Quotes about laughter

A collection of quotes on the topic of laughter.

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Neal A. Maxwell photo
Groucho Marx photo

„From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend on reading it.“

—  Groucho Marx American comedian 1890 - 1977

To S J Perelman about his book Dawn Ginsbergh’s Revenge (1929), as quoted in LIFE (9 February 1962)

Bob Marley photo

„Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.“

—  Bob Marley Jamaican singer, songwriter, musician 1945 - 1981

David Icke photo
Xenophon photo
Gloria Steinem photo

„You can compel love, actually, if somebody is isolated and dependent — it’s like the Stockholm syndrome. But you can’t compel laughter. It happens when two things come together and make a third unexpectedly.“

—  Gloria Steinem American feminist and journalist 1934

The Humanist interview (2012)
Context: There were never that many women stand-up comics in the past because the power to make people laugh is also a power that gets people upset. But the ones who were performing were making jokes on themselves usually and now that’s changed. So there are no rules exactly but I think if you see a whole group of people only being self-deprecating, it’s a problem.
But I have always employed humor, and I think it’s absolutely crucial that we do because, among other things, humor is the only free emotion. I mean, you can compel fear, as we know. You can compel love, actually, if somebody is isolated and dependent — it’s like the Stockholm syndrome. But you can’t compel laughter. It happens when two things come together and make a third unexpectedly. It happens when you learn something, too. I think it was Einstein who said he had to be careful when he shaved because if he thought of something suddenly, he’d laugh and cut himself.
So I think laughter is crucial. Some of the original cultures, like the Dalit and the Native American, don’t separate laughter and seriousness. There’s none of this kind of false Episcopalian solemnity.

Cyrano de Bergerac photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„What can be considered human emotions? Surely not only lyricism, sadness, tragedy? Doesn't laughter also have a claim to that lofty title? I want to fight for the legitimate right of laughter in "serious" music.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich Russian composer and pianist 1906 - 1975

From an article in Sovetskoye Iskusstvo, November 5, 1934; translation from Laurel Fay Shostakovich: A Life (2000) p. 77.

Georg Trakl photo

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Jean Vanier photo

„The great thing about people with intellectual disabilities is that they’re not people who discuss philosophy… What they want is fun and laughter, to do things together and fool around, and laughter is at the heart of community.“

—  Jean Vanier Canadian humanitarian 1928 - 2019

The Gift of Living With the Not Gifted http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-gift-of-living-with-the-not-gifted-1428103079 Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2015
From interviews and talks

Wisława Szymborska photo

„I remember it so clearly —
how people, seeing me, would break off in midword.
Laughter died.“

—  Wisława Szymborska Polish writer 1923 - 2012

"Soliloquy for Cassandra"
Poems New and Collected (1998), No End of Fun (1967)
Context: I remember it so clearly —
how people, seeing me, would break off in midword.
Laughter died.
Lovers' hands unclasped.
Children ran to their mothers.
I didn't even know their short-lived names.
And that song about a little green leaf —
no one ever finished it near me.

„The laughter of the aphorism is sometimes triumphant, but seldom carefree.“

—  Mason Cooley American academic 1927 - 2002

City Aphorisms, Sixth Selection (1989)

George Santayana photo
Frida Kahlo photo
Padre Pio photo

„Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.“

—  Padre Pio Italian saint, priest, stigmatist and mystic 1887 - 1968

Jim Butcher photo
Tristan Corbière photo

„From Pamplona, I'm the loon
scared of the laughter of the cunning Moon,
under the crepe of world-pain that won't pass…
For – o terror! – all is under a jar of glass.“

—  Tristan Corbière French poet 1845 - 1875

Je suis le fou de Pampelune,
J'ai peur du rire de la Lune,
Cafarde, avec son crêpe noir...
Horreur ! tout est donc sous un éteignoir.
Heures, http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Heures second stanza, from Les Amours jaunes (1873).

Osamu Tezuka photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“