Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Is laughter the best medicine?

Life is too short to be miserable, especially when you are over 60 and don't know how many years you've got left to enjoy yourself.  I had a great role model in my mother Joy, who certainly knew how to live up to her name.  No matter what life threw at her, she was able to laugh about it. When I think about my friends, the ones that I am closest to and the ones I feel most comfortable with are those who laugh at life and who can laugh at themselves.  Being with them always makes me feel better, even when life isn't going very smoothly.

Humour is of course a very individual thing.  Apparently when I was a child I would sit stony-faced when the clowns came on at the circus, and even now I don't really find slapstick humour funny.  I prefer situation comedies or humour based on strong characterisation.  I admit that there were slapstick moments in Fawlty Towers but the real humour for me came from the relationships between Basil, Sybil, Polly and Manuel.

Please don't bring on the clowns!

Although I'm not really a fan of Mr Bean, much preferring Blackadder, I did find Rowan Atkinson's contribution to the Olympics Opening Ceremony very entertaining.  I also enjoyed watching "Her Majesty" dropping into the stadium by parachute - that showed a very British sense of humour.

There have been a couple of times though when laughter wasn't what I really needed.  I had a hernia operation when I was living in Gibraltar and two male colleagues came to see me in hospital and "cheer me up".  Thanks, lads, when I have stitches across my stomach I really don't need you keeping me in stitches with your jokes!  A similar thing occurred when I tripped out running and had a muscular spasm.  One of my favourite comedies was on TV that night, but every time I laughed it hurt me, so I was sitting there trying not to laugh.

These are the exceptions.  At the end of the day nothing beats having a good laugh to make you feel healthier, happier and even younger.  Will somebody please put on the "Only fools and horses" DVD?


  1. I'm with you all the way here. Laughter is almost always a great medicine, but give me characters and situations that are funny over people falling over themselves or poking each other in the eye any day of the week.

  2. I'm also no fan of slapstick comedy but thought Rowan Atkinson did it beautifully at the Opening Ceremony. I love observational comedy, Victoria Wood, Billy Connelly and more recently Sarah Millican. Things you see every day are suddenly hilarious when someone with comedic talent talks about it. I do have to be careful not to laugh too much these days, it can bring on a severe asthmatic attack if I'm not careful. Then it goes from funny to scary!

  3. Cheri, I don't know whether you have seen the "Only Fools and Horses" sketch where Del Boy is trying to look cool to impress a woman and leans casually on the bar, not realising that the barman has lifted that section? It's one of the rare slapstick scenes that made me laugh, but that was in the context of him trying to impress.

    Jacqui, I totally agree with you about Victoria Wood and Billy Connelly though I don't really know Sarah Millican. I'll have to watch out for her!

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