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Quotations about Laughter

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

Not through wrath but through laughter one slayeth. ~Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), "Of Reading and Writing," Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, translated from the German by Alexander Tille, 1896

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. ~Woody Allen

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. ~Jean Houston

Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit. ~Author Unknown

Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg. ~Author Unknown

The young ladies tittered and giggled, and the old lady laughed out loud, and the baillie and the other old fellows roared till they were red in the face, the whole mortal time. ~Charles Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, 1836

Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess was why several of us died of tuberculosis. ~Jack Handey, Deeper Thoughts, 1993,

The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed. ~Sébastien-Roch Nicolas (Chamfort), translated from French

There is a purifying power in laughter. It is truth in palatable form. It is instant vacation. Seeing the comical side of many situations makes life a great deal easier. It's like riding through life on sensitive springs that ease every jolt. ~Eugene P. Bertin, 1968  [Per, this is the earliest known instance of "laughter is an instant vacation" but Bertin might not have been the first. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

What monstrous absurdities and paradoxes have resisted whole batteries of serious arguments, and then crumbled swiftly into dust before the ringing death-knell of a laugh! ~Agnes Repplier

For one thing, I believe the advancement of mental health involves a paradox: the tie that binds serious attitudinal orientation with humor. So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter. I venture to say that no person is in good health unless he can laugh at himself quietly and privately, noticing where he has over-reached, where his pretensions have been overblown or pedantic. He needs to note where he has been hoodwinked, too sure of himself, too short-sighted, and above all too conceited. ~Gordon W. Allport, "Mental Health: A Generic Attitude," 1964

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge

There is little success where there is little laughter. ~Andrew Carnegie

Lo, sadness flies before the voice of mirth! ~Peyton Short Symmes, "Sonnet to Health," paraphrased from Dr. Johnson's prose translation of Aristogiton's Greek hymn to health

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~Yiddish Proverb

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other. ~Alan Alda

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. ~Kurt Vonnegut

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable. ~H.L. Mencken

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on. ~Bob Newhart

Oh, friend... it is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall — all dance together to the music that he make... ~Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897

A hearty laugh gives one a dry cleaning, while a good cry is a wet wash. ~Puzant Kevork Thomajan

There can never be enough said of the virtues, dangers, the power of a shared laugh. ~Françoise Sagan

I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, "Ain't that the truth." ~Quincy Jones

Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks. ~Henri Bergson

Anger drives away the Peace of Men;
Pleasant Laughter calls it back again.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Wrath," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing a laugh within, hurried away. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906

Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. What puts man in a higher state of evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end. ~Max Eastman

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)

A man isn't poor if he can still laugh. ~Raymond Hitchcock

If melancholy breed decay
And moping gather evil,
An honest laugh will scare away
Both doctors — and the Devil.
~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885

For one seldom hears a genuine laugh nowadays, and much of the phraseology of laughter is a mere fashion of speech. There are many people whose sides have never ached from over-indulgence in the outward expression of mirth.... With some persons a wheeze or a chuckle is the utmost they can compass. ~"Laughter," in The Spectator for the week ending Saturday, January 19, 1889

Some men laugh habitually in falsetto.... We remember once to have heard a feminine laugh so painfully and regularly tuneful that it could literally have been reduced to musical notation. ~"Laughter," in The Spectator for the week ending Saturday, January 19, 1889

They let their laughs bounce back and forth between them. ~Caron Levis, Ida, Always, 2016

Laughter is the soul's health, moroseness is its poison. ~James Henry Potts, "Laugh and Live Long," Every Life a Delight, 1914

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything. ~Kurt Vonnegut

Remember, men need laughter sometimes more than food. ~Anna Fellows Johnston

Of course, some teen-age laughter is the result of sheer excess of energy. Consider the closely related problem of giggling. Two fourteen-year-old girls in a classroom can keep each other amused almost indefinitely just by exchanging covert glances. Three girls in a group can readily reduce themselves to semi-hysteria and can produce laughter of the sort that television considers valuable enough to record on tape for further use. ~Gerald Raftery, "In Defense of Teen-Age Humor," in The Clearing House, May 1960

No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad. ~Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus

You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants. ~Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

A good time to laugh is any time you can. ~Linda Ellerbee

To laughter! The bright coinage of the bank of good will. ~Minna Thomas Antrim, A Book of Toasts, 1902

Watching a child's laughter teach a candle's flame how to dance. ~Dr. SunWolf,

Laughter is therapy for physical pain, emotional pain, and the everyday pain of life. ~Terri Guillemets

Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had gonorrhea. ~Kat Likkel and John Hoberg, My Name Is Earl, "Robbed a Stoner Blind," original airdate 16 November 2006

A good, real, unrestrained, hearty laugh is a sort of glorified internal massage, performed rapidly and automatically. It manipulates and revitalizes corners and unexplored crannies of the system that are unresponsive to most other exercise methods. ~Author unknown, from an editorial in New-York Tribune, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing. ~Ken Kesey

It is bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down to your hips. ~Author Unknown

Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. Grim care, moroseness, anxiety, — all this rust of life ought to be scoured off by the oil of mirth... A man without mirth is like a wagon without springs, in which one is caused disagreeably to jolt by every pebble over which it runs. A man with mirth is like a chariot with springs, in which one can ride over the roughest road, and scarcely feel anything but a pleasant rocking motion. ~Henry Ward Beecher

It was not a laugh but merely a loud smile. ~Author Unknown

If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy. ~Proverb

Seven days without laughter makes one weak. ~Mort Walker

Next to a soul-stirring prayer is a genuine laugh... ~James Henry Potts, "Laugh and Live Long," Every Life a Delight, 1914

Laughter is therapy, be you the laugher or the laughee. ~Jack Runninger, O.D., F.A.A.O. (1923–2017), "Editorial Comment: The Therapy of Laughter," Southern Journal of Optometry, July 1977 [Dr William John Runninger was known as "the Mark Twain of Optometry," being also a witty newspaper columnist. –tg]

A laugh is a smile that bursts. ~Mary H. Waldrip, in Dawson County, Ga., Advertiser, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1990

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. ~Victor Hugo

Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul. ~Thomas Mann

[L]aughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life. ~Hugh Sidey

A good laugh recharges your battery. ~Author Unknown

Every time you make a man LAUGH you take a kink out of the chain of life, and thus lengthen his stay here in this old troublesome world. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

Carry laughter with you wherever you go. ~Hugh Sidey

Life is a vale of tears in which there are moments you just can't stop giggling. ~Robert Brault,

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects. ~Arnold Glasow

When laughter feasts, sadness starves. ~Terri Guillemets

Laughter is an orgasm triggered by the intercourse of sense and nonsense. ~Author Unknown

We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist. ~Joseph Heller

Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Last saved 2021 May 11 Tue 21:04 PDT

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