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Sweetening

[sweet-n-ing, sweet-ning]
Sweetening is a term in television that refers to the use of a laugh track in addition to a live studio audience. The laugh track is used to "enhance" the laughter for television audiences, especially in cases where a joke or scene intended to be funny does not draw the expected response.

Sweetening has been used in a number of television series, even ones that have been successful popularly or with critics: Happy Days, Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, etc.

The act of sweetening is demonstrated in the Woody Allen film Annie Hall when Alvy Singer visits his friend Rob, played by Tony Roberts, in Los Angeles. At one point, Rob has the engineer add laughter to cover voiced disapproval from the audience.

Some shows, such as Friends, used the Canned Laughter technique very obviously rather than the "in-between" technique (a recording from an external audience, but genuine laughter) described at Laugh Track. An obvious sign of this is that the laughter is more or less identical in volume or magnitude, regardless of how extreme the joke is.

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