LAS VEGAS—There is no cheerier sound. I am proud, nowadays, of laughing, and grateful to anyone who makes me laugh. I’ve been told that it is a bad sign.
When we try to determine from what minor source of mankind device we can glean the greatest pleasure in life.
I agree with my colleagues that only the emotion of love takes higher rank than the emotion of laughter. We know that both emotions are mental and physical, and that the mental symptoms of love are wholly physical in origin.
It is not less ethereal, except that the physical sensation of laughter, always starts in the mind — from the highest planes of fantasy or the depths of silliness, it can only be rated accordingly to its intensity. It rejoices in bonds.
At the Coliseum of Caesar’s Palace last Saturday, there was a collective guffaw among 4,300 strangers (who went there for the specific purpose of being amused) with course peals of laughter. They convulsed as they watched Jerry Seinfeld.
But there is no dignity in laughter (there is much of it in smiles).
Laughter is but a joyous surrender, held in its throes.
What is the most precise among the accessories to the world we live in? From what inner sources does mankind derive the greatest and most pleasure in life from?
Most would say that only the emotion of love takes a higher rank than the emotion of laughter.
Why so? Both these emotions are partly mental and physical, whether it rollicks on high planes of fantasy or in depths of silliness, to be rated according to its intensity.
Jerry Seinfeld’s opening line produced a coarse peal of laughter. He found it impossible to get beyond the next two lines. The laughter had now increased to such a pitch that nothing could restrain it.
There is a state of inextinguishable laughter, even he could not resist the infection. His seated audience rocked and writhed in the grip of that shared rapture.
I couldn’t join it more than gently. He was chaffing without mercy. He had created gloriously much out of nothing at all, as echoes of that huge laughter came ringing in every aisle. Our laughter had now increased to such a pitch that nothing could restrain it!
His every word is a triumph of comedic creation, because the audience were kept laughing at and with him.
The mirthmaker had the power to convulse us. No printed page can thrill everyone to such extreme laughter.
He was inexhaustible and had staying-power in giving joy to his audience. There were no pauses of recovery.
His voice takes on a peculiar richness , while he develops an idea or conjures up a scene, he is mellifluous.
His mimicking has no rivals. He moves to a higher plane, imagines and creates.
He knows his world well — nothing human is alien to him. He is unerringly burlesque, his impositions are not limited by prose.
If a theme calls for a nobler treatment, he becomes a foundation of ludicrously adequate blank verse. No form of utterance is amiss. Nothing can stop him when once he is in the vein, while his audience is becomes more debilitated with laughter.
We equally laugh at and with him.
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