„it is always a genial laughter. Not at mere weakness, at misery or poverty; never. No man who can laugh, what we call laughing, will laugh at these things. It is some poor character only desiring to laugh, and have the credit of wit, that does so. Laughter means sympathy.“
„Happy in the time of Jesus were those who wept! Happy, now, are those who can laugh, because laughter is the attribute of man, as the great prophet of the Renaissance, Rabelais, said. Laughter is forbearance; laughter is philosophy. The heavens clear when they laugh, and the great secret of divine omnipotence resides in an eternal smile!“
— Eliphas Levi French writer 1810 - 1875
Book Two: The Royal Mystery or the Art of Subduing the Powers, Chapter V: The Outer Darkness
— Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish journalist, Nobel Prize-winning novelist, and philanthropist 1846 - 1916
Petronius, in Ch. 2
„Icke: The best way of removing negativity is to laugh and be joyous, Terry, so I'm glad that there's been so much laughter in the audience tonight.
Wogan: But they're laughing at you. They're not laughing with you.
Icke: I don't care.“
— David Icke English writer and public speaker 1952
Interview with Terry Wogan, ibid.
— Wendell Berry author 1934
"Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" in Farming: A Hand Book (1970).
„Canned laughter: After some supposedly funny or witty remark you can hear the laughter and applause included in the soundtrack of the show itself - here we have the exact counterpart of the Chorus in classical tragedy; it is here that we have to look for 'living Antiquity.' That is to say, why this laughter? The first possible answer - that it serves to remind us when to laugh - is interesting enough, because it implies the paradox that laughter is a matter of duty and not of some spontaneous feeling; but this answer is not sufficient because we do not usually laugh. The only correct answer would be that the Other - embodied in the television set - is relieving us even of our duty to laugh - is instead laughing for us. So even if, tired from a hard days stupid work, all evening we did nothing but gaze drowsily into the television screen, we can say afterwards that objectively, through the medium of the other, we had a really good time.“
— Slavoj Žižek Slovene philosopher 1949
„Perhaps his laughter saved them — it must be difficult to shoot a laughing man: you have to feel important to kill.“
— Graham Greene English writer, playwright and literary critic 1904 - 1991
— Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
„Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.“
— Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900
„I steeled myself against laughter; I would rather die than laugh. I didn’t laugh, I did not laugh. But I died, I did die.“
— Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You
— William Gibson American-Canadian speculative fiction novelist and founder of the cyberpunk subgenre 1948
„Then, above all, the English people have a curious sense of humour, rather than wit. Humour comes from the heart; wit comes from the brain. We can laugh at ourselves. Do you remember what Ruskin said? "The English laugh is the purest and truest in the metals that can be minted," and indeed, only Heaven can know what the country owes to it. Well, laughter is one of the best things that God has given us, and with hearty laughter neither malice nor indecency can exist. And of all men who have shown us what that laughter can mean, none was like Dickens, every one of whose characters is English to the marrow; and if I might mention a living writer, I think the truest Englishmen are found in Mr. Priestley's novels.“
— Stanley Baldwin Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1867 - 1947
Broadcast from London (25 September 1933), quoted in This Torch of Freedom (1935), p. 13.
— Amanda Palmer American punk-cabaret musician 1976
Context: I still get laughed at but it doesn't bother me, I'm just so glad to hear laughter around me. Do You Swear to Tell the Truth the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth So Help Your Black Ass (2010)