Are TV Shows Really "Funny"? Have you noticed that humans can't completely decide on their own if a tv show is funny and that they only think a certain event is funny when the producer of the show cues the live audience to laugh? We hear the fake laughter in the background, and only then we laugh. Now, what if shows like Seinfield and Friends removed the scripted laughter, would we still laugh on our own? Is there an evolutionary explanation for this? Humans evolved in small warring tribal groups, and conformity was selected for because less cohesive groups were killed off by more cohesive groups. So, as part of this cohesiveness, perhaps empathy was selected for: before someone laughed at a situation that can be considered a misfortune for a tribal member, they had to look at the faces of the other tribe members to see if they can laugh about it as well. If everyone can laugh, no individual is targeted for extermination for being insensitive. So going back to the tv show, a person sees something on tv that is abnormal, but he has no inclination to laugh, unless he hears the fake audience laughter, cueing the viewer that it is okey to laugh without being terminated for being insensitive. All this though I presume would take place unconsciously: the viewer has no conscious awareness of the humor dynamics going on in his brain. Finally, is it possible that Hollywood CEOs are aware of this human behavior I am making a hypothesis for, and are dishonestly manipulating it?