Author’s Log—Quarantine Date: thirty*mumblemuble*four.
The crew has been on lockdown for so long that time no longer has meaning. We are floating in an endless expanse of generalized dread and discontent, fear of running out of toilet paper, and varying degrees of anxiety. It has begun taking its toll on even this author: I have shaved my hair into a fauxhawk, I’ve shaved a slit in my eyebrow, I spend days upon days in my jammies, and I put on a full face of makeup for Zoom gatherings and making TikTok videos. Also, I’m fighting with my mental health and I’m constantly sleep-deprived as a result… which further messes with my mental health… which then keeps me from sleeping. So, you know, quarantine is going great!
If ever there was a time to seek out laughter, it is right now. Conveniently—if anything can be considered convenient for anyone in the middle of a global pandemic—we have the impetus to seek that laughter out today: it’s World Laughter Day!
Initially established by Dr. Madan Kataria in Mumbia, India in 1998, Laughter Day is an outgrowth of the Laughter Yoga movement. Laughter Yoga, taking a page from the facial feedback hypothesis, combines Pranayama and laughter exercises. Of course, now, World Laughter Day is observed by folks within and without the Laughter Yoga community. Aside from generally improving our mood, laughter has a wide range of benefits for each of us as individuals and for our community—and, goodness knows, we need both in this time of collective trauma.
This is what I look like basically all the time now. Who am I kidding? I’ve always looked like this. Now, it’s just *extra*.]
So, to help you observe this much needed day, I have done a lot of very serious and extensive research so that I may bring you therapeutic—remember, this is serious business—belly laughs. Are you ready? Okay, Dr. Funny Videos on the Internet* will surprise you now (*not a real doctor).
Few things make me laugh as hard as watching other people trying desperately—and failing completely—to not laugh. Whether it is the cast of Saturday Night Live fighting to not break character during a sketch or news anchors flat out losing it on air, I will always laugh: it’s the good kind of contagion.
Listen to Anderson Cooper fall into giggle fits and just try to keep a straight face:
This poor anchor just got saddled with a story that would make anyone laugh:
Sometimes, the story just sneaks up on you:
And these are two of my most favorite SNL character breaks—Kate McKinnon will never fail to make me (and Ryan Gosling, apparently) gigglesnort:
Of course, sometimes, you need some rapid fire funnies and that is where the internet truly shines: compilation videos on YouTube. Though Vine is no longer with us, some intrepid denizens of YouTube have graced us with compilation videos that will stand as tribute to Vine for years to come. Be warned, though: you may need to skip the compilation videos for now or grab some headphones if you have little ones nearby. Also, as is the nature of compilations, sometimes the same Vine will pop up in multiple videos.
And then, of course, there are the Try Not to Laugh challenges. I frequently pull some of those up when I’ve had a rough day and need to laugh. It’s the best of both worlds: rapid fire funnies and watching someone try so hard to not lose it completely. In fact, my roommate put me up to a Try Not to Laugh challenge but it was flagged for a copyright violation (weird because all the videos he pulled were from YouTube and hadn’t been flagged), so I can’t link to that. But! My favorite Try Not to Laughs, which I can and will link here, are from Markiplier and watching him try so hard to contain his laughter is one of the funniest things to me. As with the Vines, though, there’s some mature content and language, so be careful if you’ve got kiddos around.
The snoot drooped.
My very favorite in this video begins at 2:29.
See, even Dr. Fauci struggles to contain the giggles. Just let it out, Dr. Fauci—goodness knows you need to laugh right now too!]
So, that’s what I’ve got for you today. And if none of these tickled your funny bone, at least I’ve added some variety to your YouTube history and maybe—just maybe—our algorithmic overlords will see fit to bless you with funny content among the videos YouTube recommends for you. Here’s to finding reasons to laugh because we all need to—you too, Momma!
Stay as safe and healthy as you can, mentally and physically. And as always:
Lead photo credit: Disabled and Here Project