Who needs teleprompters when a studio can simply insert canned laughter?
I've dealt with sound engineering for 30 years, as a film maker, interviewer, musician, working with master reel to reel tapes/decks at EMS Music in Seattle in the 80's as a sound duplication engineer, or setting sound levels for my and other bands in live situations at shows. I won a Hollywood award for animation in 2000. I know sound. And it's my opinion that audio portions of Sarah Palin's March 2nd appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight show were added or amplified, edited before broadcast to make it appear that Sarah Palin was more welcome than she was.
I know. I was there.
They added laughter where there was none during uncomfortable portions. Well, there was some laughter. Mine, of derision. During those pregnant pauses in her performance I was laughing long and loud, couldn't help myself as much of what she was saying was utterly surreal, ridiculous, hypocritical - nonsense, spewed platitudes, pushed buttons. I was seriously thinking of leaving as it was getting hysterically unfunny.
After sitting through the taping of the show in the studio I can recount many portions where there was little or no laughter or response, but at the later broadcast they are smoothed over with applause and laughter that WERE NOT THERE at the taping. Groans, hoots, grumbling, or just dead silence - all missing.
Given how carefully Palin's people manage her appearances, I think it's safe to say we'll never see Palin trying her act anywhere else. Can you imagine how Letterman or Colbert would laugh in her face for that kind of special treatment? Or even better, the kind of heckling she'd face at a comedy club?