Medicine? Glue? Healer? Laughter is the best … what?
Everyone will fill in the blank differently when faced with the open-ended question of, “Laughter is the best …” but most everyone can agree: Laughter is definitely “the best.”
What is it about laughter that makes us treasure it so?
Practicing rabbi and stand-up comedian Bob Alper knows a few things about laughter. If he can coax a grin, chuckle or a full-bodied laugh out of someone — whether he’s performing or just travelling — his day gets the same kind of lift that he just provided.
And repeatedly, after shows, jokes or a quip, he hears, “Thanks. I needed that.”
There are a few material perks as well. Instead of receiving the mid-sized car he reserved at a car rental, Bob worked his magic and was soon driving through a snowstorm in an all-wheel-drive Jeep with snow tires.
But the reward of a smile is enough. Making someone’s day is a fantastic feeling, to get them to look up from their work for just a moment and watch an invisible load lift off of them. Sometimes they’ll even sit up straighter and they’ll certainly be far more likely to return your smile.
He has healed entire communities with his laughter.
The scene: University of California, Riverside campus. The crime: few days earlier, hate slogans and graffiti plastered on bulletin boards around the school.
Out of nowhere, Bob, Jewish comedian, Ahmed, Muslim comedian and Susan, American Baptist. To put on the show, the students had to work together: Christian, Muslim and Jewish all together. The show, of course, was a massive success.
And over and over throughout the night, the comedians heard the same phrase, “Thanks. We needed that.”