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Humor and Laughter39:13

This article is more than 16 years old.

John F. Kennedy once said:

There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third.

What is American humor? How is laughter able to cross over the diverse populations of this melting pot of a nation? What constraints do humorists face today, with an economic downturn, a period of escalating international crisis, and (of course) political correctness?

We discussed these questions with professor emeritus Joseph Boskin, who recently spoke at Boston University on "Unheavy Humor in a Heavy Time;" Dorothea Keeling, who teaches a course called "Laughing At: Understanding Good Humor Seminars" at Boston's Urban College and at Brookline Adult and Community Education Center, and humorist Dick Flavin, winner of seven Emmy Wwards for writing and commentary, and teacher of courses on the use of humor and satire at Harvard University and Brandeis University.

This program aired on September 22, 2002.

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