voices in the family

How and why we laugh


Humor unites us – we connect with other people through laughter, and share collective struggles and confusions. It offers uncensored insights into our unconscious. Studies say that laughter can lengthen our lives and sharpen our cognition, but why do we laugh? Is it conflict about inconsistent ideas – something so wrong, yet inexplicably hilarious? As Mel Brooks asks, why is it funny when he falls down a manhole, when you do its tragic?

Our guests will be Bob Saget, stand-up comic turned tv Dad, and author of Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.

Scott Weems, cognitive neuroscientist and author of Ha! The Science of When and Why We Laugh.

See also: The Joking Computer.


Danny Tanner’s thoughts on Bob Saget’s new book

Comedian and television star Bob Saget is promoting his new memoir, Dirty Daddy, that divulges the secrets of his “Full House” days and his life before and after the hit sitcom. Saget tells The Reliable Source what his character, Danny Tanner, would think of the book. (JulieAnn McKellogg / The Washington Post)


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