Knock knock, who’s there? National Humor Month! Author and humorist Larry Wilde, who wanted to spread awareness of the therapeutic value of laughter, started this holiday in 1976. Laughter relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, and reduces stress levels (National Today found in a survey that an overwhelming 95% of Americans say laughter is a stress reliever.) The silly celebration kicks off with April Fool’s Day and carries on through with gaffes, goofs, and giggles aplenty throughout the month.
National Humor Month timeline
Comedy is king — yet again
Comedy's everywhere — especially on television. We're in another golden age thanks to the sheer amount of high-quality comedians out there. Amy Schumer. Dave Chappelle. Hannah Gadsby. That's just the beginning.
National Humor Month Founded
Comedian Larry Wilde starts the funny tradition of celebrating humor in April.
"Saturday Night Live"
Bill Murray. Norm Macdonald. Tina Fey. Jimmy Fallon. Need we go on? SNL has ignited careers and changed American comedy forever. And it's still happening!
"Mad Magazine" Published
"Mad Magazine" is a famous American humor magazine. It is silly and subversive, often making light of current events.
Charlie Chaplin Tickles the Nation's Funny Bones
The slapstick actor delights in silent films such as "The Gold Rush," "The Circus," and "Modern Times."
National Humor Month Activities
Play a prank
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But the second best way to flatter a loved one is by making them the object of a (fun) prank. You could start with a simple April Fools' gag, like putting all of your partner’s toiletries into separate inflated balloons. Or you could carry out a fun ruse throughout the month of April, like moving all of the living room furniture by really small increments each day.
Support a local comic
Everybody’s got a dream. For some people it’s to become an astronaut. For others it’s to compel large amounts of people to laugh at (with?) them. Who are we to judge? Show the hardworking humorists in your area some love by attending an open-mic night and sincerely cheering for their perhaps underwhelming but certainly courageous performances.
Host a laugh-in
Do you and your friends have a favorite funny movie? Perhaps there’s a film you quote back-and-forth incessantly. Celebrate National Humor Month by inviting your crew over for a night dedicated to celebrating the hilarious cinematic art that helps fuel your silliest bonding moments.
Why We Love National Humor Month
Humor is free entertainment
The best things in life are free, and that includes humor. Sure you can pay to see a great comedy show or go check out a funny new movie, but getting a good laugh really doesn’t have to cost a penny.
Laughter is contagious
What makes you open your mouth wide, is highly contagious,and isn’t a yawn? You guessed it — laughter! Studies show that just hearing the recorded sound of laughter causes our facial muscles to naturally form a smile, and that laughing with others can help you form stronger social bonds.
Laughter is the best medicine
Just because laughter is contagious doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Humor can be a great tool for coping with difficult emotions, slowing the aging process, and increasing overall satisfaction with life.