Calling all gigglers, cacklers, chortlers, and belly laughers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for. National Let’s Laugh Day is a 24-hour joke-fest on March 19 where we celebrate the uniting force of laughter. Brought to you this year by Laffy Taffy — the candy that has been bringing you and your family little bites of joy with jokes on every wrapper since 1971 — Let’s Laugh Day is a chance to have a chuckle with the ones you love (rubber chicken not required).
History of National Let's Laugh Day
Every year, on National Let’s Laugh Day, we are reminded to keep things light and pep things up with a little humor. If you have been in the doldrums for a while now, or haven’t been feeling too good, then you need to laugh the worries away and take it easy. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine, and it is just what the doctor prescribed for March 19!
Jokes have long been the best way to provide comic relief. The world’s oldest joke can be traced back to 1900 B.C. Laughter can also be contagious. This is why laugh tracks were added to television shows to cue when the audience is supposed to laugh and to indicate when a comedic scene happens. The first American television show to use a laugh track was in 1950, in “The Hank McCune Show.”
Where frowns cause wrinkles, laughing creates adorable crinkles that are good for the muscles. ‘Laughter yoga’ is now quite a popular activity, in which muscles of the face, abdomen, and lungs are engaged using laughter as the core exercise. Laughter also releases endorphins and lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body.
National Let's Laugh Day timeline
Aristophanes' brand of comedy included political satire and innuendo that would make Judd Apatow blush.
Standup becomes a regular form of entertainment in the Borscht Belt: a chain of summer resort towns in the Catskill Mountains of the Hudson Valley in New York.
Charles Douglass, a sound engineer, invents the laugh track, which becomes a standard in mainstream television.
Originally Beich's Caramels, these fun and fruity confections are renamed Laffy Taffy and sold under the Wonka brand, featuring a joke on the wrapper and making it one of the funniest candies in the world.
National Let's Laugh Day - Survey Results
National Let's Laugh Day FAQs
Why is World Laughter Day celebrated?
World Laughter Day is an event celebrated every year all around the world to raise awareness about laughter and its many positive effects on health, as well as about thousands of communities worldwide who practice comedy regularly to enhance wellness and general well-being.
What are the benefits of laughter?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Laughter can: Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.”
National Let's Laugh Day Activities
Grab some Laffy Taffy
With a joke on every wrapper, Laffy Taffy has more jokes than a comedy show. Pick up a bag and keep your family (and yourself) in stitches for hours.
Go to a comedy club
Like plumbing or dental work, comedy can often be thoroughly enjoyed coming from a professional. But that doesn't mean you should avoid open mic nights. Even a bad joke can be funny.
Watch some of the best comedies of all time
Hop on that streaming service and take a deep dive down comedy lane. With thousands of titles to choose from, there's a comedy for everyone. Even some of the older ones hold up.
Take our National Let's Laugh Day Quiz!
5 Funny Facts About Laughter
Laughter is great exercise
Laughing for just 10 minutes burns approximately 50 calories.
There is a whole science to it
The science and study of laughter and its effects is called Gelotology.
Laughter is contagious
The likelihood of people laughing in a group is 30 times more.
Laughing reduces the chances of getting sick
Laughing releases a hormone called HGH, which strengthens the immune system and fights germs.
You can’t tickle yourself
Because there is no element of surprise, your brain anticipates the tickling and therefore, you don’t feel ticklish when you tickle yourself.
Why We Love National Let's Laugh Day
Do you even know anyone who DOESN’T laugh?
77% of Americans think they are funny, and 96% of Americans like to make other people laugh. We all like to laugh, at ourselves, and at each other. 55% of Americans even laugh when they are alone.
Laughter is the best medicine
Studies have shown that laugher is a stress reliever and a whopping 95% of Americans agree, saying it relieves their stress. The unique brain chemistry that comes from laughter can also boost your immune system.
There are so many types of laughter
There are almost as many types of laughter as there are things to laugh at. At 30%, the most common laugh in the U.S. is the giggle. But at National Today, we're howlers all the way.
National Let's Laugh Day dates