Carroll Pratt, Laugh machine expert, has died

Carroll Pratt, a protege of laugh machine creator Charley Douglass, has died at the age of 89.

Carroll Pratt’s Archive Interview was conducted on June 12, 2003.

Interview description:

Carroll Pratt was interviewed for over two-and-a-half hours in Philo, CA.  Pratt talked about his start in feature films at MGM in the sound department where his father worked.  He spoke in great detail about the audience reaction (laugh) machine created by engineer Charley Douglass, for whom Pratt worked for after leaving MGM.  Pratt described the device and the types of responses that the machine was capable of doing from whistles to belly laughs. Pratt described the updated version of the laugh machine, which he created with his brother in the 1970s, when he split from Douglass, and started his own company called Sound One.  Pratt talked about providing laugh tracks for numerous television series throughout the years (including the longest laugh he ever recorded, for The Mary Tyler Moore Show), until his retirement from Sound One in the mid-‘90s.  B-roll consisted of a few photos of Pratt at work, and a short video piece in which Pratt shows where he keeps his Emmy Awards.  The interview was conducted by Karen Herman.

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