The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness.
Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone.
It’s possible to forgive someone a great deal if he makes you laugh.
To be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as if nothing of consequence will happen. On the contrary, when we are playful with one another, we relate as free persons, and the relationship is open to surprise; everything that happens is of consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility. To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for unlimited possibility.
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
I don’t think that the comic and the serious can be separated in talking about human reality, any more than you can separate hydrogen and oxygen and still be talking about water.
It was the kind of laughter that caught like briars in her chest and felt very much like pain.
A patient complaining of melancholy consulted Dr. John Abernethy. After an examination the doctor pronounced, “You need amusement. Go and hear the comedian Grimaldi; he will make you laugh, and that will be better for you than any drugs.” Said the patient, “I am Grimaldi.”
Comedy is when you accidentally fall off a cliff and die. Tragedy is when I have a hangnail.
Laughter springs from the lawless part of our nature.
A comedian is not funny unless he is taking his demons out for a walk.
One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said, “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that, deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting late.
It’s so damn hard to make jokes work. . . . A joke is like building a mousetrap from scratch. You have to work pretty hard to make the thing snap when it is supposed to snap.
There are three theories of humor. The Superiority Theory — that you laugh when you realize that you’re better than someone else. Then there’s Freud’s Release Theory, which says that jokes are about ventilating forbidden impulses. . . . All of the psychic energy you used to repress them gets released . . . in chest-heaving, spasmodic laughter. Then there’s the one that makes most sense to me, the Incongruity Theory, that jokes are about the pure intellectual pleasure we take in yanking together things that seem utterly dissimilar and perceiving similarities. . . . That’s the highest form of humor. As jokes get funnier, they rely more on incongruity and less on hostility and superiority or on sex and naughtiness.
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested, and the frog dies of it.
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
The art of the clown is more profound than we think: it is neither tragic nor comic. It is the comic mirror of tragedy and the tragic mirror of comedy.
Back of the sun and way deep under our feet, at the earth’s center, are not a couple of noble mysteries but a couple of joke books.
A good laugh is as good as a prayer sometimes.
Lord, forgive all the little tricks I play on you, and I’ll forgive the great big one you played on me.