Laugh While You Can, Monkey People

Continuing my foraging through 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, #36 is “Laugh.”  (Title reference is here, for non Banzai fans.)  Evidently, the act of laughing makes you happy or at least happier.  Since I already knew that laughing out loud reduces stress and boosts the immune system, I am not surprised about this happiness thing.  I think the key is the difference between being amused and actually laughing out loud so that you can hear yourself.  I’ve been amused by a lot of what I’ve read this morning but I didn’t laugh out loud until I hit the comments on the Alex Jones piece on the AV Club, where the commenters took up Jones’s deranged scream about liberals ending the world on Oct. 6 and began to organize the pot luck, worrying about buses, and thanking Jones for reminding them that the New Zealand he was speaking of was in the Pacific (to differentiate it from all the other New Zealands . . . ).  Also, the Illuminati bring their own crystal, the bastards.  Other sure fire laugh-out-louds for me are most of the farce Airplane!, the spit-take in Spaceballs (it’s at the 3:20 mark), and Mildred Natwick rolling down the stoop stairs in the otherwise awful Barefoot in the Park.  See also Bob Newhart’s psychiatrist and Tommy Smother’s pumas.    

So what made you laugh out loud this week?  Or just made you happy?  We do those moments, too.

66 thoughts on “Laugh While You Can, Monkey People

  1. I just went to Mamma Mia and loved it. It had some laugh out loud moments and plenty of lovely suspend your disbelief romance. Then I went dancing and that made me happy in a totally different kind of way. It was a great day and I’m still smiling a few hours later.

    11+
    1. The young versions of them were very likeable and in Lily James’s case very talented and Andy Garcia has still got it. Also I never ever thought they would get the song Fernando into the movie 🙂

      9+
  2. Airplane always reminds me of Big Bus, haven’t seen it in year and I don’t know anyone who’s watched it, but just remembering the plot always make me smile.

    Stockard Channing was in it before she became an acclaimed actress, it was a disaster comedy movie about a prototype nuclear powered bus trying to travel from New York to Denver, it is of the so bad it is good quality.

    3+
    1. I have not seen The Big Bus, but I have Head Office and I adore it. Terrible movie satire about big business but full of great comedians. And I just read through the quotes on IMDB and I realize they must have based the dead guy on Donald Trump. Seriously.

      “Pete Helmes: [pointing out landmarks from the helicopter] Colonel, that construction, that’s us. That, that, I own all that. There, those two towers there. This one, over here, this one. Twenty years ago I came to this town, I had less than forty-three million dollars in my pocket. Now… I own all this. That’s America, Colonel.”

      8+
      1. Head Office (warning: it’s not a good movie) was made in 1985 and has this exchange in it, about a senator two execs are trying to buy:

        Bob Nixon: [as he hands Dantley papers] Yes, sir. He’s, uh, Washington’s strongest supporter of big business: that’s his voting record. We’ve contributed a hundred fifty thousand to his last campaign, and laundered it through our Mexican banks: these are the canceled checks. His wife is a heavy boozer: those are copies of her liquor store bills. He’s having an affair with a DC hooker named Kitten Davis: those are the Polaroids. He’s been bribed by all the major oil companies: these are telephone transcripts. And of course, the standard men’s room shots.
        Scott Dantley: Fine.
        Bob Nixon: And his son’s graduation is this morning.
        Scott Dantley: Perfect.

        His son is the hero of the movie, an amiable doofus who does the right thing. The heroine is basically Ivanka Trump if she was an activist working against her father. Maybe a smart angry Tiffany?

        6+
  3. Reading some of the excerpts from Bob Woodward made me laugh, but it was either laugh or cry and I had at least poured myself a big glass of wine beforehand. Maybe we’ll call it a dryly amused chuckle.

    Honestly, it’s a cliche, but my kids make me laugh. Especially the six-year-old b/c he is a little ham. He will do anything for a laugh and I can definitely relate. He also makes me laugh when he’s serious. One of his favorite phrases he’s stolen from adults lately is “If my math is correct . . .” cracks me up every time.

    15+
  4. This is completely mean of me, but I had bad neighbors on Friday. Security finally came and told them to shut the hell up at about three AM but until then, they were partying like they were the only people in the world. (I live in a van, I’m currently in a campground on Prince Edward Island.) This morning, they were packing up to leave when it was barely light — also noisily, but I get up with my dog so I was up already. I watched them go, wondering what their deal was, and then I realized they were wearing shorts, breathing on their hands, red noses turning purple. It got cold in the night, down to the low 40s, and I bet they weren’t prepared for it. Nature gave me my revenge! Now I’m sitting on my bed, looking out the window where they were, at a gorgeous view of golden light through pine trees. It’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but it does amuse me, and my view does make me happy!

    12+
    1. Thanks for this. We are heading to the Maritimes for two weeks this Saturday and have never been there before. And we are having 70 to 80 degree weather here with the low 60’s at night. It occurs to me, after reading this, that we need to take a lot warmer clothing along than I would normally pack.

      5+
      1. I’m glad I could warn you! It was in the 30s this morning, with the weather app claiming the cold point of the day would be 52. I never understand why the weather apps don’t notice their own mistakes. It’ll be nice during the day, but it can definitely get cold at night.

        1+
    2. Wow, revenge really is a dish best served cold! 😉

      (On a side note, as I read your comment and got to you living in a van in a campground, I thought, “Wait, this couldn’t be the Sarah Wynde whose Tassamara books I adore… it is!” So that gave me a bit of extra delight. XD )

      2+
  5. I crack myself up…

    Meme of dog making a scrunched-up face at containers of food in front of him with the caption “he hate the tomate”
    Commenter: Those are obviously cherries
    Me: He berry contrary about the cherry

    11+
  6. My dog Pepper Ann can be counted on to make me laugh out loud at least once a day. She is a shelter dog and they listed her breed as “Basset Hound” but there is no way she only has Bassett Hound in her DNA cause she has way too much energy. I call her my goofy girl and franken dog ’cause her proportions don’t really mesh, but oh my watching her run – that looks sort of like a gallop- gets me laughing every time.

    Also just an FYI: the world is not ending October 6. That is the date my daughter and new son-in-law are taking me to the Fleetwood Mac concert as their thank you for my help with their wedding. God just would not dangle that in front of me to snatch it away before my eyes… however I make no guarantee’s for after the concert is finished. 🙂

    12+
      1. Pepper Ann definitely gives me deja vu moments of Fred from Anyone But You. Especially when Nina is first bringing him home and thinks… part Basset Hound… part lead ass!

        1+
  7. I have spent the the last half an hour talking with DS about the women’s final at the US open. He plays tennis and watched the match. He has v strong opinions about what happened and I was suggesting there was another point of view. In the past, this type of discussion would have devolved into a yelling match – DS tends to be v black and white. I’m happy that we can now have discussions about issues we both feel strongly about.

    I watched a Facebook video about a grandmother reading her grandson a very silly book. I didn’t have the sound on but her reactions were so funny, I couldn’t help laughing too.

    5+
    1. I don’t know who was on what side, but whoever took Serena’s side, I’m with her/him. That was a ridiculous penalty and spoiled the match for both sides. The winner was crying, for heaven’s sake.

      10+
      1. This made my day. Thank you for sharing!
        I can recite this bloody book cover to cover, so nice to feel some love for it again.

        0
  8. I always knew we could be friends in real life because of the obscure movies your characters like are always my favorites (American Dreamer anyone) in fact I’m going to wa5ch Big Trouble in Little China because of Dogs and Godesses. It’s the only one mentioned in any of your books I havnt seen. But now you’ve quoted Buckaroo Banzai and my cup runeth over. As for what has made me laugh. Caught Whays Up Doc on tv.. Havnt seen it in years. Still funny.

    3+
      1. Just watching the scene with the guys carrying the plate glass across the street makes me howl every time.

        Also, the hippo sitting down on the bench in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

        4+
      2. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” while Streisand bats her eyes.

        I love that movie. I think it’s also the first movie I saw Madeline Kahn & Kenneth Mars in.

        0
  9. I’m on vacation and spent a week having a lovely time with a friend.
    Now I’m off to Disneyland tomorrow…

    4+
  10. My laugh-out-loud this week was from the Ellen Degeneres show with Cher. The bit where they showed a clip called “Unreleased footage of Ellen in Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time video.” Funny but also well cut and Ellen does fab job of blending in. Definitely smile/laugh-worthy for anyone who likes Cher/Ellen:)

    4+
  11. Everyone around me seems to be have had a bummer week for completely unrelated reasons. Nevertheless, there were good things – working on a shawl pattern that kept making me say “you want me to do what????” followed a minute later by “oh, yeah, that make sense now”. Really funny thing is that I have made this pattern once before, and don’t remember having this reaction to the instructions. And I did some good deeds. And I ate chocolate.

    5+
  12. Yesterday I was panicked because it was clear that Aubrey, my cat, is still losing weight and on top of that was very lackluster. We upped his meds and this morning he ate a whole bunch, has picked a fight with his brother twice and indicated to the neighbor’s cat who he usually ignores that this house isn’t big enough for both of them and to GET OUT RIGHT NOW. Here’s this stick thin cat screaming as though he could take on the world. I laughed as I put the neighbor’s cat out.

    8+
  13. There is a very old Andy Griffith service comedy called NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS that I still think is one of the funniest movies ever made. The latrine inspection scene makes me fall off the couch laughing every time I see it.

    5+
  14. I have to add The Gods Must be Crazy to the list. And I second American Dreamer. Both make me laugh out loud. As to laugh aloud books, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat is probably the funniest book I have ever read.

    3+
  15. Oh lord, I’d forgotten how much I love the Smothers Brothers. That made me laugh and gave me a great flashback to my childhood.

    I also had friends over for dinner last night. That made me happy.

    4+
  16. I still laugh just thinking about the stupidest man in the world from Ruthless People. More recently, there was Jumanji and the nerdy skinny kid in the body of Dr. Smolder Bravestone (The Rock) turning away from the group and telling himself, “Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry). Silly, but had us laughing like crazy.

    7+
    1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was the movie I didn’t know I needed in my life until I saw it. I loved The Rock being the nerdy skinny kid, but watching Jack Black being a teenage girl makes me crack up every time.

      0
    2. I remember the Stupidest Man in the World, I was on an red eye to Germany, starting a big adventure. I was the only person awake, and I was laughing hysterically.

      0
  17. Anyone with little ones should check out “The Book with No Pictures” by BJ Novak (Ryan from The Office). It is truly hilarious, for me and for toddler (and him laughing always makes me laugh, too, of course).

    My newborn has also recently learned to laugh, a send that is a source of pure joy. 💛

    11+
  18. Amuses me that I have to be the one to follow: “My newborn has also recently learned to laugh, a send that is a source of pure joy. 💛”

    I don’t much laugh out loud. I chuckle to myself. Or quirk the side of my mouth up in appreciation of cosmic irony. In my defense, I am mostly always happy and in touch with that state.

    I did laugh decades ago. Slapstick scenes in the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

    4+
  19. My husband and I enjoy “Life in Pieces”. Most episodes are humorous, with some genuine laugh out loud inanity. Try googling “Jen’s Bee Hole” – it’s what got my husband hooked on the show.

    1+
  20. I had to laugh this weekend watching YouTube videos of funny parrots. Especially the funny parrots annoying cats. Both sides made me howl.

    2+
  21. I just finished my *Flight of the Conchords* DVDs. Songs like “Business Time” and the one about sneakers not seeming to be any cheaper crack me up every time, and make me groove. Kind of bittersweet.

    Also, just watched Paul McCartney and Jimmy Fallon pranking people on the elevator. Now there’s something that is just pure and wholesome! No meanness at all, and loads of love all around. 2:50 of fun.

    Plus, my dogs are goofballs and my cats are lovebugs. All in all, a very happy sort of weekend. (And the electricity is on again! Oh, that’s 25 different kinds of joy in one, right there!)

    2+
  22. The Get Smart movie with Steve Carell is laugh out loud funny for me. The new “Spy” movie also made me giggle a lot when I saw it.

    1+
  23. We do laughter yoga, we start out with fake laughter and it quickly becomes real and quite unstoppable.

    3+
  24. My son has an infectious belly laugh. Once he gets going, he’ll have the rest of us laughing too.

    My favorite bit ever is from “Who’s Line Is It Anyway” with Colin Mockrie. Somebody walks on stage and declaims “Spartacus!” and there’s a really long seeming pause and then Colin responds “Phil!” I laughed for a solid 20 minutes when I first saw it. My husband used it to make me laugh when in labor with our daughter so she was born to the sound of us laughing.

    2+
  25. I trust the world is not actually ending on October 6 because that is our 17th anniversary and WTF.

    LOLed a whole lot yesterday. Went dancing, then out to dinner with long-time dance friends. Topics included friend’s brother’s complete his-own-fault shitshow of a divorce, why traffic on Thursdays is the worst, why malbec is better than super Tuscan (in context), etc.

    2+
  26. I’ve been away for four days visiting an old and favorite friend who lives too far away. (I’m way behind here, because I only went online to post pictures of beach and food and smiling friend, and then run away again.) We laughed together a lot, and can feel the healing… (the lovely Florida ocean helped too).

    2+
  27. Bill Dailey of I Dream of Jeanie & The Bob Newhart Show died this week.

    So I went and watched the last scene of Newhart and laughed and laughed.

    I did not try and find his Howard scenes but that will be next.

    1+
    1. Bill Dailey was so underrated. I loved him.

      Every now and again, my sister will say, “Monkey boy!” And the other night, for some reason, she said, “Big bootie,” and I said, “Big bootay! Big bootay!” (Another Banzai reference.)

      My sister laughing until she cries at something on Facebook or Instagram makes me laugh. I don’t know why she’s laughing, but I join in.

      My dogs make me laugh. They’re littermates and mutts, so we’re not sure what their background is. We did the DNA test and the results made us laugh because just, no. There’s clearly a good chunk of rat terrier in there, mixed in with something bigger — Janey looks exactly like a black and tan rat terrier, except she’s 42 lbs., twice the size of a purebred rat terrier. (And that’s 42 lbs. of solid muscle.)

      We have three plush squirrels, all named Rocky, that she loves. We keep them in a dog bed in the sunroom. When one of us comes home, Janey’s way of expressing her excitement is to run into the sunroom (which is off the dining room), grab a Rocky, run through the living room and dining room and then down the hall to my sister’s room, where she jumps up on the bed. She comes out, sans Rocky, about 30 seconds later for her belly rub. She does this every time someone comes home, and it’s adorable.

      She also likes to have a Rocky thrown from the sunroom to the living room, but only 3-4 times. Right before she gets to the Rocky, she makes this little bound, as if she’s going to pounce (but she’s always short of the mark). Her nicknames are Miss Thing and Sassypants, and she makes me laugh and laugh.

      5+
  28. I saw Juliet Naked and laughed a lot. Very clever British comedy.
    Working on Mom today. Wonderful funny script and equally wonderful writers. Laughing a lot.

    1+

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