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Wise Words on Humor

Perspective on the power of laughter and wit.


When we laugh together, we are sharing much more than a moment’s pleasure—humor connects us, disarms us and reinvigorates us. What makes us laugh varies from person to person and culture to culture, but humor is a universal tool for communicating and understanding one other. These memorable words from influential people around the world and throughout history highlight the value of humor in all aspects of life.


“We learn best in moments of enjoyment.”
—RALPH C. SMEDLEY

“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.”
—LANGSTON HUGHES

“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

“The secret to humor is surprise.” —ARISTOTLE

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” —DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

“No mind is thoroughly well-organized that is deficient in a sense of humor.” —LANGSTON HUGHES

“What is funny about us is precisely that we take ourselves too seriously.”
—REINHOLD NIEBUHR

“I’m not funny. What I am is brave.” —LUCILLE BALL

“Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.”
—WILL ROGERS

“Humor is something that thrives between man’s aspirations and his limitations. There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth.” —VICTOR BORGE

“When humor goes, there goes civilization.”
—ERMA BOMBECK

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”
—PETER USTINOV