Quotations about   laughter

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. Since the first two pass our comprehension, we must do what we can with the third.

Aubrey Menen (1912-1989) English writer
Rama Retold (1954)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Jul-20 | Last updated 2-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Menen, Aubrey

Everything is funnier in retrospect, funnier and prettier and cooler. You can laugh at anything from far enough away.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories, “Consolation Prizes” (2004)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Jun-20 | Last updated 23-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Palahniuk, Chuck

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) Belgian-English actress
“Hepburn Heart,” Interview with Dominick Dunne, Vanity Fair (May 1991)
    (Source)
Added on 31-Jan-20 | Last updated 31-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hepburn, Audrey

I really love language; it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and the delicacies, of our existence. Most of all, it allows us to laugh. We need language.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“The Art of Fiction,” Paris Review, #116, Interview with George Plimpton (1990)
Added on 28-Feb-19 | Last updated 28-Feb-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Angelou, Maya

Laugh if you are wise, O girl, laugh.

[Ride, si sapis, o puella, ride]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 2, #41 “To Maximina” [tr. Ker (1919)]
    (Source)

Quoting Ovid (unsourced).

Alt. trans.:
  • Laugh if thou art wise, girl, laugh. [tr. Bohn (1871)]
  • Laugh, my girl, laugh, if you bee wise" -- [16th C Manuscript]
  • Laugh, lovely maid, laugh oft, if thou art wise. -- [Anon. (1695)]
 
Added on 6-Sep-17 | Last updated 6-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Martial

“It’s not funny.”

“No, it isn’t, no more than everything else. Laughing is better than crying, though. When you can.”

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Promised Land (1976)
Added on 22-Feb-17 | Last updated 22-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Parker, Robert

Some folk have been clearly rid of such pestilent fancies with very full contempt of them, making a cross upon their hearts and bidding the devil avaunt. And sometimes they laugh him to scorn, too, and then turn their mind unto some other matter. And when the devil hath seen that they have set so little by him, after certain essays, made in such times as he thought most fitting, he hath given that temptation quite over. And this he doth not only because the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked, but also lest, with much tempting the man to the sin to which he could not in conclusion bring him, he should much increase his merit.

Thomas More (1478-1535) English lawyer, social philosopher, statesman, humanist, Christian martyr
Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, Book 2, sec. 16 (1553)
    (Source)

More often elided/paraphrased as "The devil ... the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked" or "The devil, that proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked."

C. S. Lewis used a mis-elided version as an epigraph to The Screwtape Letters (1942): "The devil ... the prowde spirit ... cannot endure to be mocked."

Sometimes given in the original (?) spellings: "The deuill ... the prowde spirit, cannot endure to be mock'd."
Added on 15-Feb-17 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by More, Thomas

The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Table Talk
    (Source)

Variations:
  • "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not go for texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."
  • The best way to expel the devil, if he will not depart for texts from Holy Scripture, is to jeer and flout him. [Source]
Added on 14-Feb-17 | Last updated 14-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Luther, Martin

Men are contented to be laughed at for their wit, but not for their folly.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
“Thoughts on Various Subjects” (1706)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Oct-15 | Last updated 22-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Swift, Jonathan

Even at the movies, we laugh together, we weep alone.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays (2001)
Added on 25-Sep-15 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Richardson, James

My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh, but my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) English comic actor, film director, composer
(Attributed)
Added on 5-Aug-15 | Last updated 5-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chaplin, Charlie

“Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. (I love that wonderful rhetorical device, “a male friend of mine.” It’s often used by female journalists when they want to say something particularly bitchy but don’t want to be held responsible for it themselves. It also lets people know that you do have male friends, that you aren’t one of those fire-breathing mythical monsters, The Radical Feminists, who walk around with little pairs of scissors and kick men in the shins if they open doors for you. “A male friend of mine” also gives — let us admit it — a certain weight to the opinions expressed.) So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
“Writing the Male Character,” Hagey Lecture, U. of Waterloo (9 Feb 1982)
    (Source)

Published in a revised version as "Writing the Male Character," Second Words: Selected Critical Prose, 1960-1982 (1983).

Usually paraphrased, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."
Added on 3-Jul-14 | Last updated 20-Dec-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Atwood, Margaret

The man who is unable to laugh at his god is a man who does not quite believe in his god. In the Middle Ages, when Christians were really Christians, the burlesque mass flourished, and even bishops took part in it. Today, with not enough faith left in Christendom to make a single martyr, a burlesque mass would end in a lynching — and Jews and Protestants would help pull the rope.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“Pertinent and Impertinent,” Smart Set (Jun 1913) [as Owen Hatteras]
    (Source)
Added on 19-Dec-11 | Last updated 2-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Mencken, H.L.

No day can be so sacred but that the laugh of a little child will make it holier still.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Aug-09 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Following the Equator, ch. 52, epigraph (1897)
Added on 4-Feb-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

Although my mother didn’t know anything about science, she had a great influence on me as well. In particular, she had a wonderful sense of humor, and I learned from her that the highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) American physicist
What Do You Care What Other People Think?, “The Making of a Scientist” (1988)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Dec-08 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Feynman, Richard

Your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug, — push it a little — crowd it a little — weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand. You are always fussing and fighting with your other weapons. Do you ever use that one? No; you leave it lying rusting. As a race, do you ever use it at all? No; you lack sense and the courage.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“The Chronicle of Young Satan” (c.1897–1900, unfinished)
    (Source)

Often paraphrased: "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." This is an (excised) passage from what was eventually posthumously published as No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger (1916).
Added on 3-Oct-08 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us?” (1899)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Feb-05 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) English novelist, letter writer
Letter (16 Aug 1776)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Walpole, Horace

And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
‘Tis that I may not weep.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Don Juan, Canto 4, st. 4 (1820)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Byron, George Gordon, Lord

Humor is just another defense against the universe.

Mel Brooks (b. 1926) American comedic actor, writer, producer [b. Melvyn Kaminsky]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brooks, Mel

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English writer
Lectures on the English Comic Writers, Lecture 1 “On Wit and Humour” (1819)
    (Source)

Sometimes altered to end "... and what they might have been."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hazlitt, William