All of these tracks were then installed into a device known as, appropriately enough, a laugh machine. | This 28-inch-high apparatus resembles an organ, having 10 horizontal and four vertical keys and a foot pedal. The engineer “orchestrates” the laugh track by using the keyboard to select the type, sex, and age of the laugh, while playing the foot pedal to determine each reaction’s length. —Ben Glenn —The Laugh Track (TV Party)
This gives new meaning to the term “playing it for laughs”.
(“Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”)
It also makes me think of a certain machine from Barbarella.
(“Ohhh… snicker snicker chuckle.” )