Seriously… I’m not being ironic, I’m asking you, are you joking? Because why wouldn’t or shouldn’t you be joking? We know that being funny is not only good for those who are laughing at us but we the joker benefit from it as well. Humour is there for all ages, all cultures and in all languages, funny things are just funny things, since Ancient Greece it has been a tradition in Western Cultures to welcome humour in our daily lives (Hook & Grant, 1925)

And there’s just so many types of humour that can make us happy, and happy is a word that we should remember, after all, if a joke does not make us happy then it is not a joke. Rather it is an offensive joke. The academic literature on the association of humour and wellbeing is vast, how it helps with coping, with stress and a powerful antidote to pain as well (Bennett & Lengacher, 2008).

Let’s see some of these powerful antidotes to sadness, grief and pain:


Physical humour

This is straightforward, ever watched funny cat videos on YouTube, instant karma videos, people falling or tripping in, stumbling on something? This is the kind of humour where the act itself is the humour, think of Charlie Chaplin or Mr Bean. Some say a combination of laughter and a dose of vitamin C is all you need for a healthy life (Cousins, 1977).


Aggressive humour

This is the kind of a joke that is more than likely to be detrimental towards others, using sarcasm, cynicism, criticism at the expense of other people. It’s a bit borderline kind of a joke as it often applies racism and sexism, bullying and discrimination to name a few. Everyone witnessed or experienced this type of jokes, for instance, I as a Hungarian minority from Romania sometimes experience racist type of jokes, but I don’t take them seriously because I know it’s a joke. Moreover, some evidence suggests that aggressive humour help us to reduce the degree of anger (Liu et al., 2019).


Dry humour

This is the kind of humour that not everyone understands, it’s peculiar because there is an element of neutrality of emotions, but once the audience get it, it can be very funny. The only problem with this is sometimes people might not realize that you’re joking. For example, a few days ago I had a bad day and when I arrived back home my sister asked me how my day was, and I said to her I was hit by a car! No emotion, no facial reaction to my words, like someone with anhedonia, just pure words and facts. She just didn’t know how to react to my flat face, but inside I was laughing out my mind. When I have a bad day, I usually ooze dry jokes.


Parodic humour

This humour probably needs no introduction, this is the type of humour that emphasize imitation with mockery and exaggeration. It can be used towards anyone, but usually famous personalities like politicians, an actor or businessman. But poems, videos, movies and music can be parodied. Parodies can be used in health promotion sector, an article in the journal of Extractive Industries and Society (Veiga & Marshall, 2017) proposing parodic songs for policy makers to teach artisanal miners about mercury pollution, that’s clever.


Satirical humour

The grandfather of all humour, the most common type of humour and it is mainly used to shame people, societies, governments, corporations by making fun of them. But on the other hand, satire is one of the best types of humour to use constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to social issues. A good case in point is a late-night show in the USA (Zekavat, 2021) whereas the covid19 pandemic ravaged on, the showman used satiric attempts to change individual behaviour for health reasons.



We all enjoy caricatures, they are there to ridicule and make fun of serious works of art, literature, theatre or important people. And the emphasis is on seriousness, precisely that, why so serious? But it’s important that the audience knows the background of that work of art or important person, so they must have prior knowledge of them otherwise it might not be funny. Burlesque has been used by the scientific community to teach students in the form of scientific caricature to stimulate critical inquiry and to fuel debates (Clary & Wandersee, 2010).

So here we are, jokes are here to stay with us because they are fun to listen to and fun to tell in front of an audience. I really hope people will not become lifeless skin and bones in the future, who do not understand humour, it would be a boring world without smiles and laughter, wouldn’t you agree? Whether you’re into affiliative or self-enhancing humour, which by the way helps with coping in difficult situations (Cann et al., 2010) or aggressive humour, in order criticise the inefficiency of the government for example, it is good in many ways. In times of health and care crisis like now with all this covid pandemic, please don’t forget to tell jokes, to enjoy humour, to laugh at a good banter and all the jest that comes with that.


Bennett, M. P., & Lengacher, C. (2008). Humor and laughter may influence health: III. Laughter and health outcomes. In Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Vol. 5, Issue 1).

Cann, A., Stilwell, K., & Taku, K. (2010). Humor Styles, Positive Personality and Health. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 6(3).

Clary, R. M., & Wandersee, J. H. (2010). Scientific caricatures in the earth science classroom: An alternative assessment for meaningful science learning. Science and Education, 19(1).

Cousins, N. (1977). Anatomy of an illness (as perceived by the patient). Nutrition Today, 12(3).

Hook, L. van, & Grant, M. A. (1925). The Ancient Rhetorical Theories of the Laughable. The Greek Rhetoricians and Cicero. The Classical Weekly, 19(8).

Liu, X., Chen, Y., Ge, J., & Mao, L. (2019). Funny or angry? Neural correlates of individual differences in aggressive humor processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(AUG).

Veiga, M. M., & Marshall, B. G. (2017). Teaching artisanal miners about mercury pollution using songs. In Extractive Industries and Society (Vol. 4, Issue 4).

Zekavat, M. (2021). Employing satire and humor in facing a pandemic. Humor, 34(2).

Read more about Roland Majla and his other articles HERE

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