Laughter & Comedy: Listening List

The holiday season is upon us and for many this is a time of joy and happiness. For others, the holiday blues kick in. Combine that with the chaos that has ensued since the U.S. Presidential election and it seems especially important to find ways to laugh. So, with that I have chosen LAUGHTER & COMEDY as the theme for this month. That being said, these podcasts aren’t necessarily funny….rather, they are an exploration of how laughter and comedy can contribute to both well-being and discourse. But, I do want everyone to laugh, so I’ve included a few YouTube videos that will hopefully do the trick.

Listen to these podcast episodes about laughter and comedy:
  • Studio 360: Can Laughing Make Us Healthier? Is the old cliché true — is laughter the best medicine? Kurt Andersen and Mary Harris, host of the podcast Only Human, go to a laughter yoga class to find out. Also, we hear from a neuroscientist who studies laughter and moonlights as a standup comedian. Comic Chris Gethard explains why he resisted getting help for his depression out of fear of losing his humorous edge — and how getting treatment transformed his career. And we find out when medical humor is — and is not — just what the doctor ordered.
  • Revisionist History: The Satire Paradox.  In the political turmoil of mid-1990s Britain, a brilliant young comic named Harry Enfield set out to satirize the ideology and politics of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His parodies became famous. He wrote and performed a vicious sendup of the typical Thatcherite nouveau riche buffoon. People loved it. And what happened? Exactly the opposite of what Enfield hoped would happen. In an age dominated by political comedy, “The Satire Paradox” asks whether laughter and social protest are friends or foes.
  • The Laughter Research Podcast: Laughologist – Albert Nerenberg.  This podcast explores the role which laughter plays in our daily lives and examines the truths and the myths around laughter. In this episode, host Glen Duggan interviews the director of the documentary ‘Laughology,’ which investigates how laughing can improve life.
  • Extra Credit: Let’s see if you laugh.
    • Videos of Doug Collins (aka the man with the most contagious laugh in the world):
    • Friends episode scene with Ross and the leather pants:
    • News anchor can’t stop laughing after interviewing Ryan Lochte:
    • The Office fire drill scene:
Conversation starters
  • Do you believe laughing can improve health?
  • Would you ever try a laughter yoga class?
  • After listening to these podcasts, have you considered trying to find ways to incorporate laughing into your life more consistently?
  • Do you think political satire is an effective way to start a conversation?
  • Does political satire resonate with you?
  • Did you find any of the laughing on the YouTube videos infectious?

Keep calm and laugh on! Laughter is the best medicine.

2 Comments:

  1. Thought this one would be a good addition…

    “LAUGHING DEAD is a podcast where comedians talk candidly about their worst ever gigs.”

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1155996030
    http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/laughingdead/

    First episode with Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani talking about his worst gigs in the Middle East.

    Huge fan of Revisionist History – thanks for including that one 🙂

    • Adela (Podcast Brunch Club)

      Thanks, Courtney! This is awesome. I love Maz Jobrani when he appears on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.

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