In the early days of TV people used to go to theaters and enjoy vaudeville where there was a live audience. TV programs in the early days were mostly recorded in front of a live audience so the reactions and laughter were genuine.
Then at some point TV producers decided to "sweeten" comedy shows because people were not laughing at the right places so they added artificial laugh tracks. I was lucky enough to get a DVD boxed set of MASH without the laugh track and the show is totally different. The harsh reality of war was not hidden and the contrast of laughter was set against the war theme made the show much more interesting.
Other shows in recent years like "My name is Earl" were brilliant and they have no laugh track. In fact a lot of shows are not even recorded in front of a live audience anymore and they still ADD a laugh track.
What is the reasoning behind adding a laugh track when we are in a living room, not in an audience, we ALL know the laugh track is fake and we don't need to be told when to laugh.
Yet they still add it?