Laughter Is The Good Medicine

via Daily Prompt: Laughter

Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean.

In a documentary he did on comedy I remember Atkinson saying that he’d modelled Bean on the great silent comedy actors, Buster Keaton in particular. Atkinson was quite serious about his comedy. Mr. Bean is not everyone’s cup of tea though. Comedy is a matter of taste, some people struggle to laugh at contrived misfortune, others don’t get certain types of jokes. I love all types of humour, and I struggle to be serious for too long. I think life without humour becomes a rut, which “is a grave with both ends kicked out” (attributed to Earl Nightingale). Unfortunately we have entered an age of poltical correctness that won’t allow for certain types of humour –  it would be hard to imagine Benny Hill starting out now.

I thoroughly enjoy the slapstick of Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, the satire of Monty Python or Littel Britain, the black humour of Blackadder, the innocent humour of the Vicar of Dibbley or Keeping Up Appearances, and the pointed humour of Yes Minister. The gentle humour in Friends, or the raucous Seinfeld, political humour with John Stewart. Some of you may remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, in Australia the Graham Kennedy Show, the Glass house and so on, too many to list here.

Humour is even acknowledged in religion. Osho taught that laughter was releasing, and held sessions in laughter release, he also taught that laughter brought energy to the fore and was for a few moments a meditative state. Both Jesus and St. Paul used sarcasm. The Christian Pentecostal movement encouraged holy laughter as healing. In the Medieval Church a mass was developed in France where the lowest of society were invited to take high position and celebrate their own version of the mass, a social inversion, pure comedy. It was an attempt to offer an opporunity to release social pressure.  Naturally, the Church hierarchy were horrified, but the Feast Of Fools is still celebrated (and still upsets serious minded purists, which in my view is a good thing). In his book, “My Spiritual Journey” the Dalai Lama, reflecting on the many sadnesses of exile and hardship, says: “… I am a professional laugher …”  There is even laugher yoga.

Laughter is also homespun, families have their own treasure chest of humourous moments. Some yo uhave had to have been there to really get the humour. Mine include dad handing mum the steering wheel when it detached from the column (as we entered the school parking lot). Or when our family were at a Chinese restaurant and the vegetable oil for the sizzle dish spilled onto a napkin and my yongest son said: “I’ll help” and tried to blow it out, turning it into a blow torch that set fire to my beard (fortunately quickly doused). We are still laughing.

Laughter is releasing and it is claimed that it brings several health benefits. It destresses, uplifts, it is contagious, breaks down barriers, is enjoyable … Some of you would be familiar with the maxim of the Readers Digest – “laughter is the best medicine.” I certianly feel much better after a good laugh.

I love a good laugh and I don’t mind being laughed about. I like ot think I’m a professional laugher – I hope you are too.

For those who are more serious minded a video about laughter 😊

sitting for dinner
my beard is aflame now
laughter douses it

©Paul Cannon



Filed under Haiku, history, life, mindfulness, Philosophy/Theology, psychology, quote, religion, self-development, Uncategorized

14 responses to “Laughter Is The Good Medicine

  1. Paul, your post reminds about the contagion of laughter. It brings to mind the time I was sitting between two retired principals on an airplane. Our takeoff from Washington DC was delayed for some reason we didn’t know because we were seated somewhere in the middle of the plane. While we waited, they started telling me funny stories about their flight adventures. Like the time they were asked to disembark from a little plane and wait outside on the tarmac while mechanics made quick repairs.

    “Many people are afraid to fly on little planes,” one man said, “but we saw it as an adventure until our flight out of Memphis. We watched in awe as the mechanic took out a roll of what looked like duct tape and carefully put strips on the wings. Needless to say, we were quite concerned.”

    One asked the mechanic why she was putting duct tape on the wings. Her only reply was, “It’s not duct tape. It’s aviator tape.” That did little to quell their fear, but they continued on their journey thankful to arrive safely at their destination.

    Tears were streaming from my eyes as we laughed. I didn’t know until later from friends who were scattered about the plane in various seats that our laughter made them laugh, too, even though they had no clue why we were laughing. It also helped ease the situation that was delaying our takeoff. A woman at the front of the plane was aggressively insisting that her dog sit next to her in a seat that was booked my another passenger. Laughter lightened the mood of the attendants and helped resolve the conflict. The memory of the stories the two gentlemen shared that day still makes me smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lol great post! The only one of those you mentioned who I never found funny was Benny Hill … I thought he was a misogynist even back then 😉
    Monty Python and Mr Bean are well loved favourites!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nasuko

    Nice post!!
    Laughing has been proven scientifically as raising immunity!:D

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.