You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Audience reactions are a scream


At the start of her daily television show recently, Ellen DeGeneres informed her studio audience she was going to do something different; instead of standing on her designated spot on the stage, she was going to stand on a different spot. So she did that, it was pretty funny and the audience screamed and shrieked its approval.

Then she moved a few steps, stood in a different spot, it was sorta funny and the audience screamed and shrieked again.

She did variations of that several more times, until it eventually became only a tiny bit amusing. But the audience continued to scream and shriek until there couldn’t have been an unsore throat in the house.

And while I happen to think DeGeneres is one of the funniest women ever, I can’t help but wonder:

What’s with all the shrieking and screaming? In place of signs that once implored audiences to “applaud” and “laugh” are there now signs that say “scream” and “shriek?”

Whatever the impetus, screaming and shrieking has become the new applause for today’s audiences at television programs, as well as at every musical performance this side of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Not that screaming and shrieking, in themselves, are new; they’ve undoubtedly been around for as long as humans have had vocal cords. Adam and Eve probably screamed and shrieked as they were being pursued through the Garden of Eden by lions and tigers and bears. Or by dinosaurs, depending upon your position on the creationism/evolution thing.

But on programs such as “American Idol” and “The Voice,” audiences scream all during the performances. Frequently the people in the audience scream and shriek so loudly you can’t hear the people on the stage singing. Which is not always a bad thing.

Today’s audiences scream and shriek through everything from “Dancing With the Stars” to “The Daily Show.” It’s probably only a matter of time until “60 Minutes” starts taping before a live audience and Vladimir Putin’s answer to a question from Scott Pelley is drowned out by screaming and shrieking.

I’m not sure when screaming and shrieking replaced applause as a way for audiences to show their approval. If I had to guess, I’d say it started at about the same time Ed Sullivan packed the house with adolescent girls to see Elvis. But Elvis is dead and a lot of today’s screamers and shriekers are a couple of decades past adolescence.

It is, I suppose, an audience’s right to express itself in whatever manner it sees fit. It may even be an emotionally healthy thing. But when an audience’s noise drowns out a song I’d like to hear, I get really annoyed.

In fact, sometimes I could scream.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

D.L. Stewart web exclusive: Politics shouldn’t happen to a dog
D.L. Stewart web exclusive: Politics shouldn’t happen to a dog

The American political picture just keeps getting uglier. A mock-up of a severed head of the president of the United States displayed by a comedian. A Donald Trump look-alike slain, Julius Caesar-style, in an updated Shakespeare play. An aging pop singer suggesting the White House should be blown up. And now, comparing political figures to the world&rsquo...
6 ways to reduce the risk of muscle cramps
6 ways to reduce the risk of muscle cramps

That sudden, sharp muscle spasm that has the power to wake you up in the middle of the night may be a sign that your body is lacking something. Muscle cramps can happen at any time of day and in nearly every area of the body, but perhaps the most commonly experienced muscle cramp is a charley horse. A charley horse is an involuntary contraction of...
Avoiding bites and stings this summer
Avoiding bites and stings this summer

Kids can hardly be contained indoors this time of year, when the days are long and the sun is warm. But other creatures also love the summer weather — so how can you keep your kids from being bitten and stung by insects? Dayton Children’s has a few tips for managing the most familiar summer stingers. Mosquitoes Mosquitoes are the most prevalent...
Fireworks: Let the experts handle them
Fireworks: Let the experts handle them

When it comes to fireworks, here’s advice that could spare you, or a loved one, a devastating injury: Leave the shows to the pros. Every year in the U.S., fireworks cause thousands of injuries, including severe burns and eye injuries. Many of these injuries are serious enough to require treatment in hospital emergency departments. Some are deadly...
FITNESS: 4 simple ways to stay fit during busy summer months
FITNESS: 4 simple ways to stay fit during busy summer months

During summer months it can be more difficult to keep a consistent schedule at the gym. With kids out of school, vacations, and heat and humidity zapping your energy, its nice to have an alternative workout plan. Options for home workouts require little to no maintenance, take up very little space and are far less expensive than a gym membership. These...
More Stories