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Hank McCune Hall / The Hank McCune Show (sitcom)

    (NBC Primetime, 1950)

    [Deriving from a local Los Angeles TV show in 1949, this
     series went on the full NBC network for the next season;

     Perhaps ahead of its time, the premise was in some ways
     similar to "The Larry Sanders Show" in that it contained a
     show within a show -- McCune played the lead role of a 
     television variety show host named, conveniently, Hank McCune; 

     The sitcom cast included Larry Keating, Charles Maxwell,
     and veteran radio/TV character actor Frank Nelson -- who
     was to become so well known as the overly finicky and
     unctous "Yessssss" man on Jack Benny radio and TV shows;

     Filmed in Hollywood, this short-lived series has the dubious
     distinction of sereptitiously introducing a technique which 
     has haunted sitcoms to this day -- that of canned laughter --
     also known as "the laugh track" -- edited audience reaction
     taken from other series -- spliced into the sound track at
     moments the producers thought the script SHOULD be funny...;

     (The idea caught on and a CBS-TV audio engineer Charlie Douglas
     heard about the use of this technique on the NBC-TV series, and
     built a machine with multiple tape loops triggered by a bank
     of key switches to produce "laugh tracks" more easily; some
     news reports dubbed it a "laugh organ"; Charlie's company went
     on to provide this service for many more shows; It was thought
     his source material came from "I Love Lucy" and "Red Skelton"
     studio audiences)

     Despite this artificial innovation, "Hank McCune Hall" still 
     didn't make enough of the real viewer audience laugh and so 
     it was cancelled after only one season...

     But the artificial "laugh track" idea endured...unfortunately]


Theme: "Hank Mc Cune Hall"

    [Although ASCAP records and other business records of
     Alexander Laszlo indicate he wrote the THEME for this
     series listed above in the ASCAP ACE database, no 
     connection to which cue it was in his "Structural
     Music" Library has been established as yet...This
     Library was an extension of his collected repertoire
     which derived in some cases from older film cues
     and in some cases were written on commission...]

     Composer: Alexander Laszlo (ASCAP)
              [professional name of Sandor Totis]

     1978 Publisher: Guild Publications (ASCAP)

     2001 Publisher: Alexander Publications (ASCAP)
                        c/o Regents of The Univ. Of California 
                             Music Department
                        of Oakland, CA

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:

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