The Big Bang Theory but the studio audience is replaced by Ricky Gervais

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Mystery Science Gervais!


The screaming version made it almost bearable. Almost.


Back when the show first started i found the humor acceptable, though the premise of “Nerds do/say the darnest things” always bothered me. After making it through a couple of seasons the humor got old and the premise got really grating. I would be quite happy to see this show nuked from space.


I can’t stand that show - mainly because of the forced laughs to, at best, tepid jokes.

I think The IT Crowd is the only “filmed in front of a live studio audience” show I’ve been able to bare in ages.


Best characterization I’ve heard between BBT and The IT Crowd is laughing at vs. laughing with the main characters. Loathe the former, love the latter.


The live audience thing doesn’t bother me too much. Most of the time i can tune it out, but it’s certainly an antiquated concept. It’s a level of hand holding that just isn’t necessary, unless your writers are lazy and the jokes aren’t funny and you need to tell your audience what was said was a joke.

I presume it makes a show seem funnier because other people are laughing. Comedic peer pressure?


I’d prefer it with the cast screaming.


I hadn’t watched a sitcom in years – the laugh tracks are so loud I can barely hear the dialogue at all – but recently tried to watch an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and had forgotten how bad the laugh track is there, too. Much as I love the show, I can’t even watch that any more.

Even in the early years of BBT, most of the jokes weren’t science or math nerd jokes – they were drama nerd jokes. Like when Sheldon and the hoodie guy’s psychiatrist mum karaoke songs from musicals.

I got to listen to a BBT without seeing the visuals when a friend of mine and I shared a hotel room (she was watching the TV; I was reading a book). It struck me that the dialogue beats are exactly the same as old sitcoms like The Honeymooners – they don’t even have the slightly more natural rhythms of sitcoms of the 70s. Which just goes to show how formal and forced the show is.


I like The Big Bang Theory.

I’m not sure what you mean. The IT Crowd is far, far crueller than BBT. (But then it was written by Graham Linehan, who was also responsible for Father Ted and Black Books, and who I recently learned also wrote for Brass Eye and Blue Jam / Jam.)


i was wondering if a Rich Evans version was available:

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I always assumed the Flying Circus laugh tracks were intentionally bad. I mean, they even did a visual bit with it from time to time, cutting away to what’s obviously a pasted-in fake audience. I figured it was commentary on the crummy laugh tracks of the medium. Somehow that made the terrible laugh track great for me.

Today’s sitcoms like BBT have no excuse.


For true horror, they need one with Tom Cruise’s maniacal laugh.

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IT Crowd does feature more scenarios that would be considered cruel when compared to BBT, but the British do love their dark humor. And i do too so it’s right up my alley. The humor in BBT often devolves into a character saying something pointlessly smart sounding or overly nerdy, or putting the main characters in situations where others laugh at their expense. After a while it became very tiresome for me.

I do get why others find it funny, on some level i still find bits about it that work but after a few seasons it’s just more of the same


Oh, The IT Crowd is definitely funnier than BBT, at least in part because of the cruelty.


It’s like watching the older MASH episodes. So weird to hear that laugh track. The shows were great, but there seemed to be literally 2 different recording used for several years.

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The Ricky Gervais one sounds uncannily like what my living room doesn’t sound like when this show is on.


I really dislike TBBT. Its basically nerd blackface. Also Sheldon and his behavious hits a little tooo close to home for me. I have also some “quirks” like he does and I find it horrid that they turn this into a joke.


It also reinforces Indian and Jewish stereotypes…