Larry Gelbart Hated CBS-Enforced Laugh Track on ‘M*A*S*H,’ According to One of His Last Interviews

Sep 16, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Larry Gelbart complained about how CBS mishandled his series "M*A*S*H*" by insisting on a laugh track, in one of his final interviews, now excerpted in Vanity Fair, before he died of cancer on Sept. 11.

He told interviewer Mike Sacks that he felt: “outrage. Anger. On a good day, mere frustration,” when he lost the battle with CBS. “We did not mean for people to be cackling throughout the show; it becomes so much more cynical and heartbreaking without all that cheap, mechanical laughter,” Gelbart said.

He noted that when 20th Century Fox issued the series on DVD, viewers had the option of watching it without the laugh track.

–Elizabeth Jensen

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