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Following last week’s announcement by CBS that “Two and a Half Men” will be renewed for its 11th season, Jerry Wilkes, the hardest working laugh-track operator in Hollywood, rejoiced that he’ll be gainfully employed for at least one more year. According to Wilkes, he credits his first job in showbusiness, making monkeys dance for Barnum & Bailey Circus, for providing him with the skills needed to instruct millions of American viewers each week on when to laugh at any humorless “Two and a Half Men” joke.
“I want to thank Ashton Kutcher for joining the cast and making Chuck Lorre realize how vital my laugh track is to the show,” Wilkes told Hollywood & Swine. “It’s hard work trying to trick America into thinking a sitcom’s amusing, even after it’s become so bad that two of its original stars, Charlie Sheen and Angus T. Jones, no longer wanted to get paid to be on it, let alone watch it each week.”
In addition to operating the laugh track for 10 seasons on “Two and a Half Men,” Wilkes was also the show’s primary provider of clear urine for Charlie Sheen’s annual drug test. Last year, Sheen even attempted to lure Wilkes away from “Two and a Half Men” and join him on his new FX comedy
series, “Anger Management.”
“It was a tempting offer, especially since ‘Anger Management’ is the first FX Network original comedy series that is so unfunny it needs a laugh track,” Wilkes said. “Despite the chance to make laugh-track operator history at FX, I couldn’t jump ship. Ashton and the writers need me too badly.”
Wilkes also wanted to set the record straight that contrary to rumors on the Internet, he and his laugh-track machine did not attend a recent test screening of Kutcher’s upcoming Steve Jobs biopic “Jobs,” where laughter was reported throughout the entire film. But unlike an episode of “Two and a Half Men,” the audience’s laughter was real. It was, in fact, due to Ashton Kutcher’s hilarious attempt to establish himself as a dramatic actor.