Friday, March 11, 2011

No Joke: America's First Laughing Competition Guffaws Off Ground

It's no joke: The United States' first-ever laughing championship takes place Saturday in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and a few dozen gigglers, guffawers and chortlers will yuck it up in hopes of winning the coveted title of "California's Best Laugher."

We're serious: It's a laughing contest and the contestants will compete in events such as "Best Diabolical Laugh" and "Most Contagious Laugh" and face off in "Laughter Duels" to see who can make the other person crack up most.

And while just mentioning the contest is enough to make some skeptics start rolling on the floor in ridicule, it's part of a serious effort by Albert Nerenberg to raise awareness of the power of laughter.

Nerenberg is a self-proclaimed "laughologist" who started noticing the power of laughter while, inexplicably, watching Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts.Before all these fights, there is a stare-down and, many times, the fighters begin to spontaneously laugh," Nerenberg told AOL News. "They triggered laughter through eye contact and their proximity to each other. This is not uncommon."

Nerenberg decided to take the laughter to its inevitable conclusion by having contests in which people compete for the best laugh, rather than punch each other's lights out. ...

"I do recommend contestants eat a light meal before the contest and make sure to hydrate because you will be using a lot of energy," she said.

One of the potential contestants, Marcia Alter, is an accomplished laugher and says the key to laughing long, loud and hard is to "empty out the right brain so you feel a connectedness with everything."

She has some other advice as well.

"Yes, you should go to the bathroom first," she said.

via No Joke: America's First Laughing Competition Guffaws Off Ground.


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