PLEDGE NOW
The Science Of Laughter

Giggles, chortles, twitters and full-on guffaws – we’ll look at the science of laughter. We need it!

Guffaw (lintmachine/Flickr)

Guffaw (lintmachine/Flickr)

To laugh is human.  It’s also chimpanzee.  Maybe that’s why we laugh.  A gift of evolution.  We giggle, we chortle, we belly laugh, we howl.  When we’re kids, we roll on the floor with laughter.  As adults we laugh for all kinds of reasons:  to schmooze, to rejoice, to flatter, to seduce.  To just let it rip, let it roll, at life’s absurdity.

Life’s humor.  Behind the guffaws, there is a science of laughter.  We’ve got a laughter guru with us today.  While you’ve been laughing, he’s been listening.  Learning.

This hour, On Point:  laughter, and the science of laughter.  What the yuks are all about.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Provine, Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he is Assistant Director of the Neuroscience Program. He’s the author of  Laughter: A Scientific Investigation.

Sue Gillan, a Second City alumni and actor and director.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

MSNBC “Laughter is part of the universal human vocabulary. All members of the human species understand it. Unlike English or French or Swahili, we don’t have to learn to speak it. We’re born with the capacity to laugh. ”

Video: YouTube Baby Laughing Sensation

This video of a baby laughing hysterically has been viewed more than 12 million times.

Video: Cracking the Code of Laughter

Check out this video of Robert Provine at the Chicago Humanities Festival in 2010 talking about the latest in laugh research.

Video: I Love To Laugh

Here’s a video of the song I Love To Laugh, from the 1964 film Mary Poppins.

Playlist

The Okeh Laughing Record by Otto Rathke

I Love to Laugh by Dick van Dyke, Ed Wynn, Julie Andrews

Make Em’ Laugh by Glee Cast Version

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 1, 2015
In this June 26, 2015, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Obama administration will propose requiring overtime pay for workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week, three individuals familiar with the plan said Monday, June 29. (AP)

Five million workers may qualify for overtime pay. We’ll look at the plan and the pushback.

Jul 1, 2015
In this file photo, a statue stands at the entrance to the women-only Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, N.Y., Wednesday, March 28, 2012.  (AP)

Babies born in prison. The numbers are growing. What’s best for baby? We’ll take a closer look.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 30, 2015
In this image provided by NASA/JSC, astronauts Steven L. Smith and John M. Grunsfeld are photographed during an extravehicular activity (EVA) during the December 1999 Hubble servicing mission of STS-103, flown by Discovery. The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA'S crowning glories, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Global plans for outer space. We’ll look around the world at who has what agendas for out there.

 
Jun 30, 2015
People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the plant, bottom right, reading ''NO'' in Athens, Tuesday. It's crunch time for Greece, with the European part of its international bailout expiring Tuesday. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Greece closes its banks as debt negotiations reach a crisis point. We hear the latest on the debt crisis and its threat to the Eurozone.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments