Of all the ways that humans express themselves, I am fascinated by laughter the most.
I remember people by their laughs. I had a classmate named Joan in primary school, I may not remember her speaking voice, I might not even recognise her now but I remember her distinguishable cackle of laughs. Whenever she laughed, you could hear it from far and you would know it was her.
There are many kinds of laughs: loud thunderous laughter. Soft whispers, loud cracking sounds, shy gasps of sounds, deafening thunderous uproars, annoying grunts and threatening hises, wet and messy cracks etc…
I used to have a neighbour who had this annoying laugh. She was usually amused by the smallest of things. And she would let out a huge irritating sound that in my estimation was not befitting whatever it is that might have amused her. I hated encountering her. She would say “hey” to you and then let out that sharp annoying sound clapping her hands with all the energy in the world as though she had just heard the greatest joke of all time.
I also heard from the grapevine that that is how majority of her family members laugh! I would not want to attend a gathering they could be in!
Some people myself included, can laugh until they cry. That means that the joke touched the right places. When you laugh so hard that you lose your strength and balance and you have to work hard to attempt to make yourself to stop laughing, then you know a joke was good.
Laughing too hard can hurt your ribs. That’s why when you laugh too much you hold your ribs as a reflex action to protect them. Watch out for that.
People who died from laughter
There have even been some people in history who died from laughing.
On March 24, 1975, Alex Mitchell, from Kings Lynn England, died laughing while watching the "Kung Fu Papers” episode of The Goodies according to Wikipedia. His wife even sent the people behind the series a thank you note for making her husband’s last moments happy.
As 56-year-old Arthur Cobcroft, On October 14, 1920, a dog trainer from Loftus Street, Leichhardt, Australia, was reading a five-year-old newspaper that compared commodity prices. He so was amused by the prices in 1915 when compared to prices in 1920 that when he made a remark to his wife regarding this, he burst into laughter, collapsed and died in the midst of this laughter. When a doctor was called in, he stated that the death was due to heart failure, brought by about by Cobcroft’s excessive laughter.
Also, after the old woman who commissioned a portrait insisted on modeling for it, Zeuxis, a 5th-century BC Greek painter, is said to have died laughing at the humorous way in which he painted the Greek goddess Aphrodite in that portrait.
In my culture, mothers will not let you amuse their babies too much for the fear that their laughing too much could hurt their little and delicate ribs. They don’t want their helpless babies hurting. Which kinda sucks really because it’s a really hard thing to want to stop making a baby laugh. Baby laughs are healing! I sometimes find myself browsing through baby videos on social media just to hear them laugh.
I am also the kind of person that will goof around making faces to the babies of strangers even in the streets and in public in an attempt to make them laugh. Turns out based on my unscientific experiments, many babies respond better to familiar faces as even my most goofiest of faces receive little or no response at all. Not even a smile or a blink!
The comedy industry
Comedians such as Chris Rock, David Chapelle, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey and others have made a name and a fortune for themselves for making people laugh.
Day time and late night television shows are also popular among audiences for their use of humour. American shows as Ellen, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel Live are examples.
Comedy movies and television shows are also a popular genre among audiences. Shows such as The Young Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory and Friends have dominated screens for years. The Hangover movie series is also loved for its humour.
Netflix, one of the biggest streaming services right now has invested heavily on stand up comedy in recent times giving a number of stand up comedians a platform to showcase their talents, to make people laugh and to make money. Comedy covers 17% of Netflix’s original content according to Ibc.org.
A lot of independent content creators on YouTube, TikTok and other social media platforms have comedy as their main theme. Pranks, jokes, and mimics are popular trends among them.
There is even a laughter school in Ethiopia started by Belachew Girma a laughter champion who in 2008 in Germany, laughed for three hours and six minutes non-stop.
Until I read this, I didn’t even know there were laugh competitions! They must be the funniest. I will have to look them up.
Is being funny attractive?
Being funny has been cited to be an attractive trait by many. People in relationships say that one of the reasons behind their being with their partners, is their good wit. Humour comes in handy when things go wrong in relationships. It can help one see situations in another light and can help one to cope with bad situations.
I’d rather a partner that laughs out loud when I spill a drink during a date than one that gets embarrassed by it wondering what other people are thinking.
Health benefits of laughing
Laughter is the best medicine. Cliché but true.
According to mayoclinic.org there are several health benefits to be derived from laughing.
Laughter improves the immune system through the channeling of positive thoughts.
It also helps relieve pain as it causes the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
Laughter also makes it easier to cope with difficult scenarios as it allows you to view things in positive light. A situation is not really that bad when you can laugh about it.
Laughter helps in improving moods. Laughter can help lighten the burdens of anxiety and depression and can make someone feel happier.
Laughter stimulates many organs by enhancing a person’s intake of oxygen-rich air. It also stimulates organs such as the heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by the brain.
Laughter also activates and relieves a person’s stress response. A good hefty laughter can leave one with a a good feeling of relaxation.
Laughter also aids in muscle relaxation, and in circulation which can help one feel less tense and can reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Laughing just like smiling is contagious. It’s hard not to laugh when you see someone laughing even if you don’t know what the joke is. Think about someone laughing right now, and I bet you will start laughing!
I love to laugh and I consider myself a funny person. I also love and enjoy making other people laugh. I do not trust people who never laugh and I only surround myself with people who love to laugh. Grumpy people freak me out.
I would wish to be a funny writer too and I have been reading a lot on the subject lately.
I do write jokes from time to time and I save them in a folder. I do harbour secret dreams of being a stand up jokes writer.
On my chats, laugh emoji are my most overused emoji. Are you even chatting if you don’t send laugh emoji?
Some people want more love in the world, some people want more peace, or abundance in the world. Some people want other things.
If I could make one wish, I would wish for more laughter in the world.
He who laughs most, learns best.”– John Cleese