We all need a good laugh

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We all need a good laugh now and then — especially now. With the overwhelming majority of news today concerning the novel coronavirus I am constantly looking for distractions. If you spend all your time consumed with the doom and gloom that is around us it is easy to become worried and depressed.

One of the greats, Bob Newhart said “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”

Most of my favorite shows growing up were comedies. They included Gilligans Island, Happy Days, The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and of course M*A*S*H. Every Saturday afternoon I laughed at the antics of Abbot and Costello.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to laugh. When it comes to birthday cards I always look for one that makes me laugh.

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“I told my wife she was drawing her eyebrows too high. She looked surprised.”

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Nowadays it’s easy to laugh in my car — which is equipped with SiriusXM satellite radio. They have seven different comedy channels. There is a comedy channel to tickle anyone’s funny bone from redneck comedy to the classic comedy of Don Rickles, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and more.

There is even a comedy channel that is family-friendly with no bad language — Laugh USA.

After dinner and chores, each night before bedtime Connie and I sit down for some laughter on television. My favorites are Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld and the Big Bang Theory. Cheers is still on Nexflix. The other three I have on DVDs.

My prescription for a good night’s sleep starts with a big belly laugh. These four shows fit the bill, no matter how many times I’ve seen them. If I am fortunate enough to live until I’m 90 it will be because of laughter.

Netflix is known for its great stand up comedy shows that they have produced. Two of my favorites are Jim Gaffigan and Ellen DeGeneres.

But you don’t have to subscribe to Netflix for laughs. Youtube is full of great comedy.

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Q: Is Google male or female?

A: Female, because it doesn’t let you finish a sentence before making a suggestion.

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If there ever was a day to laugh it is today, April 1, April Fools Day, one of the most popular non-religious holidays in the world.

One of the most famous April Fools pranks was pulled off by the BBC show Panorama, on April 1, 1957, when they introduced viewers to a family of Italian spaghetti farmers. The show suckered many fools into believing that spaghetti was grown on trees.

Hundreds called in wanting to know how they could get spaghetti trees of their own, so they could enjoy freshly grown spaghetti from their garden.

In 1998 Mark Boslough reported that lawmakers in Alabama were legislating that Pi be redefined from 3.14159.... to, simply 3.

In 2015, Cottonelle ran an ad that introduced left-handed toilet paper for all the southpaws in America.

In 1994, PC Magazine ran a column about a bill that would prohibit the use of the internet while intoxicated. The name of the contact for the story was listed as Lirpa Sloof (spell her name backward).

Google loves April Fools Day jokes. Unfortunately, they have canceled them this year.

In my opinion, we need more reasons to laugh not less.

I remember one particular April Fools Day. It was Wednesday, April 1, 1992. Our former editor, Bob McKee was the prankster and I was the fool.

Bob had driven the van to Washington to pick up that week’s publication of the Republican. This was a time when color was not prevalent on the printed page of local weekly newspapers. When color was used it was just one color, usually red or blue.

That particular Wednesday we had ordered red for the front page. When I went to unload the bundles of newspapers from the van there was no red visible on the front page. I blew up — the printers would have to reprint the whole paper.

I was the butt of Bob’s April Fools joke. Only the top paper of each bundle was without the red ink.

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Why does a chicken coop have two doors? If it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.

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