Laughter, Uncanned


‘The Hank McCune Show’ – an otherwise unremarkable footnote in American TV history – became the first single-camera sitcom to deploy a pre-recorded laugh track (aka ‘canned laughter’) on 9th September, 1950. The giggles and applause came courtesy of Charlie Douglass, who made a career of capturing audience reaction in his ‘laff box’, and then …

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The Self Service Revolution


Clarence Saunders opened the world’s first self-service supermarket, ‘Piggly Wiggly’, in Memphis, Tennessee on 6th September, 1916. Calculating that the revenues gained through impulse purchases would outweigh those lost from shoplifting, Saunders’ concept forever changed the world of shopping for groceries – but his business acumen did not last. In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and …

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