"Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever."
"A comic character is generally comic in proportion to his ignorance of himself."
Beginning in the late 1960s the first "serious" studies on laughter and humor began to appear in scientific journals, using psychological, physiological, sociological and psychiatric approaches to the subject. In 1969 Jacob Levine published his study, "Motivation in Humor," and in 1972 Jeffrey Goldstein and Paul McGhee edited a volume on "The Psychology of Humor." In England, Antony Chapman and Hugh Foot brought out their collection "Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications." It was published in 1976, the same year that they jointly chaired the First International Conference on Humour and Laughter under the auspices of the British Psychological Association in Cardiff.
All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
I was walking down the street and all of a sudden the prescription for my eye-glasses ran out ....
What's another word for thesaurus?
Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish.
I got a new shadow. I had to get rid of the other one -- it wasn't doing what I was doing.
Hospitalised with ankylosing spondelitis (presumed terminal) in the early seventies, Cousins discovered that positive emotions such as "hope, laughter, love and faith" could help in stress-reduction. The Marx Brothers and the funniest programs from "Candid Camera" (courtesy of Allan Funt, the producer and a friend) gave blessed relief from pain in hospital.
In Cousins's own words: "We made two interesting discoveries. One was that ten minutes of strong, sustained laughter had an anaesthetic effect and would provide two hours of pain-free sleep, thus enabling me to dispense with aspirin, codeine, sleeping pills, all of which were toxic in varying degrees and which impeded the body’s natural recuperative powers.
"The second discovery was that laughter would have a positive effect on the sedimentation rate, which measures the extent of inflammation or infection in the bloodstream. The higher the "sed" rate, the more severe the illness. Hearty, joyous laughter had the effect of knocking several points off the sedimentation rate, proving that laughter could cause beneficial changes in the body chemistry.
"I don't want to give the impression that I laughed my way out of a serious illness. There were other prime elements in the recovery which I need not go into here. But laughter and good feelings were basic elements in the total recovery. There was the hard evidence that laughter was probably more efficacious than the various medications, which were discontinued in my case because of their high toxicity."
"The first problem confronting the chess spectator is to find some people who are playing. . . . At first you may think that they are both dead, but a mirror held to the lips of the nearest contestant will probably show moisture (unless, of course, they really should be dead, which would be a horrible ending for a little lark like this. I once heard of a murderer who propped his two victims up against a chess board in sporting attitudes and was able to get as far as Seattle before his crime was discovered)."
"The Nasrudin story . . . is designed to add to the mind of the hearer something of the flavor which is needed to build up the consciousness for experiences which cannot be reached until a bridge has been created."
"This gradual building up of inner consciousness is characteristic of the Nasrudin Sufic method. The flash of intuitive illumination which comes as a result of the stories is partly a minor enlightenment in itself, not an intellectual experience. It is also a steppingstone toward the reestablishing of mystical perception in a captive mind, relentlessly conditioned by the training systems of material life."
The Mulla walked into a shop one day.
Fool, n. A person who pervades the domain of intellectual speculation and diffuses himself through the channels of moral activity. He is omnific, omniform, omnipercipient, omniscient, omnipotent. He it was who invented letters, printing, the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, the platitude, and the circle of the sciences. He created patriotism and taught nations war--founded theology, philosophy, law, medicine, and Chicago. He established monarchical and republican government. He is from everlasting to everlasting--such as creation's dawn beheld he fooleth now. In the morning of time he sang upon primitive hills, and in the noonday of existence headed the procession of being. His grandmotherly hand has warmly tucked-in the set sun of civilization, and in the twilight he prepares Man's evening meal of milk-and-morality and turns down the covers of the universal grave. And after the rest of us shall have retired for the night of eternal oblivion he will sit up to write a history of human civilization.
Theories of Humor:
"Experiments with laboratory rats have shown that, if one psychologist in the room laughs at something a rat does, all of the other psychologists in the room will laugh equally."
Jester or Joker:
fool, silly fool, tomfool, madman, buffoon, clown, comic, jester, zany, merry-andrew, harlequin, entertainer, perfect fool, complete idiot, ninny, nincompoop, ass, jackass, donkey, goose, turkey, cuckoo, mooncalf, zombie, idiot, congenital idiot, born fool, natural, mongol, cretin, moron, imbecile, mental defective, half-wit, dimwit, sot, stupid, silly, silly-billy, twerp, stooge, butt, laughingstock, madcap, desperado, addlehead, fathead, pinhead, muddlehead, blunderer, incompetent, twit, clot, bungler, scatterbrains, birdbrain, featherbrain, dingbat, rattlehead, giddy-head, flibbertigibbet, trifler, sciolist, witling, wiseacre, crackpot, eccentric, odd fellow, crank, gaffer, old fogy, babbler, burbler, driveler, dotard, old man, humorist, wit, bel-esprit, epigrammatist, reparteeist, conversationalist, card, character, life and soul of the party, wag, wisecracker, japer, joker, Joe Miller, jokesmith, funny man, gagsman, gagster, punster, banterer, persifleur, leg-puller, kidder, tease, practical joker, hoaxer, deceiver, ironist, affecter, mocker, scoffer, satirist, lampooner, detracter, comedian, comedienne, comic, standup comic, slapstick comic, knockabout comic, comic writer, cartoonist, caricaturist, burlesquer, impersonator, parodist, imitator, raconteur, raconteuse
"Humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world. So if it is correct to say that humor was stamped out in Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.
"Hitler was so wary of the danger of humor to the Third Reich that he had special 'joke courts' set up for, among other things, punishing people who named their dogs and horses 'Adolph.' As Hermann Goering instructed the Academy of German Law, the telling of a joke could be an act against the Fuehrer, against the state, or even against the whole Nazi Weltanschaung."
"Every American, to the last man, lays claim to a 'sense' of humor and guards it as his most significant spiritual trait, yet rejects humor as a contaminating element wherever found. America is a nation of comics and comedians; nevertheless, humor has no stature and is accepted only after the death of the perpetrator."
New Yorker , 27 September, 1952
Victor Hugo: "Le calembour est la fiente de l'esprit qui vole." "Puns are the feints of soaring wits."
"Puns are the bird droppings of soaring wits."
Two of the Marx Brothers
"Time wounds all heels."
"The natural free spirits of ingenious men, if imprisoned or controlled, will find other ways of motion to relieve themselves in their constraint; and whether it be burlesque, mimicry or buffoonery, they will be glad at any rate to vent themselves, and be revenged on their constrainers . . . 'Tis the persecuting spirit has raised the bantering one."