Episode 7 Mirth | The Feelings Lab

Published on Nov 9, 2021

In this week's episode of The Feelings Lab, we discuss the emotion of mirth. Join our recurring hosts Dr. Alan Cowen, Danielle Krettek-Cobb, and Matt Forte with humorist, best-selling author, and The Daily Show alum actor John Hodgman, the host of the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

Shakespeare once said, “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." With our episode on mirth, we celebrate aging gracefully with laughter and amusement. Did mirth peak in the 1800's? What are the different flavors of mirth? Does Jon Stewart really compliment a joke as "very funny" with a totally straight and unamused face? Tune in to find out!

Begin with a brief history lesson—did you know the use of the word "mirth" peaked around the 1820s? Best-selling author and comedic actor John Hodgman isn't surprised! Here, he sarcastically riffs about a time full of strife and dramatic change marked by the "end" of mirth in our familiar vocabulary.

Next hear Dr. Alan Cowen describe the many flavors of amusement and how amusement mixes with other emotions to form unique laughter responses. Humorist John Hodgman shares his experience with one such flavor: in the world of comedy writing, one often hears sincere commentary from other comedians in the form of "yeah, that's funny".... comically devoid of any laughter.

Then, hear our hilarious and insightful guest share his thoughts on how jokes are simply short stories that help us to form social cohesion, create a sense of history, and distract us from the darkness of life.

All this and more can be found in our full episode, available on Apple and Spotify

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