September 8th, 2019


Catamount Community Radio - September 8, 2019

Here’s the debate, which the internet seemingly hasn’t solved: Do late-night comedy shows, which are recorded live, use canned laughter? Some people on the internet say no. The schtick is funnier live than on the small screen, they say, and these people really are a’ hootin’ and a’ hollerin’ like that, in part because they have warm-up comedians on before the taping starts, and by the time the shows record, the audience is in the mood for giggles. Others say, of course they’re using canned laughter, if only to enhance the real laughs they’re also getting.

Of the two schools of thought, I tend toward the latter. I feel pretty confident that they are using canned laughter to enhance the overall effect. I watch SNL or Trevor Noah and I think to myself, at least some of that laughter is canned, because it ain’t THAT funny. A student pointed out to me that those laugh tracks were recorded way back in the fifties. If that’s true, then a percentage of the folks we hear laughing by now is dead. So, when we watch a sit-com or a late-night comedy show we are, unwittingly, listening to the chuckles and guffaws of ghosts. But who really cares if it’s true or not? Sort of like in that Edgar Poe story, where Dupin says, “that is possible, but not interesting.”

I can unequivocally state that Catamount Community does not use canned laughter. OK, OK. I have used it, but sparingly. I used it once or twice or 657 times, usually when I said, “C’mon up to my apartment and we’ll listen to some Django Reinhardt records and I’ll show you my etchings.” Or, “Catamount Community Radio, your source for easy listening music.” But in my defense, my use of canned laughter is totally tongue-in-chic. I’m not pretending that anybody is actually laughing at the inane things I say. And that’s where SNL and I part ways. They’re deceiving you into laughing at things that are really not that funny, whereas I am making you sort of half smile and shake your head.

Where is this going anyway? It doesn’t matter. Just comb your hairs and come downstairs, for it is time for Catamount Community Radio. 10-12 Sunday morning at 90.5 FM and streamlining on the interstate at Fall in with the pack and dig the shellac.


Dandy and Mary Ellen again tie on the Cover Contest. The truth is, though, that I think Mary Ellen guessed on 3 and 4 and got them both right. Jeff in third place.

1. What tune is Vincent Segal picking? - "Under my thumb"

2. Who is covering "She Smiled Sweetly"? - Billy Bragg

3. Maxayn covers "Gimmie Shelter" - from which album?

a)___ Exile on Main Street
b)___ Sticky Fingers
c)_X_Let It Bleed

4. "Tumblin' Dice" - from which album?

a)_X_ Exile on Main Street
b)___ Sticky Fingers
c)___ Let It Bleed


1. Matt Wilson – 25 Years of Rootabagas
2. Yusef Lateef – Psychicemotus
3. Sun Ra – Daddy Gonna Tell You no Lies
4. Count Basie – The Dirty Dozens
5. Vincent Segal -Under my Thumb
6. Jamey Johnson – A Way to Survive
7. Lee Morgan – Minor Strain
8. Joseph Spence – I’m Gonna Live the Life I Sing About in my Song
9. Joseph Spence – Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer
10. Billy Bragg – She Smiled Sweetly
11. Sonny Rollins – Love Letters
12. Kronos Quartet – Tabú
13. Earl Hines – Child of a Disordered Brain
14. Kronos Quartet – Dracula 2
15. Dan the Automator – Perhaps (Someday the Roof Will get Fixed)
16. Norah Jones – Sleeping Wild
17. Thelonious Monk – Criss Cross
18. Asha Bosle – Mera Kuchh Samaan
19. Notalgia 77 – Island in the Sun
20. Maxayn – Gimme Shelter
21. Wayne Shorter – Penelope
22. Ben Webster & Art Tatum – My Ideal
23. Pickin’ on Series – Tumblin Dice
24. Miles Davis – Devil May Care
25. Lester Young – Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
26. Lester Young & Teddy Wilson – All of Me
27. Jeff Beck – Good-bye, Pork Pie Hat