Laughing Out Loud

A coaching lesson

Today’s blog is written by good friend, Bob Wood. Bob programmed many great, iconic stations, but one of my favorites was BOB, in Minneapolis.

And that’s because Bob, my friend, not the station, is a brilliant writer. His words and wit made Bob, the station, a real local personality.


I was watching a sitcom the other night which I just happened on, meaning I’m not a regular watcher.

Since I didn’t care about the show, I started to notice the laugh track (live or enhanced, I don’t know, but even the live audiences are coached and bribed to over-do it. That I do know.)

I began to listen to the laughter. How it fit, or didn’t. Small joke, big laugh. Big crowd laugh. Big immediate crowd laugh. Like they all ‘got it’ at once.


That reminded me of those morning radio shows where the team laughs adrenally at everything, even when it isn’t very funny. It’s like being on stage in the spotlight, I guess, the circumstance amps up the reaction.

But it’s phony! Not real. Out of phase with the likely reaction of the listeners, who, if they even think it, might think, ‘that wasn’t so funny.’

And by that thought, that reaction, they feel left out of the joke or pushed away from the reality of the shared experience.

So I thought it might be interesting to take a typical morning show of laughers and add a laughtrack from a TV sitcom — not for air, but to show them how fake it sounds, how all is not funny. How there’s a HUGE difference between FUN and funny.

Like a PD doesn’t have enough to do these days. (Add laugh track here.)


Bob Wood is an outstanding voiceover talent. He is also a highly skilled talent coach and imaging writer. And, he’s about the nicest guy you will ever meet in this business. Check out his site HERE. Then call him, and let him help make your station more human, more foreground, more….better.