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Laugh Track Indicates Where You Should Have Laughed During Episode 2

Date January 11, 2012
Laugh Track Indicates Where You Should Have Laughed During Episode 2

For reasons that I will never be able to explain, I watched the second episode of ABC cross-dressing sitcom, "Work It." Perhaps it was morbid curiosity? Perhaps it's that "Work It" takes place in my hometown of St. Louis? (For the record, unlike the characters in "Work It" not every resident of St. Louis has a picture of the St. Louis Arch in his or her home. Something St. Louis Cardinals-related? Yes. The Arch? No.)

"Work It" is about two men, Lee and Angel, who dress as women because, for some reason, it's the only way that they can get a job in today's economy. "Work It," as we know, is a very bad television show.

But, as I was watching, I was fascinated by just how often the laugh track is activated, which is a lot. So I tried to put myself in the head of the person who activates the "Work It" laugh track. In the first 10 minutes of the second episode, the laugh track went off 56 (!!!) times. So, as an experiment, every time the laugh track was activated, I wrote down what I can only assume that the operator of the laugh track for "Work It" was thinking.

What follows is where viewers were supposed to laugh (but likely did not) at this season's worst comedy.

:14 Lee's daughter tells him that it's weird seeing him in a tie. Lee responds, "You think this is weird?" The audience should laugh because they know her father dresses in drag at work.

:25 Lee makes a statement that he gets paid for what he does best. Lee's daughter asks if he gets paid to use paper towels. The audience should laugh because, at home, Lee apparently uses a lot of paper towels.

:32 Lee explains to his daughter that he's paid to make sales. The audience should laugh because Lee's daughter learned a valuable lesson about respect.

:40 Lee's wife asks why there are women's magazines in the bathroom. Lee's daughter tells him to "get some real porn." The audience should laugh because Lee's daughter assumes that Lee is masturbating to women's magazines.

:47 Lee claims he's not masturbating to these magazines. When asked the real reason he has them, he lies and says yes, he is masturbating to these magazines. The audience should laugh because Lee would rather admit in front of his wife and daughter that he masturbates to women's magazines as opposed to admitting that he dresses in drag at work.

:55 Lee's wife asks Lee if he masturbated to the article, "How To Minimize Your Broad Back." The audience should laugh because that would be a difficult article to masturbate to.

:59 Lee says to his wife, "Yeah, baby, say it slower." The audience should laugh because Lee is pretending that an article on broad backs stimulates him sexually.

1:13 After spilling orange juice on his shirt, Lee explains to his wife that no one at work will notice because no one at work notices things that are obvious. The audience should laugh because whoever wrote that line of dialogue knows that this is a bad television show.

1:19 Lee asks Angel if he watched last night's sporting event. The audience should laugh because at the time the question is asked, Lee and Angel are both putting on bras.

1:23 Angel says, "No amount of football talk is going to make this OK." The audience should laugh because Angel is embarrassed that he's putting on a bra.

1:31 Lee tells Angel that he shouldn't be ashamed because there's a recession and they just have to "do what they have to do." Angel agrees. The audience should laugh because when Angel agrees, he's putting on a large hoop earring and most men don't wear large hoop earrings to their job.

1:40 When discussing his last job cleaning bathrooms at a fast food restaurant, Angel laments about the difficulty that some customers had cleaning themselves after using the restroom. The audience should laugh because poop is funny.

1:50 Lee is upset because the inserts that he uses to emulate the female breasts are cold. Angel admits that he kept them in the refrigerator with the chicken cold cuts and may have used the chicken cold cuts in his pants on accident. The audience should laugh because chicken cold cuts are not supposed to be in underwear.

2:09 Lee tells Angel, "Let's flip our lady switches on." The audience should laugh because Lee pretends to flip a switch, but there's no real switch. He's pretending.

2:10 Lee speaks with a high voice. The audience should laugh because, historically, females have higher pitched voices than men

2:27 An excited coworker named Kristen yells at Lee and Angel: "It's your first day out in the field." The audience should laugh because hysterical people are funny.

2:33 A coworker named Grace makes a comment about the elevator cables straining once Lee and Angel arrive in the office. The audience should laugh because Lee and Angel are men and they weigh more than most women.

2:40 Kristen states that she likes to "take a laid back approach." The audience should laugh because as she said these words, she physically laid back on a desk.

2:47 Lee spoke in a high-pitched voice again. Again, the audience should laugh because, historically, females have higher pitched voices than men.

2:52 Lee states the he was "born ready ... and female." The audience should laugh because Lee was not born female.

3:04 Kristen makes a quip about Grace, then states that the two of them are friends. The audience should laugh because, apparently, the coworkers are not friends. The statement was sarcasm.

3:26 Another coworker named Kelly mentions that a bar called Stormy's has four-dollar daiquiris at lunch. The audience should laugh because it's against office policy to drink alcohol on company time.

3:30 Kelly corrects herself and states that she's never had one of Stomy's daiquiris. The audience should laugh because she's not telling the truth.

3:35 Kelly then secretly whispers that they are strong. The audience should laugh because we now know for sure that she was lying during her previous statement.

3:48 Lee stops Angel from getting in trouble with his boss, Vanessa. Lee openly admits that Vanessa has the power to fire both of them. The audience should laugh because the concept for this series would be over if Vanessa fired Lee and Angel.

3:53 Angel wants to spend time with Vanessa because he's attracted to her. Angel also mentions that he was told that Vanessa may be a lesbian. Lee points out that Angel is not actually a woman. Angel responds, "Why can't you be happy for me?" The audience should laugh because the audience should be feeling pity for everyone associated with this show.

4:09 Angel asks Lee, "How do I sell stuff?" The audience should laugh because Angel has no formal training as a salesperson.

4:20 Angel realizes that he's doing "two pretendings." The audience should laugh because not only is Angel dressed as a woman, he also is dressed as a salesperson. Angel is neither.

4:38 Lee gives Angel a pep talk about the product that the two of them are trying to sell. The audience should laugh because Angel had never before heard the name of the product that the two of them are trying to sell.

4:44 Lee calmly asks Angel about the drug. Angel accuses Lee of yelling. The audience should laugh because Lee wasn't yelling.

5:00 After being told three times, Angel still can't remember the name of the drug that they are selling. The audience should laugh because Angel has a bad short-term memory.

5:10 Angel is told a fourth time and he still gets it wrong. Again, the audience should laugh because Angel has a bad short-term memory.

5:17 Angel is told the name of the drug for a fifth time. Again, the audience should laugh because senseless repetition is funny.

5:40 In a sales pitch to a doctor, Lee waves his finger in a sassy manor. The audience should laugh because women are sassy, but Lee is not a woman. This is irony.

5:49 Angel refers to the drug as "Zack Attack." The audience should laugh because the name of the drug is not "Zack Attack."

6:02 Angel asks the doctor if a model of a pair of lungs on a desk is a butterfly. The audience should laugh because Angel is getting progressively less intelligent as the show goes on.

6:07 After it's explained to Angel that he's looking at lungs, Angel asks, "Butterfly lungs?" The audience should laugh because Angel is a moron.

6:17 Angel asks the doctor if Stormy's is open. The audience should laugh because Angel wants to get drunk.

6:29 Lee is turned down on his sales pitch. The doctor states that if he wants a lecture, he'd have gone to medial school. The doctor then pretends to remember that, in fact, he did go to medical school. The audience should laugh because the doctor was being sarcastic.

6:48 Lee is surprised to see that Angel and the doctor that Angel is trying to sell to are getting along well. Angel makes a reference to the doctor being "sweet." The audience should laugh because the doctor has no idea that Angel is a man.

6:53 Angel and the doctor are still flirting. Again, the audience should laugh because the doctor has no idea that Angel is a man.

7:05 The doctor tells Angel that he's going to prescribe the drug that was just purchased to all of his asthma patients. Angel says, "Good, because I think that's what it's for." The audience should laugh because Angel is being serious, yet the doctor thinks that Angel is joking.

7:15 Angel says, "This is so easy." The audience should laugh because Angel has no experience and is not very smart, yet he made a sale and the more experienced Lee did not make a sale.

7:35 At their local bar, Angel is reminiscing to Lee about all of the sales that he made earlier in the day. The audience should laugh because Lee seems very pissed off about Angel's fortune.

7:45 Lee accuses Angel of flirting with the doctors, which is "cheating." The audience should laugh because Lee then uses a high-pitched voice, which represents his interpretation of what a woman sounds like.

7:52 Lee accuses Angel of trying to sell "his non-existent hoo-ha." The audience should laugh because Lee is correct, Angel does not have a hoo-ha.

8:05 Lee calls Angel a "whore" three times. The audience should laugh because Lee used the word "whore" three times.

8:13 Angel asks a third friend, Brian, if it's OK for women to flirt to get what they want. Brian says that it is OK, but he just wishes that he possessed something that women wanted. The audience should laugh because Brian is not appealing to women.

8:22 Brian asks an arguing Lee and Angel, "What has your panties in a bunch?" Lee and Angel both respond by saying that they don't wear panties. The audience should laugh because both Lee and Angel do wear panties.

8:30 Brian explains he didn't mean any offence, but then he repeats the question. The audience should laugh because Brian used the word "panties."

8:54 Now Brian is angry because Angel and Lee are complaining about work while Brian still doesn't have a job. The audience should laugh because we are mocking the plight of the unemployed.

9:02 Brian makes a reference to drinking hose water. The audience should laugh because the unemployed of St. Louis drink water from hoses.

9:25 The doctor from earlier in the day calls Angel. Angel answers in his regular voice. Angel explains to the doctor that the Angel that the doctor met earlier in the day is Angel's sister, also named Angel. The audience should laugh because very few parents give siblings the same name.

9:36 Angel puts "his sister" Angel on the phone and uses a higher pitched voice. The audience should laugh because, historically, females have higher pitched voices than men.

9:48 The doctor has a question for Angel about the drug. Angel responds, " I probably won't know the answer." The audience should laugh because Angel is telling the truth, but the doctor thinks that he is joking.

9:54 The doctor asks Angel out on a date. The audience should laugh because the doctor thinks that he's asking a female out on a date, but in reality, he's asking a male out on a date.

10:05 Angel has to admit to the doctor that, yes, they did "hit it off" earlier in the day. The audience should laugh because Angel just realized that his actions have unexpected-to-no-one-but-Angel consequences.

10:17 The doctor asks Angel if he'd rather meet out or at the doctor's house. Angel quickly answers that he would rather meet out. The audience should laugh because Angel knows that that chances of having to have sex with the doctor are less if he is not at the doctor's house.

"Work It" -- unless ABC shows some mercy -- airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

 

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