Laughter

You grow up on the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.

— Ethel Barrymore

You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches them tolerance.

— W. Somerset Maugham

Laughter liberates not only from external censorship, but first of all from the great interior censor; it liberates from… fear of the sacred, of prohibitions, of the past, of power… Seriousness had an official tone… It oppressed, frightened, bound, lied and wore the mask of hypocrisy… Thus, distrust of the serious tone and confidence in the trust of laughter [has] a spontaneous, elemental character.

— Mikhail Bakhtin

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

— Mark Twain

Laughter kills fear, and without fear there can be no faith. For without fear of the devil there is no need for God.

— Umberto Eco

A thing derided is a thing dead; a laughing man is stronger than a suffering man.

— Gustave Flaubert

When part of what you’re trying to get at is the truth hidden under a taboo, or when you want to nail a hypocrisy, laughter is a very useful tool. I want to show the painful side of existence, but there is no question I also want to make people laugh.

— Todd Solondz

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