The Benefits of Laughter

Could laughter defeat ISIS? If you were on an operating table, in need of a triple-bypass, might you call in a clown? While a P.O.W., undergoing torture, would all your suffering disappear when someone recited a decent knock, knock joke?

A logical person would consider all of the above absurd. Comedy is no panacea. And yet numerous cultures have found an integral place for farce and buffoonery. Chinese Emperors had…