Comedy | The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
Today’s Solutions: June 22, 2024

young man delivering standup comedy

Standup comedy course helps support men at risk of suicide

Here at The Optimist Daily, we believe wholeheartedly in the power of healing through laughter, joy, and a positive outlook—and it seems as though the UK National Health Service (NHS) is on the same page. Mental health problems are on the rise for people of all ages and walks of life, and as Read More...

How to fight Zoom fatigue with

How to fight Zoom fatigue with comedy

The novelty of these lockdown days has worn off and many of us are at our wits’ ends—especially with all these video calls that are meant to replace in-person interactions. Last week, we shared some structural advice on how to deal with “Zoom fatigue”, the phenomenon of feeling mentally Read More...

Medicinal mirth: The health be

Medicinal mirth: The health benefits of laughter

Mary Desmond Pinkowish | August 2009 issue The teacher gathers his laughter yoga students from the corners of this tiny studio on the second floor of a downtown Manhattan building. Most of us have never met and from the looks on some faces, aren’t quite sure what to expect. "Ha-ha-ha," our Read More...

The business of making people

The business of making people laugh

Janet Paskin | August 2009 issue What’s a laugh worth? You can get your yuks in a comedy club for $20 or less; for a few hours of humor in a movie theater, you’ll pay about $10. A whoopee cushion or a joy buzzer is significantly cheaper; to indulge in more highbrow humor—say, a framed New Read More...

What makes the whoopee cushion

What makes the whoopee cushion so funny?

Marco Visscher | August 2009 issue After Trevor Cox, professor of acoustics at the University of Salford in central England, designed the world’s largest whoopee cushion (it’s six feet—two meters—in diameter), he was approached by the British charity Comic Relief to carry out a little, um, Read More...

In the beginning was the joke

In the beginning was the joke

John Lloyd | August 2009 issue There’s a mysterious passage in the Bible, that goes like this: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." This passage has the unmistakable ring of truth, which is curious, because it also appears to be meaningless gibberish. Read More...

Laughter and learning

Laughter and learning

Jos Houben | August 2009 issue For the past few years, I've been traveling the globe with a show called "The Art Of Laughter," a mock lecture in which I analyze the basic principles of silent comedy. I try to make people laugh using my body rather than my words. At a certain point in the show, I Read More...

“Laughter can set people fre

“Laughter can set people free”

Marco Visscher | August 2009 issue Ron Jenkins Photograph: Franziska Blattner Does laughter have a socio-political impact? "For ages, comedy has been used as a liberating tool for people, especially in oppressive regimes, to confront, ridicule and criticize the powerful." For example? "I Read More...

Ode's list of favorite fu

Ode's list of favorite funny movies

Editors | August 2009 issue Watching Marx Brothers movies helped Norman Cousins cope with a painful illness, a process he described in Anatomy of an Illness. Here are Ode’s recommendations if you’re feeling sick, tired, or just plain in need of a pick-me-up: Bridget Jones's Diary Mark Darcy to Read More...

A field guide to the different

A field guide to the different forms of laughter

Editors | August 2009 issue Image: istockphoto.com/JoanVicent Belly laugh: Involuntary and intoxicating paroxysm that bypasses the laughter centers of the brain to go directly to the funny bone, in the vicinity of the solar plexus. Cackle: Especially pronounced in cartoon witches and villains, Read More...