I think I'm turming into the comedy equivalent of those birdwatching people who spend all day in a field with a pair of binoculors looking for the great crested whatnot. These folks think nothing of spending a whole day standing in the rain wating to get a glimpse of some rare species or other. They must leave home each day with hope burning in their heart that they will actually catch sight of their goal.
This is now the way that I watch comedy programmes. Last night I sat through a whole episode of "My Family". It must have been in the hope that at some point something funny was going to happen. Of course, it didn't. The audience seemed to think that it was hilarious. The same "joke" was repeated numerous times and they laughed obediently each time. I'm not sure how the BBC management do this:
Scene : TV Studio before recording an episode
Stage hand One : "We've recording a comedy show next"
Stage hand Two: "OK, I'll get a fresh cannister of laughing gas and plug it into the air conditioning"
Stage hand One: "Wait, it's 'My Family', better make that two cannisters"
I can imagine the audience on the way home, having hysterics at their bus tickets and the markings on the road.