NBC Denies Sweetening Audio for Sarah Palin ‘Tonight’ Set

Mar 8, 2010  •  Post A Comment

NBC has denied a story circulating the Internet that a laugh track was added to enhance jokes told by Sarah Palin last week on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," the Hollywood Reporter reports. 

Liberal blog Daily Kos originally reported that an audience member at the taping–who claims to be a sound engineer–said that Palin, who did a joke-filled monologue on "Tonight," received minimal laughs. Instead, the site said, she received groans, grumbles or just silence from the audience.

When the show aired, Kos says the audience member noted applause and laughs that weren’t originally there.  

NBC told the Reporter that neither the audio or the laughs were enhanced during Palin’s segments. 


  1. What a crock that story was. Audience reactions are _never_ sweetened on a live to tape show. The audience is there for the sole purpose of reacting; there is no sense in sweetening, especially when it’s a political figure who is unpopular in Hollywood. This is a BS rumor started to bring discredit to Palin. Lame!

  2. A Kos reader. There’s an unbiased source.

  3. Coincidentally I attended that taping and was in the audience. I’m no Sarah Palin fan, but the Tonight Show audience greeted her warmly and laughed and applauded generously — as they would for any amateur delivering such material. Even people who were rolling their eyes at her partisan remarks in the interview applauded politely right on cue.

  4. Grammy’s sweetened. Oscars sweetened. DWTS sweetened. Always a budget line for this.
    You think anyone would come on these shows if there were no net.
    And by the way, these chat show appearances are in most cases, s c r i p t e d.

  5. yes indeed shows are sweetened. I worked on sitcoms. Laughs are recorded, but ALL THE TIME producers use the BIGGEST and BEST laughs to get the audience at home to think about how GREAT this is. There are people whose sole job is to come in and “laugh” a show. Audiences are primarily there to sell aspiration to the viewer at home – not to get their reactions. Those have been recorded already. Maybe Palin wasn’t a total dud, but I’d bet anything that they enhanced her, even if it is with laughs from other jokes from that same show. Is it live, or is it Memorex?

  6. if the people in the audience laughed at jay’s jokes, they will probably think anything is funny.

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