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The Psychology of Laughter

By Ion Saliu, Hilariously At-Large

The psychology of laughter, laughing.

Authored on August 22, 2007.

You might have noticed my uncontrollable fun, lately: BRRRRRRRRAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That's deadly hilarious laughter, I'm telling you! It has been a combination of factors that moved me back in time. I had laughed in that style many years back. It had triggered uncontrollable reactions in others, on both sides of the Atlantic. Some people begged me to stop laughing like that. Some people had hard times breathing!

Am I fun-loving again? Perhaps. But my reaction (new to many) has roots in my past and also present.

The BRRRRRRRRAHAHAHAHA!!!!! form of irresistible laughter is not my creation. I have never known personally the originator of that laughter. I had assurances he was a real person — a maverick. Communism controlled every aspect of life, including how many new artists the society needed every year. Communist Romania had a national college of acting that accepted no more than 10 future actors per class. Ten new actors a year was the most the Communist regime of Romania accepted.

One can imagine how huge the competition was. There were thousands of candidates per one acting position. Aside for nepotism, those who were successfully admitted to the national institute of acting were something very, very special. One of the very few lucky ones was one Nae Croitoru (a similar name in English would be Nick Taylor).

I never knew Nae Croitoru. Evidently, he was a maverick. He was successfully admitted to that highly exclusive national institute of acting. Yet, he abandoned it! The communist art was extensively an ideological tool in the hands of the regime. The artists were, more than other social categories, the servants of the regime. They were in the front line of the ideological battles.

Possibly that Nae Croitoru grew disgusted with his role: An actor with the status of a slave. Something like the gladiators during the Roman Empire. So, Nae Croitoru withdrew from the national institute of acting to become a … tomb digger! He took a job as a tomb digger for the cemetery of the national cinematographic capital of Romania: Buftea!

He became notorious for his humor and laughter. Well-to-do people from Bucharest would go to Buftea just to hear Nae Croitoru laugh. They paid for his drinks — it was always many drinks, especially vodka.

I heard the Nae Croitoru laughter from others. I liked it. I adopted it. Most likely, I personalized it. In any event, many people would do a lot just to hear me laugh a la Nae Croitoru. It remained true even after I moved to the United States. My laughter hilariously affected White Americans, Black Americans, Hispanics, Mexicans… I did it once and my fellow Mexican farm workers rolled over the ground! Some were close to fainting!

Presently, I did my Nae Croitoru thing a couple of times. I saw one lady colleague laughing like being close to collapse! Which brings me to the second factor of my recent LOL. One of my male colleagues is also notorious for his explosive laughter. You'll hear him laugh terribly loudly a few times a day, every day, during the hours!

He has a disability that shows on his face. I know, his laughter bothers most people at work. It is disrupting. It bothers me, too, sometimes. But I realize immediately that my colleague's laughter is a great survival tool. His laughter tells, unconsciously, that, hey, he is not affected by his condition. Not only he lives, but he has a lot of fun as well. Actually, we can hear him say: “Oh, it's so early…and I am having a lot of fun already…” He punctuates his every sentence by a loud laughter! I learned a thing from that (funny) individual.

I remember also another case in the United States. I worked as a temporary employee in a food processing company. The lunch break was something I would always remember. There was one male colleague with an uncontrollable form of laughter. I know that form of behavior is incurable. That man would eat his lunch. He would be with three or four of his colleagues at the table, in the cafeteria. He would laugh as loudly as a bullhorn — continuously! No interruption! If someone at the table would say a one-word sentence — the Laughing Man would laugh uncontrollably! If someone at the table would say a two-word sentence — the Laughing Man would laugh uncontrollably! And so on… He was unable to say much, because of his laughter. I know, he speaks normally. I never worked close to him, but I am sure he doesn't laugh while working. Otherwise, he would be unable to hold a job. He would have to be confined in a medical facility. But, boy, o boy, does he laugh during his lunch breaks! I can't even imagine his dinner table, at home!

So, this is how my recent fun has begun:


Best of luck! Enjoy your journey!

Ion Saliu sings on YouTube:

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Read the Psychology of laugh.

The need of humans to laugh out loudly is natural.

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Laughter expresses a human need and a psychological tool.