December 4, 2008

What is Laughter

Laughter is an audible expression, or appearance of merriment or happiness, or an inward feeling of joy and pleasure (laughing on the inside). It may ensue (as a physiological reaction) from jokes, tickling, and other stimuli. Inhaling nitrous oxide can also induce laughter; other drugs, such as cannabis, can also induce episodes of strong laughter. Strong laughter can sometimes bring an onset of tears or even moderate muscular pain.

Laughter is Contagious

Skype put out a request to audiences across the world. They asked people to become part of a laughing chain. To become a part of the chain you go to and record your reaction to the previous clips of people laughing. Watch to see the power of laughter.

Why do we laugh?

This is a question that not very many people know the answer to or possibly may not even question as to why humans laugh. Laughing is something that begins at infancy and continues throughout life, however it is something we never really think twice about. So the question is... why do we laugh? Luckily, because of the genius creation of the internet I was able to find the reason at the click of the button. Robert Provine, Ph.D. wrote an article for titled "A big mystery: Why do we laugh?" which provides answers to all of my questions. The full article can be found at Here are some of the major highlights for the article:

Continue reading "Why do we laugh?" »

Situations that make people laugh

This past week I spent one day observing reasons why people start laughing. It was interesting to see what could trigger a laugh. Here are some of the more amusing situations where people started to laugh from that day in addition to events that have happened this past year:

- An inside joke with a close friend
- Accidently ripped a page out of her accounting textbook when too tired to be studying
-After realizing that it was not necessary to be scared of the squirrel that jumped out from behind the bushes
-Getting up off the ground after completely falling flat on your back from the ice
-Thinking back on stupid things done in the past
-Talking about weekend events
-Singing at the top of your lungs with the closest friends
-Realizing that the teacher is as clueless as the rest of the class
-Off-the- wall comments
-When someone tells a joke that isn't going anywhere

Benefits of Laughter

Research has shown that there are many benefits to the act of laughing. These benefits include strengthening the immune system to reducing food cravings to increasing one's threshold for pain. There's even an emerging therapeutic field known as humor therapy to help people heal more quickly, among other things. There are also stress relieving benefits to laughter as well. The article this information was found in can be viewed at on

Continue reading "Benefits of Laughter" »

Quotes on Laughter

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
-Jean Houston

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
-Oscar Wilde

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter
-EE Cummings

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
-Victor Borge

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
-Kurt Vonnegut

I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, "Ain't that the truth."
-Quincy Jones

You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
-Michael Pritchard

Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had gonorrhea.
-Kat Likkel and John Hoberg, My Name Is Earl

Videos that cause laughter

I asked around for some of the funniest videos on Youtube and here are some of my favorites that were suggested:

The Classics:

Charlie bit my finger
This video was the most suggested video by those who responded to my request. Its extreme popularity with over 65 million views has caused a craze of reenactments being posted on Youtube as well.

Numa Numa
The first few times I saw this video when it just became popular a few years ago I didn't find it funny what so ever. I would probably say I was more annoyed by the video and I couldn't believe that this is what some people do in their spare time. For some reason a friend of mine convinced me to watch it one more time in attempt to prove to me how funny it was and for some reason that night I appreciated it for what it was worth and laughed myself to tears. This video has been a phenomenon on youtube with over 20 million views and why I consider it to be a classic.

More Cowbell- Saturday Night Live
All I have to say is that this is the most memorable Saturday Night Live Skits.

New Favorites:

Yes Dance
The first time I saw this all I could do was laugh. First of all Robert Hoffman III is a genius when it comes to choreography and to see him using what he does best to make people laugh makes for an amazing combination. He has done many videos that can be seen on his website, but this is by far my favorite.

The Lawrence Welk Show- Saturday Night Live
When I was home for Thanksgiving break, my mom and I were watching a rerun of Saturday Night Live. As soon as the title for the skit came on my mom started dying laughing. Half way through the skit she had tears running down her face because she was laughing so hard. She used to watch the actual Lawrence Welk Show when she was little so she connected with the skit.