One Guy Did The Laugh Track On All Of Your Favorite Shows

By Jacob Shelton
'The Bob Newhart Show; was one of many that used the Laff Box. Pictured in 1975: Marcia Wallace as Carol Kester, Bob Newhart as Bob Hartley, Peter Bonerz as dentist Jerry Robinson, Suzanne Pleshette as Emily Hartley. Photo by CBS via Getty Images

You have one man to thank, or curse, for the laugh track you hear on old TV sitcoms: Charles "Charley" Douglass, a CBS sound engineer and keeper of the "Laff Box." For decades, Douglass had a monopoly on laugh tracks, it was as if he had the secret recipe for creating the perfect kind of laughter for each show. Classic programs like Hogan’s Heroes, The Munsters, and I Dream of Jeannie were echoing with sounds from his mysterious Laff Box. It’s safe to say that many of these laughs are embedded in your brain from years of sitting criss cross applesauce in front of the TV.