World’s Strangest

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Debate Prep: A Brief History of American Political Debates

by Maggie Koerth-Baker Getty Images From the Revolution up to the turn of the 20th century, America preferred that its presidential candidates be seen and not heard. The presidency was regarded as so solemn an office that it was considered indecent and prideful to aspire to. Instead, candidates were to approach nomination as if it were something [...]

Artificially Sweetened: The Story of Canned Laughter

The following article is from the bookUncle John’s Bathroom Reader Tunes Into TV. What if the studio audience isn’t laughing at what’s supposed to be funny? What if there isn’t a studio audience at all? There’s always “sweetening” -tweaking a program’s audio wth a laugh track or some other canned response. This is the story [...]

Goat Man Mystery Solved

Earlier this month, photographer Coty Creighton spotted something strange in a Utah mountain: a man dressed in goat suit trailing behind a herd of goats on his hands and knees. The "goat man" became an [...]

A Brief History of Canned Laughter

Before television came along, comedy was largely a social thing. If you were seeing comedy live on stage or in a movie, you were likely seeing it with other people. And you had to listen to them all laugh. The guy two rows behind you with the forced belly laugh he uses for jokes he [...]