Friends is a sitcom filled with humor and entertainment. And now, after watching it on repeat, it is filled with our memories. Watching it again reminds us of the times when we first watched it or showed it to our best friends. Each scene or moment in the series has become notable for us. We can relate to their daily lives so much that it feels like they are our best friends.
Whether you are watching it for the first time or your 100th time (Just like us), you must have never failed to hear the audience’s laughs between the scenes. Their laughs are constantly syncing in with ours; you may also have noticed that whenever an emotional set comes, the crowd responds accordingly. So, what is the actual case? Are they lucky enough to watch them live? Or is this just the laugh track integrated with the episode? There are answers to all these questions in this article.
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Friends’ Live Audience
Many critics claim that Friends was not filmed in front of a live audience, and the laughing track was just added to make the scenes more hilarious. However, that is not the case at all. Friends is a sitcom that was shot in front of a live audience. That can be why it took a very long time to shoot an episode compared to other sitcom shows. The directors may have done this to get an idea about what is well received by the audience and what not; they could later change some scenes for the television broadcast.
It took 6 hours to film a single episode of Friends and typically 20 minutes to change the settings. Despite all this, the live audience was always present during the shoot (even when they all except Phoebe went to London). The production had almost 300 live audiences sitting and enjoying the behind-the-scenes comedy. They are the actual people who we hear laughing or responding to. Thus, there is no laugh track used in the show. The production team used to provide free food and gifts for the audience. How lucky all those people were! Watching the filming of the funniest show, enjoying free food and gifts, What else does anybody need?
When Was The Live Audience Not The Part Of The Show?
The creators use the actual laughs for most of the show. By doing this, they could analyze and decide if the script is funny or not. However, there were scenes where it was risky to involve the live audience. For example, the live audience was not present for the cliffhangers and final episodes of the series. The creators did not want to leak the twists and ruin the audience’s experience. Also, the live audience was not present during the filming of the semi-nude scenes to maintain the actors’ privacy.
People were very excited about being the live audience in the show. Due to the show’s immense popularity, Coca-Cola once flew all its Diet Coke contest winners to become a live audience during the filming. Then, everyone in the audience, for one lucky time, was the winner of the Diet Coke contest.