I was listening to a Conan O’Biren podcast the other day – Conan Needs A Friend – and Lisa Kudrow was the guest. They were discussing when they first met each other and it was revealed that it was through improv lessons.
I found the next 10 minutes really interesting because Lisa made a really valid point about improv – people don’t stop laughing. When I say that, it wasn’t actually a compliment it was more of a observation and one thing that really bugged her about the comedy art form. Audiences laugh all the time throughout improv whether things are funny or not where as with stand up people wait until the big moment and then laugh at the punch line. She also went on to discuss that that was one thing that used to irritate her about working on F.R.I.E.N.D.S as the audience would laugh at everything even when it wasn’t funny just because of who was in front of them.
I went away fromt this episode in deep thought – Lisa Kudrow had a very interesting point – should comedy be about the quality of the laughter or the quantity?
I think this point is something to consider – many shows I go to I can hear people laughing non stop and I am never sure why they are because not every single part of the scene is funny. I always wonder whether it is due to the audience being unsure what to laugh to or whether they find everything hilarious…. I do sometimes feeel its because they feel they have to laugh all the time but I am never sure sometimes if it is genuine.
With short form improv you can find the laughs come in short and fast but iwth some long form improv you can hear sometimes a gradual laugh that builds up throughout.
Whether or not you agree with Lisa Kudrow’s statement, I think you will agree its something to think about the next time you laugh.