HOUSTON, T.X. - In what appears to be another sign of the coming Apocolypse, a study released Thursday by the Consortium of Houston for Understanding Cachinnation and Laughter in Entertainment (CHUCkLE) found that contrived laughter in music has dropped significantly in the last two decades.
CHUCkLE found that the fabricated laughter reached its apex in the late eighties when both Nenah Cherry and Janet Jackson had Top 40 hits. Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" had listeners the world over cackling in unison following the line, "What do you expect...the guy's a gigalo, man!" Jackson giggled her way through "When I Think of You," and her fans rejoiced by making Control a number one album in America. Ultimately, more than eight million copies were sold.
The study found fake laughter in music as far back as 1958 when the Big Bopper snickered his way through "Chantilly Lace." While fronting Van Halen, David Lee Roth chuckled through numerous songs. A common misconception is that the Norwegian band A-Ha injected laughter into their songs. This is a myth.
Billy Joel contributed to the laughter boom in the eighties during his song "You're Only Human (Second Wind.)" However, CHUCkLE later found that the laughter was authentic and thus, did not apply to the study. (It should be noted that while the laughter was proven to be real, the song was not about unintentional flatulence.)
As the era of grunge rock rolled in, the contrived laughter slowly died. It was thought there would be a resurgence when Hanson released "MMMBop," but it turned out that listeners were laughing at them, not with them.