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It's All about Laughter

Laughter is something biological. It can also be highly spiritual, a result of mental tricks that abound, and so on. There are many sorts of laughter, many ways of doing it; many more than laughing up one's sleeve. Embarrassments may bring on laughter, protests too, and being stretched too far - beyond the comfort zone somehow. These are deep issues. See the books listed at the bottom of the page.

Here are 77 sayings, extracts and quotations on laughter so far. Sayings without author names linked to them, can be credited T. Kinnes.


A gentle laugh can be a very serious feat.

A good laugh and a long sleep may both be helpful somehow.

A good laugh together can take the pressure off some stress.

A little reduction of a major scare may be helpful by evoking healthy laughs.

A man's laughter - how he laughs, and what he laughs at - is one indication of his character (Cf. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).

A merry heart does good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22).

Canned laughter in sitcoms on television are means of manipulation.

Comedy may also be a way of being serious.

Disarmed people laugh a lot to show how they disagree.

Eat, drink, and laugh well, for tomorrow we may diet.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win (Mohandas Gandhi).

Good, ample laughter may remedy some effects of sad maturity (Cf. Kurt Vonnegut, on bitter disappointments in Cat's Cradle).

Group laughter against stress is no longer a mere dream, but a gift from India.

He that lives upon making others laugh, had better not laugh all the time for himself.

Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors (Norman Cousins).

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose (Woody Allen).

I believe that the ability to laugh at oneself is fundamental to the resiliency of the human spirit (Jill Conner Browne).

If a man has nothing to eat, laughter may be a very little helpful thing to do.

If belly laughs help you keep your sanity, go for it.

If we're destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there's got to be a very powerful energy to fight that . . . We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. (Ellen DeGeneres).

If you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may say he is a good man, rightly or wrongly (Cf. Dostoyevsky).

If you must laugh politely, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes amd and the reasonable quitting time (Adapted from a Chinese proverb on something else).

If you want to discern a man and know his soul, you must look, not at how he keeps silent, or how he speaks, or how we weeps . . . you had better look at him when he laughs. If a man has a good laugh, it means he's a good man (Fyodor Dostoevsky).

In friendship are jokes and laughter.

In laughter could lie a secret truth or three.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures (Khalil Gibran).

It could work better to have a steady income than to laugh all the time.

It is possible to laugh oneself to death, but politer to let it be.

It is with laughing as with eating: There are sensible ways and circumstances for it and all the others.

Joy, humor, and laughter should be part of everyone's spiritual life. They . . . help us enjoy creation (James Martin).

Laugh at the world's foolishness, you will regret it; weep over it, you will regret that too . . . laugh at the world's foolishness or weep over it, you will regret both. (Søren Kierkegaard).

Laugh is what we so very rarely do in distress.

Laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine (Lord Byron).

Laugh your way through life (Abr Mabele Simmons Tyler Perry).

Laughter appears to help some to moan with pleasure.

Laughter is a powerful way to tap positive emotions (Norman Cousins).

Laughter is a sort of carbonated holiness (Mod Anne Lamott).

Laughter is a significant activity of the human species.

Laughter can be the soul seeking some relief (Mod Kurt Vonnegut).

Let laughter and decency go hand in hand to get lucky in love.

Like to put a smile on God's face if you can.

Life is too important to take only seriously (Cf. Corky Siegel).

Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it (L. M. Montgomery).

Many barrels of laughter are empty [Cf. Constance Chuks Friday).

Many clergymen are spokesmen of laughter, for "it is in the bible". And so is belief in a flat world on a foundation (2 Samuel 22:16; Psalm 18:15; Revelation 7:1; etc.).

Mild laughter in between meals cound be good for us.

Not everyone has a laugh up one's sleeve.

One could be free to go for the sort of frivolous laughter that is good for life and higher than that of brutes.

One secret to laughter is surprise.

Periodic laughter training differs from spurious laughter in that it should be reasonable enough to reduce one's general stress levels.

Protest-laughter may also be an affirmation of dignity, among other things.

Scary at a safe distance at times means invigorating, and is followed by laughs.

Sensible laughter does not mean renouncing the joys of eating - seek to gain benefits thus.

Seven days without laughter makes one weak (Mort Walker).

Some forms of laughter can clarify what people already feel.

Sometimes we laugh to keep from crying, but the important thing is to laugh, every chance we get (Cassandra King).

Søren Kierkegaard, the author of Fear and Trembling and much else, dreamt he was rapt in the Seventh Heaven and as a special gift was granted one wish. "I choose one thing – that I may always have the laughs on my side." All the gods began to laugh. From this he concluded that his wish had been granted and thought: "The gods knew how to express themselves . . . for it would surely have been inappropriate answer gravely: "'Your wish has been granted'."

Studies tell of good sides to laughing too.

Sunshine and laughter - what priceless, life-lengthening gifts. Thank goodness at least sunshine is so free.

The health benefits, both mental and physical, of humor are well documented. A good laugh can diffuse tension, relieve stress, and release endorphins into your system, which act as a natural mood elevator (Cherie Carter-Scott).

The laughter of joy is in full harmony with our deeper life, the laughter of amusement should be kept apart from it (Lewis Carroll).

The wise man knows how to stop laughing also.

There are descriptions of laughter across the Bible too.

There is little success where there is little laughter (Andrew Carnegie).

There is seldom any music so sweet as the clear and ringing laughter of bright-eyed, happy children (Cf. P. T. Barnum).

There is sound laughter and unsound laughter.

Tickle a person to see if laughter may rise.

To the mistress, laughter may not creep in.

Unwelcome laughter makes some people glum or even angry and bent on revenge.

We're all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can (Will Rogers).

We should have joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die laughing? (Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras, p 136-37).

When a man first decides on laughter training, it could be from noble motives.

When good and loving laughter flounders, there goes good enough living, if not civilization.

When nothing else seems to be effective, one may try to talk of laughter.

When we reach up to laughing rather humbly of ourselves, many lovely opportunities to be amused could be in store.

Who lives on laughter has to be gruff and righteous.

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die (Abraham Lincoln)


Laughter quotations, laughs on laughs, Literature  

Bergson, Henri. Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic (Le Rire. Essai sur la signification du comique). New York: Macmillan, 1914.

Johnsen, Birgit Hertzberg. Hva ler vi av? Om nordmenns forhold til humor ("What Do We Laugh At? How Norwegians Relate to Humour"). Oslo: Pax, 1997.

Kozintsev, Alexander. The Mirror of Laughter. Tr. Richard P. Martin. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2010.

Morreall, John. Taking Laughter Seriously. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1983.

Svebak, Sven. Forlenger en god latter livet? Humor, stress og helse (Does a Good Laugh Lengthen Life? Humour, Stress and Health). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, 2000.

Harvesting the hay

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