‘Will & Grace’ Cast and Creators Rip Reports That NBC Sitcom Uses a Laugh Track

Tribeca TV Festival panel gets a little testy, especially considering no one actually asked

Last Updated: September 23, 2017 @ 6:18 PM

OK, OK, OK, you don’t use a laugh track, “Will & Grace.”

The cast and creators of the revived NBC sitcom participated in a Tribeca TV Festival panel discussion early Saturday evening, when writer/executive producer Max Mutchnick and the gang reacted pretty strongly to the idea that they use a laugh track. Here’s where it gets weird: nobody brought it up.

“That’s a live audience,” Mutchnick started off after a strange non-sequitur segue from star Megan Mullally. “A lot of people are now writing about this, the ‘canned laughter.'”

“We try to pull back the laughs as much as we can. They’re very hot, and they invade [the cast’s] mics,” he said. “We can’t control the laughter that bleeds onto the microphone that’s covering the talent when they’re acting.”

A quick Google search has TheWrap thinking that not that many people are writing about this, actually. But go on.

“Everyone thinks that we put that stuff in there, but we don’t,” Mutchnick said, before lamenting how one audience member with a distinct laugh can be annoying for editing and playback. Again, it’s all too loud.

“We’ve never used fake laughs, because we’ve never had to,” Mullally, who started this whole talking-point thing, added.

“There’s so many laughs… they often have to cut several minutes of dialogue out of the show because of the length of the laughs,” the actress behind Karen Walker continued.

Eric McCormack then took exception to a review of the new season that we’ve identified as The Daily Beast’s, which is odd, because it was a positive one.

He didn’t like this part of the writeup: “Yes, that laugh track is there — well, it’s a studio audience, laughing dutifully — and it’s loud. That might be the most jarring part of the revival.”

“Dude, show up at our [tapings],” McCormack indirectly said to critic Kevin Fallon. “They laugh their f—ing a– off.”

“Will & Grace” returns (WITHOUT A DAMN LAUGH TRACK) Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9/8c on NBC.