April 09, 2012

Top Funny Websites? Filling The Doctor's Rx for Laughter as Best Medicine

So it's not exactly a secret that laughter is good for your health. Benefits include boosting immune function, decreasing stress, and even helping regulate blood sugar levels.

There are so few "to do" list items on any healthy living agenda that are pleasant and free! Well, aside from that obvious activity that happens in the bedroom.  (Oh, and sex... that's good too! But I meant sleep. And scoff not, youngsters... as hormones change, so, sadly enough, do priorities.)

Anyway, laughter has other practical benefits as well.  So maybe it's a good time to move "laugh more" up a few notches on your self improvement list?  So sorry about that, "floss more often" "eat more broccoli" and "do Tabatas twice a week."

We gotta go find us some giggles.

Stealing from Charlotte Again

Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment had an awesome post the other day on the importance of smiling and of laughter in improving one's mood. And it reminded me of another interesting bit of productivity advice from a cool book I've been reading. (Your Brain at Work, by David Rock; thanks Tim for the suggestion.)

Let's say, hypothetically, that it's Monday and you're depressed and unmotivated and having trouble concentrating on what you're supposed to be doing. (Gosh, imagine that!) A quick way to increase your brainpower is to boost your flagging dopamine levels. And what's one way to do that?

Immerse yourself in something high-minded and educational!

No?  Well instead, why not go find something funny and laugh at it?

Laughing can fake out your brain into a state of alert interest that can carry over into the task at hand, allowing you to dive back in to even the most tedious, pointless or punitive work assignment without feeling the need to slit your wrists.  Er... I mean, increased dopamine will help you rise to all the satisfying challenges your rewarding fulfilling job has to offer, so you can be the best employee ever!

But trying to order up a quick hit of laughter can be tricky.  Walking up to the asshat senior VP with the hideous comb-over, overpowering cologne and bushy nostril hair, peering right at him, and then bursting out laughing in his face because he's such a douchebucket.... may get your dopamine flowing but might not be the best your career move. Or spending 6 hours websurfing on Funny or Die looking for Funny and finding only Die? Well, it's better than xeroxing your ass and posting it on Facebook, but still there's still probably room for improvement.

In fact, wouldn't it be helpful to have some go-to websites for a reliably quick laugh already book-marked on your computer?  Yes it would, godamnit! But it's not something I've taken the time to do recently.  I've got a few, but Charlotte's post was a reminder that I need some help.

And ideas from other time wasting slackers resourceful media experts?

Charlotte, mentioned above, besides being consistently hilarious herself always finds good stuff.  She had me giggling over Ellen Degeneres clips like this one.  I don't tend to watch daytime tv, so I totally missed this--thanks Charlotte!

I also forgot about Damn You Auto Correct which can get me snickering, cackling, chuckling, and otherwise making a spectacle of myself when I remember to visit.

(Note: individual autocorrect excerpts are often off-color and may seem Not All that Funny out of context.  But beware: if you go to the actual site, the cumulative effect of so many humiliating miscommunications may cause unseemly snorting and increased risk of urinary incontinence.)

I love The Oatmeal, even when it features locker room humor or cheerfully disgusting lewd and violent pterodactyl videos.

Warning: NSFW!!!!

The Onion is funny sometimes, and the Daily Show often has good segments. But many of my former sources for humor are either kaput now, or, like College Humor or Cracked or Oddee (good for photoshop blunders etc) or Funny or Die or the Lolcat Empire (with spinoffs like Failblog) sometimes contain so many duds it's hard to find your way to snortworthiness.

And hey, with spectacularly coincidental timing, as I was writing this post I got an email introduction to a site called The Celebrity Cafe, which among other humor compilations has a list of 10 funniest dog videos and 10 funniest cat videos.

So here's one for the cat folks:

And one for the puppydog lovers:

There are also lots of funny bloggers out there like Bossy and The Bloggess, and no doubt many more I don't know about yet. But somehow I just don't make blog rounds like I used to.

So I'm on the hunt for ideas... I imagine there are lots of creative folks out there doing funny stuff and I'm too lazy to go out scouting.  Especially cool would be humor that appeals to women and not just college fratboys.  (Damn I miss Sarah Haskins in Target Women!) Though I can laugh at fratboy stuff too.

If you've got some good sites or clips, please leave suggestions and/or urls in the comments and if they seem like something other folks might like too I'll move 'em up to the main post.

Do you guys take humor breaks?  If so, where the hell do you go on the web to do that?

(Laughing donkey photo by: jaxxon. Farewell to Arms cartoon by Natalie Dee)


  1. Yes. Laughter is important. I visit lolcats every day, I love The Oatmeal (The Motherfucking Pterodactyl has stayed with me. It is brilliant.) and while she hasn't posted in a while, Hyperbole and a Half is pretty good.

  2. You mentioned The Daily Show, but not The Colbert Report, which I honestly find WAY funnier and far more consistently so. That's my go-to for a funny clip or two to boost my mood (I especially love the "Cheating Death" segments and the "Colbert Platinum" segments). I view it on Firefox with the Adblock plugin, so I don't have to sit through the wretched ads that show up in front of every clip :)

  3. Who doesn't like to laugh?? And thank God for the internet and all these creative people who make it funny for us. Two of my favorite cat videos are the one with the "British" cat cursing the printer and the two cats playing "patty cake."

  4. I love funny stuff...Damn You Autocorrect busts me up every time I go there. Mostly I just follow a humor trail, from some random funny thing posted, and see where it goes (to the detriment of getting "real" things done, oh well!).

  5. I laugh everyday when I catch my reflection in the mirror...but besides that, I really do love to laugh and I have a guffaw, it's loud and boisterous and will turn heads at restaurants but I don't care, I'm having fun and that's what life is about.

    By the way that dance dare video was hysterical as was the cat/dog ones.

  6. I am a huge advocate of laughter being great medicine. My two dogs are usually good for a chuckle or two through the day. Kinda like the video. Anywhere you can find a good chuckle is great.

  7. Ah, hyperbole and a half! Colbert Report! Kitty videos! And real life funny stuff--you guys are great sources of inspiration.

    Running off to goof off...er, increase my health and productivity and check out some links!

  8. For a real laugh, i talk to Bigger Girl. She's a hoot. It's nice having a built in funny kid.

  9. I was going to suggest damn you auto correct until I scrolled down and there it was in the post! As you say, the cumulative effect of them means that by about page 5 you end up nearly crying with laughter.

    Favourite funny blog is http://drgrumpyinthehouse.blogspot.co.uk/

    I love funny cat videos too :)

  10. You included an image from Natalie Dee in your entry - she and her husband Drew (Toothpaste for Dinner) are two webcomics that I check first thing in the morning Every. Day.

    I've also got a few of their t-shirts, so yeah, I'm a fan.

  11. I've recently started reading Damn You Auto Correct on my phone. It's embarrassing to be giggling helplessly in public. Gotta love any animal clip and Ellen's antics always make me laugh. I've not visited in a while (great, I'll probably waste some time, today) but http://www.engrish.com/ is often good for a hoot.

  12. You wrote one of the funniest blog posts I've read. It was about functional fitness.

  13. This one:

  14. Reading Cranky Fitness is worth a smile or two easily!

    I usually find several things laugh worthy every day!

    Watching a movie is a good way to alter our moods if we are not in our happy place I've found.

  15. Yup, you're always good for a giggle or two. :) Love autocorrect. My coworkers are also notorious for sending me mood enhancing articles/videos/photos. Their good like that.

    And today I could use it. Off to boost productivity!

  16. Ha Ha Ha I'm laughing now...and for sure its good medicine. Those were very funny videos and pictures.

    Sometimes when I'm lonely or depressed, laughing will make my world brighter.

    Thanks for sharing this article.

  17. Oh my GOD that Ellen dance behind gave me a nice ab workout. Total functional fitness!

    I am a laugh whore. Thank you.

  18. I would never survive without humor!! I go to many of the places you wrote about here! Great minds think alike! ;-) I love the Ellen ones with the Dancing & auto correct - so fun!

    I don't feel bad not reading "thoughtful or intelligent stuff". I don't mind that I watch fun TV shows. I get enough exercise to watch some TV. My mental health is more important & as crazy as I am as me, think how bad it could get without humor! :-)

  19. LOVE THIS.
    my workout yesterday was, indeed, LAUGHING.


  20. More great suggestions, thanks guys!

    And Lee, you are TOO SWEET!!!

  21. This is an absolute must for anyone having a shit day:


    Who can resist giggling babies?!

  22. Thank you for pointing out the functional fitness post! I totally laughed at that one. I wish I could remember the product now...but there was something I had to stop buying because I simply couldn't open it! I know. I am ashamed just writing about it.

    There were some great reminders here of sites I have long forgotten. I don't know The Oatmeal so I will check that one out.

    Poor Hyperbole and a Half. If you believe the traffic she was legitimately hit hard with some depression stuff (if you saw her last post I know I didn't laugh) but I love her library, especially the dog related ones. She has a real gift.

    I used to also be on lolcats daily too, but it has become a little harder to surf it seems - too much ads or animation? I can't remember now.

    Guess I will be putting off homework a bit longer...

  23. Oh god, I miss Target: Women so much. Sarah Haskins needs to come back and do more funny stuff for us so we can laugh while feeling feminist-ly righteous.

    Also, one of my favorites is Hyperbole and a Half. Allie is just about the funniest person alive, no lie.

  24. I have a dog, rabbit and guinea pig and watching them makes me laugh each day!

  25. Well, I think my blog is pretty funny. So you could check that out. But Wendi Aarons' blog is always funny, so check hers out, too. www.wendiaarons.com

  26. Hooray, more great suggestions! I'm checking out these links (and laughing) and plan to update this post before too long, and perhaps even on an ongoing basis, just so I don't forget myself!

    And wow, Hyperbole and a Half, how did I not know about that one? Off to the archives...

  27. Hyperbole and a half is the only blog that can reliably make me laugh uncontrollably until my face hurts and I can't breathe. (In a good way.) That's too strong a dose for everyday use.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  28. I'm late but thank you sooo much for the shout-out! I'm glad that you liked Ellen's dance dare as much as I did! And Damn You Autocorrect makes me laugh until I'm shaking and crying. (Which sounds not fun at all but is.) And I have so done this: "Or spending 6 hours websurfing on Funny or Die looking for Funny and finding only Die? "!!!! Love your funnies too:)

  29. I agree that laughter is such an important part of being healthy. I have even found that when I do not feel like doing my workout, I need something to get my mind off the impending doom. To get my energy back, and stay on track, laughter is the best medicine.

  30. http://bigfatideas.blogspot.ca/

  31. I just came across http;//www.hollywoodoutlaws.com and it is a very funny website! Lots of great videos, unseen footage of stand-up comics, comedy radio, and jokes! I think it should be included on your site!


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