In today’s society, the media caters to our every need. Media provides television shows that make you laugh, shows that make you cry, shows that make you frightened, and shows that make you feel content. Behind almost every show is some form of manipulative technique. While some of these techniques really are helpful and beneficial to the episode, others are sorely unnecessary extras. While Chuck Klosterman claims in “Ha ha, he said. Ha ha” that he believes laugh tracks “are the stupidest things our society has ever manufactured” (Klosterman 2), I completely disagree.
Personally, I think that the punch line drum sound, “Ba-Boom. Chick,” is the silliest
attempt at making audiences laugh. I also think it is the lamest. This sound has been around for my entire life, and it has yet to make me laugh, which makes me believe that it is not doing its job (thus the lameness). While I was unable to find the actual origin of this sound, I know it has been around for decades. According to my Dad (who also has been around for decades), he, too, has not laughed once when this sound has pleaded for laughter.
For those of you who are unsure of what I am talking about, I am discussing the punch line sound made by a drummer after a joke, which is supposed to “cue” the audience to laugh. Demonstrated in the following YouTube clip, the punchline cue makes the sound of “Ba-Boom. Chick.” This technique is often used on late night talk shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” This sound is usually only made after a corny joke, for it attempts to encourage the live audience, as well as the at-home viewers, to laugh; usually, it only inspires the live audience to laugh, and even then, it is only polite laughter. Thus, this technique really is never effective. If the joke is too corny to need this technique to gain laughter, it should not be part of the comedian’s repertoire. While I personally am a big fan of Jay Leno’s, even I can admit that parts of his monologue, specifically the moments when the “Ba-Boom. Chick” technique is enacted/needed, are unnecessary and too corny.
Thus, I think that the simple solution to end this ridiculous and lame attempt at making viewers laugh is to eliminate the corny jokes which are in dire need of the “Ba-Boom. Chick” lifeline. Instead, they should replace some of these corny jokes with either better jokes, or funny segments that can be played in place of corny jokes. Audiences also need to recognize that when they hear the “Ba-Boom. Chick” technique, the producers/actors are pleading for polite laughter. In order to immunize themselves against this technique, they simply cannot give in to this technique. If more people start to resist the urge to laugh at this technique, then the better chance society has at eliminating it altogether; thus, society could completely put a stop to one of the ways mediated communications attempt to manipulate people.