Laughing yourself young

A good sense of humour is not only a life saver it is a deal maker.

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Hysteria is often disproved off when displayed in children (and some more excitable animals, such as hamsters) but I’ve always found it to be a most desirable state. So much so that chocolate cake, gin and sexual release come a poor second.

Hysteria – by that I mean wheezing, laughing, bending over double and generally emitting the sound of enthusiasm – is a highly prized skill and should not be overlooked in the work place or the bedroom. Who would you rather sit next to or lie with? Someone who never moves their face? Or someone who lights up with recognition, laughs like a drain and meets you half way in a shared moment of mirth and merriment.

Recognition leads to the act of laughter – lack of recognition leads to isolation, which leads to wars and on many occasions an untimely death...

And while my findings haven’t been entirely empirically proven – I do know that you can laugh yourself young as well as out of all difficulties …

If you’re having a serious, isolationist moment here is a shopping list of things that make me laugh:

Someone farting in yoga (I know... but it never fails. Well it didn’t on my Ibithan yoga retreat - let’s leave it there shall we? And also it wasn’t me, whatever anyone said)

Someone falling over and then pretending they haven’t.

Someone falling over, and then looking around to see if anyone noticed that they’d pretended they hadn’t.

The person who was crushed by a falling pig accidently released from an aircraft.

Someone who has the surname ‘Wardrobe’

And laughter goes to the heart of government. If one was at a cabinet meeting (with an equal number of men and women around the table – we can dream) and let’s say one cabinet minister got up to go to the ladies and God forbid their skirt was caught in their knickers – the person who acknowledged this would be the one to win the next argument. Laughter is honest. It’s trustworthy and shows a generosity of spirit. Repression is suspect.

Surely a photograph of someone roaring with laughter is more compelling than someone roaring in the act of orgasm, eating a brownie or falling over drunk.... If on the other hand you can find someone who can do all three at once – I’m interested.

Helen Lederer

Actress, Writer and Comedian., -

After a degree in Sociology, half an MA in Criminology, there followed in later life two doctorates which I was more than grateful to receive without having to do anything. Somewhere in the middle I did the stuff at the Central School of Speech and Drama before the stand-up comedy. So then I wrote and performed my stuff at London's famous Comedy Store as part of the early 80's comedians including French and Saunders, the late Rik Mayall and Harry Enfield. Guested on ITV's Saturday Night Live and got as far as Montreal for the first Just for Laughs Comedy Festival along with Lenny Henry. (My only worry is I may not have name dropped yet...) TV such as Ab Fab, Naked Video, Happy Families, One Foot in the Grave made me think twice before swearing in the street over a dropped bank note in case someone noticed. I still continue to do stand-up and recently had a sell-out run at the St. James Theatre with my own show Why The Fuss? Am acting when jobs come in, (Old Jack’s Boat Cbeebies with Bernard Cribbins currently) and sitting on spreading bum writing when not. New book Losing It published by Pan Macmillan is out on 12th February …Backside has spread on to two chairs it’s taken me so effing long…


Go to the profile of Katie Sootheran
over 7 years ago
Ahh, Helen, a woman after my own heart. Would rather laugh than cry here. I have had the corners of my mouth to the tips of my earlobes in laughter, cause I can sure find it. Hell, I look for it! I have have more bodily pain in my face and abdomen from laughing so intensely, tears fell way back before I busted the ribs...oh, to see the humor, to let it rip. to me, that is living. I know I am alive and kicking each day when I've felt my face twinge.
Go to the profile of David Head
about 7 years ago
Ha Ha, love it! laughter takes us into the present moment in a mindful way and helps us to connect with others. To me it is the spirit which underpins the laughter which matters most. When it originates from a place of insecurity and meanness, when laughing at others for example, it can diminish us. When it comes from a place of joy and abundance it connects us in a way which only orgasms and chocolate brownies can match (perhaps..:-)