Laughter is the best medicine

That saying has been around for a long time, usually invoked to recommend to people that they laugh off some problem or misfortune rather than letting it get them down. But recent research by a former colleague of mine suggests that there may be actual therapeutical benefits to laughter.

  1. Laughing benefits you neurologically.
  2. Laughing improves your physical health.
  3. Laughing increases your emotional well-being.
  4. Laughing benefits your cognitive function.
  5. Laughing impacts your social health.

This article brought to mind a 1968 hit song We Have Ways of Making You Laugh by Don Partridge that was about the benefits of laughter.

Partridge started out in life as a street performer (known as ‘buskers’ in the UK), a one-man band who played all the instruments with cymbals and tambourine using his elbow, bass drum on his back, guitar, and harmonica and kazoo with his mouth. It gave his music a very distinctive and raw quality. He was ‘discovered’ and then had a series of hit songs. He was well known in the UK and in Sri Lanka where I grew up. I do not know if his reach extended to other countries.

If you want to see how he did all these things by himself, here is a live performance of another of his hits Blue Eyes.


  1. jenorafeuer says

    Hunh, is ‘busker’ not a term used in the U.S.? It certainly is here in Canada. Heck, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) has a formal busker licensing program and several locations in subway stations explicitly set aside for buskers, and has had for some 40 years. The Toronto city government website even has a page outright titled ‘Buskers & Sidewalk Performers’ for the regulations surrounding them.

  2. Silentbob says

    I have to admit when I see guys like this I’m reminded of that Oliver quote where he supposedly said to method actor Brando, “did you ever think of just *acting* dear boy?”.

    Like -- did he ever think of just forming a band? With like other people? X-D

  3. Silentbob says

    @ Resident Troll

    Oh Hai! I’d thought you’d fucked off. I was just about to suggest an FtB wide party. In retrospect, I suppose Trump finally getting some mild repercussions and the most notorious troll on FtB doing the right thing and fucking off in the same week was too must to ask.

    Could we make it next week?

  4. Silentbob says

    Hopefully, obviously, my #4 contains a typo and is a reference to celebrated actor Laurence Olivier, not comic John Oliver (nor celebrity chef Jamie Oliver). X-D

  5. sonofrojblake says

    @7, Silentbob:
    Don’t worry, it was obvious that your reference to Oliver, rather than Olivier, was due to typing incompetence and poor attention to detail.

    It was equally obvious that your reference to method actor Brando, rather than Hoffman, was due to ignorance and laziness. Brando never worked with Olivier. In what I’ve seen described as “perhaps the most famous conversation in method acting history”, on the 1976 movie “Marathon Man” Dustin Hoffman had to act as though he’d been forced to stay awake for 72 hours… so he stayed awake for 72 hours, prompting Sir Laurence’s inquiry. But hey, Hoffman, Brando, whatever, you do you, and people will get used to this sort of thing from you. 😉

  6. Holms says

    #6 Sbob
    You think linking to a Monty Python video about laughter is trolling? Huh. Funny, given what some guy did in comment #2…

  7. brightmoon says

    Busking is legal in NYC . We’ve got incredibly talented people doing it in the subway including the mother of the actress who played Precious a few decades ago. Her name is Alice Tan Ridley

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