Family Meeting: Laugh With Us

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Join us for a two-hour “family meeting” on laughter and its role in everyone’s life. Neuroscientist Scott Weems discusses why we laugh; Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere explains lessons from improv comedy to use every day, from good listening to maintaining momentum; stand-up comics Hari Kondabolu and Lizz Winstead talk about laughing at sensitive topics; and humorist John Hodgman judges the quality of your best jokes.

Why Are We Laughing?

Scott Weems, who has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA and is now the author of Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why, kicks off our "family meeting" on laughter by explaining why we laugh and discussing what a sense of humor means from a scientific and personal perspective.

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Improv Life Lessons, "Yes and" and Beyond

Improvisational comedy relies on team work, thinking creatively on your feet, and being open to new ideas. Charlie Todd, founder of the prank collective Improv Everywhere and a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, talks about the lessons you can learn from improv that apply in real life.

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When It's Okay To Laugh

Some of the best jokes are about difficult subjects, like politics. Lizz Winstead, a comedian, writer, and co-founder of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Hari Kondabolu, a comedian whose debut album is called "Waiting for 2042," talk about making political topics funny and where to draw the line, from immigration to abortion.

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John Hodgman Judges Your Jokes

You think you have a funny joke. Author, actor and humorist John Hodgman will judge it on its merits. Plus: he'll talk about the Ragnarok Survival Kit he has put together.

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We asked, you answered with your favorite laugh-out-loud moments. Watch them here.

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