What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
Genuine and innocent wit is surely the flavor of the mind. Man could not direct his way by plain reason, and support his life by tasteless food; but God has given us wit, and flavor, and brightness, and laughter, and perfumes, to enliven the days of man’s pilgrimage, and to charm his pained steps over the burning marl.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845) English Clergyman, Essayist, Wit
The more laws, the more offenders.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Laughter’s the nearest we ever get, or should get, to sainthood. It’s the state of grace that saves most of us from contempt.
—John Osborne (1929–94) English Playwright, Actor
It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
—W. H. Auden (1907–73) British-born American Poet, Dramatist
Him, who incessantly laughs in the street, you may commonly hear grumbling in his closet.
—Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) Swiss Theologian, Poet
In every job, relationship, or life situation there is inevitably some turbulence. Learn to laugh at it. It is part of what you do and who you are.
—Allen Klein (1931–2009) American Businessperson
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
Laughter is one of the very privileges of reason, being confined to the human species.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
There exists a kind of laughter, which is worthy to be ranked with the higher lyric emotions and is infinitely different from the twitching of a mean merrymaker.
—Nikolai Gogol (1809–52) Russian Novelist, Dramatist
A good, real, unrestrained, hearty laugh is a sort of glorified internal massage, performed rapidly and automatically. It manipulates and revitalizes corners and unexplored crannies of the system that are unresponsive to most other exercise methods.
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man … just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–81) Russian Novelist, Essayist, Writer
The loud laugh, that speaks the vacant mind.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Novelist, Playwright, Poet
From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There’s nothing worth the winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.
—Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953) British Historian, Poet, Critic
Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, they will never cease to be amused.
You know what I love, sweetheart? The thoughts that used to send us into deep depression—these same thoughts, once understood, send us into laughter.
—Byron Katie (b.1942) American Speaker, Author
Frequent and loud laughter is the characteristic of folly and ill manners; it is the manner in which the mob express their silly joy at silly things, and which they call being merry.—In my mind there is nothing so ill-bred as audible laughter.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.
—Bob Hope (1903–2003) British-born American Comedian
To promote laughter without joining in it greatly heightens the effect.
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) American Poet, Journalist
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
No one is more profoundly sad than he who laughs too much.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they find laughable.
Laughter would be bereaved if snobbery died.
—Peter Ustinov (1921–2004) British Actor, Playwright, Director
Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
What provokes your risibility, Sir?. Have I said anything that you understand?. Then I ask pardon of the rest of the company.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist