” the first time around. I still laughed at it thougg, because of how bizarre it was that Cat was talking about poetry awards while the ship was exploding

    #235803

    Dave

    The Awooga Waltz is too clever a joke to register in such a quick scene. It’s one of those ones you get later and smile.

    #235804

    NoFro

    I think the XI/XII crowds are generally quite quiet or perhaps just low in the mix, definitely compared to X. Having been to recordings of X/XI/XII, it seems they didn’t alter the crowd reactions which in some ways is a good thing but I think also misrepresents the impact of some of the jokes as they’ve taken the laughter from the fourth or fifth take of a joke rather than the first or second. Those who have been to recordings will know that some of the scenes take some time to get through which means that the best take technically might be one that comes after the joke has already been told several times. The cast could certainly learn their lines better (not that I don’t appreciate the new-script-every-week situation) which would help this but, alternatively, they could just fluff the laugh track up a bit in post.

    VIII crowds are definitely far too keen on the material but I think the problem with VIII is that whilst there are some good jokes, they don’t always relate to the overall stories. It makes sense that jokes that don’t need the context of the episode work well standing alone within their scenes. I’ve seen episodes recorded where I’ve forgotten the set up for a running joke because it has paid off a few scenes later which might be 2 hours of recording time after the set up. This is a better constructed joke in terms of the final episode but does require a bit more attention from the audience at the live recording.

    #235807

    Ben Paddon

    That over enthusiastic person in the audience for ‘Backwards’ who tries to start a round of applause at the “do you think Wilma’s sexy?” joke.

    My first thought when I saw this thread.

    This reminds me of a conversation I was having with a friend of mine. His name is MIke, and he absolutely detests studio-audience sitcom. He’s one of those people who says he hates hearing a live audience (he almost always calls it “canned laughter,” which in most cases it isn’t, and I’ve long since grown weary of trying to correct him), he hates “being told when to laugh.” Not an uncommon attitude among people who hate studio-audience sitcoms. But when I probed him further on this, it went further.

    I suggested, “A sitcom is like seeing a recording of a play, or a standup special. You wouldn’t hate the audience so much if you were sitting in it.”

    He countered, “Yes I would. The other audience members are the price you pay for going to see a comedian perform.”

    Which absolutely blows my mind. I’ve performed standup for an audience of thousands, and for an audience of six people, and the energy is so different. There’s an awkwardness to as smaller crowd, or a crowd who doesn’t want to be there. The energy is different. It’s why I can’t watch those Maria Bamford specials on Netflix – one is her doing her show for her parents, and the other cuts to different locations showing her doing a show one-on-one with another person. It just feels so awkward to me, I can’t stand it.

    (Which is a shame, because I love Bamford. But oh well.)

    How do you explain the benefit of an audience, recorded or otherwise, to a person who would rather have that one-on-one experience? Who thinks the other people in the audience, in an audience he’s in, are a nuisance? It shorted out something in my brain.

    #235810

    Warbodog

    I enjoy hearing that one person’s disgust when they’re made to visualise Ace Rimmer literally rimming his way up the ranks. Makes me imagine a One Foot in the Grave situation of friends being dragged along to a recording that’s not their cup of tea.

    There’s at least one episode where someone gives a sympathetic “aww” after Rimmer admits something pathetic, but I can’t remember which. It’s nice that they’re so into it and think he’s real.

    #235811

    bloodteller

    I’ve never understood people who hate live audiences in sitcoms, nor the argument that it’s annoying because they exist to “tell you when to laugh”- that’s clearly not what they are there for.

    So why do sitcoms have audiences? I don’t actually know. But I can guess that one reason would be for the benefit of the directors/editors etc. as having an actual group of people there to react to it lets you know what jokes aren’t working and need to be cut, or what line needs to be delivered differently or other such things as that. It’s like a test run of the show to see what people like and don’t like before you edit it down and show it on TV. Other reasons could be that it helps the cast and they work better in front of an audience, or perhaps it’s just nice to have a whole group of people there watching the show be performed and laughing at all the jokes-it’s probably a pretty nice feeling to see all those people enjoying what you do. Or maybe it’s for the atmosphere- I definitely enjoy a comedy a lot more when there’s audience laughter, it makes it feel more fun in my opinion.

    I don’t know if any of those reasons are legit since I was basically talking out of my arse, but studio audiences definitely don’t exist to tell TV viewers “when to laugh” and it’s really irritating when people say that they do. I don’t know why anyone would think that to begin with.

    #235816

    Flap Jack

    I suggested, “A sitcom is like seeing a recording of a play, or a standup special. You wouldn’t hate the audience so much if you were sitting in it.”

    He countered, “Yes I would. The other audience members are the price you pay for going to see a comedian perform.”

    Oh my god, just reading this almost physically hurt me. Imagine thinking that the ideal stand up comedy experience would just be you and the comedian alone in a room together. That’s the personal hell of comedians and comedy fans alike.

    At least you can make the argument that an audience isn’t necessary for plays, where there’s a metaphorical wall between the audience and the actors, but stand up? Fucking hell.

    Also, I’m pretty sure the price you pay for going to see a comedian perform is… the cost of the ticket?

    #235819

    tombow

    there was a sad scene in Mrs Brown’s Boys where she talks about how she needs to be involved in her kids lives, and the audience went “aw” and she broke character and said “I’m a fecking man in a dress”. That annoyed me, because why add an emotional subplot and then mock us for getting involved with it.

    #235828

    Katydid

    The transition from live audience to canned laughter in American sitcoms by the 1960s definitely _was_ producers believing the viewers need to be told when to laugh. But that’s par for the course of 1960s TV when there was largely very little faith in the intelligence of viewers among the Hollywood elite.

    Generally speaking I’d wager that the tradition of a live audience sitcom is very much that – a tradition. It’s the way sitcoms have generally always been made to the point where it’s kind of expected. Unfortunately in the modern times though, it’s in my experience (in America) only the insultingly broad garbage that’s made like a traditional audience sitcom; your Big Bang Theories, your 2 Broke Girlses, and any number of generic sitcoms that got cancelled after two seasons that you’d only ever discover when channel hopping in the hospital at 4 AM.

    I really can’t think of a good American sitcom from the past 15 years with an audience. I’d have to wager that a large part of the hatred toward studio audiences nowadays is a direct result of them largely only being utilized by garbage shows. Ever since Malcolm in the Middle and _especially_ since The Office, the better American shows have seemed to want to play single camera with no audience.

    I don’t want to try to speak for the modern television landscape in Britain because 90% of the British shows I’ve ever watched are from between 1970 and 1995.

    #235831

    Warbodog

    The Office came from a long line of mockumentaries that were appropriately free from audience laughter. But some 90s fools would apparently mistake things like People Like Us for a genuine documentary, so you have silly compromises like Operation Good Guys adding a laugh track from series two and becoming increasingly unbelievable plot-wise too.

    #235837

    Plastic Percy

    If I recall, it was originally insisted that the television version of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ would have a laugh track, and one was recorded for the first episode at a science-fiction convention in London, 1980. You can see an extract of this – namely the scene where Ford angers the pub landlord by trying to buy peanuts – and it just doesn’t work at all.

    #235840

    Ben Saunders

    The worst fucking laugh track I’ve ever heard is any episode of That Mitchell and Webb Look. I know at least 2% of it is actually shot in front of an audience, but most of it isn’t, and it’s too clever and fast paced to show to an audience later because they just awkwardly laugh over the dialogue. The Grammar Nazi sketch is awful in that regard.

    #235848

    Stabbim the Skutter

    Most of Series 3 has this really annoying bloke going “TUH-HUH-HUH-HUH-HUH” over it. Most noticeably in Polymorph after “This is a scalpel.” They got rid of him in the Remastered versions.

    But I adore the extended “Oh-hoh-hoh-hoh-HOH!” after the Series 8 cliffhanger gag in The Beginning.

    #235857

    Hamish

    So what you are saying essentially is that some of you are no longer interested in at least some of the audience that Red Dwarf used to attract?

    #235872

    Ben Paddon

    Oh, someone punch him out!

    #235900

    Mr-Stabby

    I think it’s when Rimmer says ‘Imagine making love to a woman’ after Lister imagining making love to a woman with six breasts. Which is weird when you think it’s Series 1 and those audiences were a bit flat normally. But yeah you hear a lot of awwwwwws

    #235901

    Mr-Stabby

    I think it’s when Rimmer says ‘Imagine making love to a woman’ after Lister imagining making love to a woman with six breasts. Which is weird when you think it’s Series 1 and those audiences were a bit flat normally. But yeah you hear a lot of awwwwwws

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