In a few minutes, all of the sitcom characters will be able to hear the uproarious laughter of the studio audience. Once I activate this mechanism, there’s no going back. It cannot be reversed. I will be unreachable and anyway do not have the means to make them un-hear the laughter.

And hear it they will. Forever and always. Haunting them everywhere they go. After the slightest movement or misstep. After every phrase and put down they utter. Unlike the rest of humanity, they will know with certainty that they are not alone in the universe. They will not be able to reason with this invisible laughing god but they will certainly feel him and his wicked chorus.

It will surely drive the weaker ones mad. They will realize they exist not for themselves, that the situations that hold such meaning for them are mere pathetic farce producing little more than mildly distracting amusement for an audience that hates them. Luckily for us, the majority of these sitcom characters inhabit a world where fatal injury is impossible and thus have no real escape.

They cannot hide in crossover or spinoffs, either. My mechanism spares none. It affects all contemporary sitcom characters as well as any in reruns, black and white or color. It also affects cast members of the first three seasons of Reading Rainbow, an unexpected, but not unwelcome, side effect.

About Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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