Monday, February 21, 2011

Why We Laugh

Compedit ( is the home of Studies in American Humor, Old Series and New Series One

The essays on the site appeared in the somewhat too often irregular issues of Studies from 1974 to 1994. Studies is divided into two parts: the old series consists of three volumes of three issues each and was published sporadically from 1974 to 1981; the new series consists of seven volumes of varying numbers of issues for each volume and was published from 1982 to 1994.

There are at least a couple of essays on the humor of Robert Benchley:
In order to laugh at something, it is necessary (1) to know what you are laughing at, (2) to know why you are laughing, (3) to ask some people why they think you are laughing, (4) to jot down a few notes, (5) to laugh. Even then, the thing may not be cleared up for days. -- Robert Benchley in the essay "Why We Laugh -- or Do We?" published in After 1903 -- What? (1938).

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Robert Benchley Society

For more information about the Robert Benchley Society, local chapters near you, our annual Award for Humor, and our Annual Gathering, visit The RBS Website