TV - Movies
Jason Alexander
Once Revealed
The Truth About
Laugh Tracks
On Seinfeld
By SAMANTHA BAMBINO
The laugh track has been a staple of modern sitcoms, including “Seinfeld,” for decades, but it often leaves a sour taste in the mouth of viewers due to its artificial nature. Some may wonder why “Seinfeld,” a show filmed in front of a studio audience and replete with gut-busting jokes, would need a laugh track at all. Luckily, Jason Alexander, who portrayed George Constanza, has an answer.
In a 2014 interview, Alexander explained that the laugh tracks were used to weave together different shots that had different sounds of laughter from the studio audience. Jerry Seinfeld backed up Alexander in a Reddit AMA, adding that some scenes were not filmed with a studio audience, so the tracks were necessary to keep the laughs continuous and smooth.
Alexander also shared how important the live audience was to the cast and crew, saying that if a scene didn’t get a good response production would often come to a standstill as they tried to rework a scene on the spot. A prime example of this is Costanza’s monologue at the end of Season 5, Episode 14 ("The Marine Biologist"), which was added on the spot after the original ending fell flat with the studio audience.