UK=Dry Humor; USA=Laugh Track
Last night while flipping through the TV Guide, I happened to come across “Little Britain USA”, apparently the US adaption of the English TV comedy duo called “Little Britain”. Following in the footsteps of “The Office”, to which I first abstained from viewing but eventually got hooked, Little Britain is being tested in the US market.
The first thing I noticed a few seconds into my viewing was a laugh track which I don’t ever remember hearing in the UK version. A few new characters are replacing some of those from the original show in order to appeal to the US market, namely a disgruntled ex-astronaut claiming to be the 9th man on the moon, or rather as he we would like to be known, the first man on the moon… with a mustache.
Something else I noticed was the exaggerated amount of makeup and costumes in the skits as well as the increase in graphic content. With the UK version airing on public TV and the US version on a cable network, although European censorship is a lot more laxed than that of the US, Little Britain USA contained a lot more graphic scenes and curses further blurring the line between comedy, crudeness and ridiculousness. Still, the show was funny, shocking and appalling all at once.
With DDA USA offering marketing for foreign firms, we need to be aware of the target audience and their location, globally. Of course comedy is in and of its own, and I don’t quite see us having to consider whether adding a laugh track to a tradeshow video is going to be appealing to the audience or not but culture does apply to marketing at deep levels even if the comedy is shallow.