Dan Harmon on the Appeal of the Studio Audience


Community creator Dan Harmon on why multi-cam shows with laugh tracks are so consistently popular: “I think the answer is somewhere in primatology. We are really, really, really most comfortable feeling like we’re hanging out with about a hundred or so people, experiencing something with them, and it’s just the most comfortable thing in the world to watch a sitcom, a multi-camera one, to just slip your foot into this warm slipper that’s been molded to fit your foot after a hard day’s work. Going back to Jackie Gleason, we have that format down. That industry has now made a science out of finding the funniest, most charming people who can pull off that weird combination of Broadway performance and fourth-wall acting, even though they’re pausing for these gigantic laughs that you can hear. If you were describing it to a Martian it would sound absolutely insane, you would have no way of logically explaining why. But the answer is, it’s more comfortable. I can attest to it. I watch reruns of Seinfeld. I mean, it’s perfect. It’s just like drinking a nice cup of tea before bed. Maybe that’s a bad idea. It just feels appropriate and good.”

Related: Community is doing a “twittersode” before tonight’s season premiere, so that’s something.