Flight Into Terror: the audience reactions
You might remember an earlier post on the subject of the riotous audience reaction to the Flight Into Terror episode of Father Ted. It does seem to have a pretty fantastic joke-to-applause rate, which makes it stand out not only among Ted episodes, but among episodes of any sitcom as well. Why the huge reaction?
Well, for no other reason than the fact that I wanted to watch it again, I figured I'd go through and see how many times the audience not only laughed at a joke, but was moved to applause. (For timing purposes, know that the credits end about 33 seconds into the show, and so that should be considered the true starting point of the episode.)
:01:11 Father Jack punches Father O'Shea
:04:18 (small) "You have used one inch of sticky tape. God bless you."
:05:19 (medium) "He's laughing because someone tried to make a phone call on the telephone."
:05:37 A Mary statuette pops up on Ted's souvenir bank
:06:18 (small) Ted distracts Dougal by squeezing the joke telephone
:07:06 Father Larry Duff has been trampled by a herd of stampeding donkeys
:07:35 (small) Ted and Father Fay discuss Michael Barrymore
:07:56 (small) Father Fay inflates a life vest
:08:26 Dramatic pulses on Dougal and the DO NOT PRESS button
:09:18 (small) "And yes, I am blind as a matter of fact."
:09:42 (small) "I suppose in your case it'd be a fifth sense, since you've only got the four."
:14:03 Father Gallaher: "Shouldn't we just have a bit of an old pray? Maybe God will help us...and..."
:14:55 (medium) Dougal pretends to know what Ted means when he describes the transformation of his fear into affirmative action
:16:02 (small) Father Fay reads his essay
:16:39 (small) Father Flynn reveals his self-portrait
:17:09 (medium) Father Flynn is told the reason for the essay competition
:17:29 Father Jack and the drinks trolley abscond with the parachutes
:19:23 Ted holds up the joke telephone and says, "All your problems are over."
:20:30 "Can I still be a priest?"
:21:03 (small) "You have used three inches of sticky tape. God bless you."
:22:00 Reveal of Ted clinging to the wheel
:22:10 Mrs. Doyle's airplane-shaped sandwiches
:22:33 Father Jack and the drinks trolley in a tree
:23:18 Fathers Cave and Gallaher share a quiet, awkward moment
"Small" indicates that there were only one or two people heard applauding. "Medium" indicates a few people, but nothing widespread. All others are great big honking full-on audience applause.
That's twenty-four instances of spontaneous applause during one single episode of a sitcom. Got that? It averages out to one applause-worthy joke every minute. This isn't my favorite episode of Ted, but is there another episode of anything that can rival this applause frequency?