in the early 1800’s, in Paris, an enterprising fellow opened an office for the express purpose of supplying professional applauders for theatrical customers, such as actors and singers, playwrights and producers. These hired pros were paid to lead the audience into applauding at appropriate places. They were called claquers.


Following the initial success of this enterprising fellow (we have no record of his name) he expanded his business to include rieursas who laughed at the jokes. Then came the pleureurs generally women, who shed tears at the sad parts. Bisseurs also were supplied for an arranged fee; all they did was stand up and shout, Encore! Encore!

A group of these pros was called, and still are called, a claque. Nowadays, they shill for TV sitcoms, political conventions and other places where audience reaction is important.

In other words, as usual, the public is being manipulated just as it was 200 years ago in Paris.

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