What Makes us Laugh Out Loud

shutterstock_279770255Oddly enough, a professor of psychology by the name of Richard Wiseman (yes, wise-man) made a resolution in 2002 to discover the world’s funniest joke! Ha!

What did he do to make his resolution happen? He created a website called LaughLab.co.uk in collaboration with the British Science Association and asked people to send their favorite funny jokes. He also asked them to rate jokes posted on the site.

Can you imagine being the doctor whose job was reading funny jokes for a whole year (over 40,000 of them)? To help him keep up with the stressful, demanding schedule, Dr. Wiseman hired a team (obviously too much work for one person) who reviewed over 1.5 million ratings from contributors (that’s 1,500,000+)! Then he wrote a book called Quirkology.

Now, that’s got to be the most amazing get-rich-quick schemes I’ve ever heard of!  What do you think?

For your next party, family gathering or summer picnic, here are just two wacky jokes posted on Dr. Wiseman’s website! (They say there are 1,000 of them!)

Q: Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny? What do you think?

Psychotic Patient: “Doctor-Doctor! I think I’m a pair of curtains!” Doctor responds sternly: “Pull yourself together man!”


The benefits of laughter

Digging just a little bit deeper, we find that psychologists and doctor’s research clearly conclude laughter really does do good like a medicine! (Proverbs 17:22)

Laughter not only relaxes tension, it can actually cause deep physical muscle relaxation. That may happen because it reduces stress. Too much unrelieved stress tends to cause illness and, in extreme cases, may even cause death.

According to one report, deep laughter will cause our blood pressure and pulse rates to drop slightly. Chemically, natural endorphins are released (mitigating pain) and T-cells are discharged that strengthen the immune system. Now, that’s worth a good laugh twice a day at least!

It’s time for another wacky zinger from Dr. Wiseman’s site.

Q: What happens to Composers when they die?

A: They de-compose!


Laughter is conducive to learning

The researchers tell us humor and laughter helps learning. But, did you know it’s also a truth declared in the book of wisdom? “The wise in heart are called prudent, understanding, and knowing, and winsome (humorous) speech increases learning [in both speaker and listener]” (Proverbs 16:21, AMPC). Laughter needs to be in the classroom environment.


When and why do we laugh?

The researchers tell us that you and I laugh at least 30 times more when we’re with others. It’s an essential social activity. They compare laughter in a social setting to the essential oil in a car. The research reports then reveal, when we’re alone, laughter almost completely disappears! Hmmm.


How can we laugh more? 

Researchers tell us that, we can actually make our self do it. Yes. You read that right. We can make our self laugh even when we don’t feel like it.

“How do I do that?” you ask.

Did you know that one of the biggest recordings of all time is called “The Okeh Laughing Record,” produced in the early 1950’s. It was a recording of a trumpet playing, interrupted with crazy laughter. The TV industry knows how affective this is and uses laugh recordings in shows and sitcoms all the time. The sound of laughter is powerful and infectious.

Some of the most viewed online videos that go virile are babies laughing uncontrollably. It’s contagious!

The truth is, we need to tell ourselves a joke once in a while or think of things that have made us laugh. We need to take care of our soul in this way.

There are many free online sites that will send us a daily funny story, picture or both to our email. For our own health and well-being it may be good to sign up for one or more of them.


Another zinger from Dr. Wiseman

While robbing a home, a burglar hears someone say, “Jesus is watching you!”

To his relief he realizes it is just a parrot mimicking something he had heard. The burglar asks the parrot, “What’s your name?”

The parrot says, “Moses!”

The burglar goes on to ask, “What kind of person names their parrot Moses?”

The parrot replies, “The same kind of person that names his Rottweiler Jesus!”
So…on your next summer picnic or outing…discover the use of laughter to evoke laughter. Take along a laughter cd…and play it once in awhile.

Here’s an important question. Are we lacking in much needed soul and spirit strength because we overlook the fact that, ‘The Joy of The Lord is our Strength?” Perhaps it’s time (today) to intentionally keep our inner man stirred up in joy, and rejoice in the Lord always.

If this has impacted you to action, I predict you will have finally found how to make your inner man grow stronger and stronger, happier and happier. It will also contagiously spread to your family and friends as well. Wow!

Email me and let me know about it.


Steve Davis, Ed.S. is an adjunct professor at Trinity International University and writes about personal development, learning and education subjects. He can be reached at [email protected].

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