Lenny Ravich
Humor, Laughter and Finding the Funny

Humor, Laughter and Finding the Funny

October 6, 2022

Hi. I’m Lenny Ravich and am considered to be one of the top humorist keynote speakers in Hong Kong and London. Why consider? Decide already! Ok, ok. I decided to be.

I would like to talk about the vital importance of humor and laughter in our daily lives. I actually have more questions than answers, so perhaps we might open a dialogue.  I would love to hear from you.

Educating the Heart as Well as the Mind

Unfortunately, in some cases, the moment children enter school they leave their joy, playfulness, curiosity and creativity at the door. Some schools rarely accept behavior they find hard to control. Laughing, joking and playing in class are usually considered disruptive. Rather than making educational changes to fit the child, some schools try to make the child fit the system. Is it possible that new illnesses have recently arisen in order to label children (ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) so that the authorities might drug students to keep them in line? I don’t have the answer.

Schools mainly teach to the intellect while neglecting the heart through games, creativity and play. Could this be the best way to learn? The body remembers what the mind has long ago forgotten.

Is it possible that as we move away from that part of ourselves where joy flows freely we witness the phenomenon in our societies such as depression, loneliness, drug overdoses and a suicide among our youth that has never known such high dimensions? Again, I can only ask.

The Inner Child

Once we take back the permission to play, sing, dance and laugh, creativity flows spontaneously. Childlike curiosity and a sense of wonder abounds. All we need as adults is the permission.  There must be a way to recapture this amazing gift that we were given at birth. Steve Jobs’ last words to the graduating class at Stanford University in 2005 were: “Stay Foolish.” Great advice from the genius of our century.

In my 86-year life journey I can, with confidence, say that humor, laughter and creativity have been a survival kit in my 56-year marriage, raising children and my career as a humorist motivational speaker in Hong Kong and London.

Find the Funny

I was fortunate enough to begin seeing life as entertainment and looking for she funny things and the paradoxes at a very early age. This has saved me and kept me relatively sane and healthy. Humor is an attitude that must be developed over time and practiced. Once we adapt this approach, the funny things start to appear. An example of this was when I entered a coffee shop, sat down, and a waitress approached me and exclaimed: “Sir, you can’t sit here. This table is reserved for the manager.” Having developed a light approach to life I answered with a smile, “So that means I’m the manager. You’re fired.” She laughed and took my order. This method is like a muscle that must be exercised on a daily basis. However, it is essential to keep our responses respectful and avoid offending.

Humor is Innate

Everyone has a sense of humor. Some are more developed than others. Humor and laughter are survival tools that we were born with. Some families and schools encourage it and some suppress it. But the good news is you can be retaught and given permission.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Humor and playfulness are double edged swords. They can be used to rebuild what is broken, and on the other hand, to shame and destroy. Many hospitals in the west use medical clowns together with conventional medicine as a healing device. In psychotherapy we label it “Compassionate Humor.” When used to connect during the right circumstances it can soothe and prompt empathy. Many therapists agree that when their clients begin to learn to laugh at themselves they just might be on their way to healing.

It is slowly becoming more familiar that doctors and mental health professionals reveal their human side. However, there are some who indulge in “Professionalism Signaling” and over seriousness which could be masks that evade authentic contact.

I was a Gestalt therapist for 28 years. I loved the relational aspects of it.  Gestalt therapy is experiential. Creativity, playfulness, laughter and humor are part of the investigation when the situation calls for it. It has aided me in becoming one of the best inpirational speakers in Hong Kong and London.

 Loss, Grief and Humor

Physical and emotional pain are the foreground while humor is in the background. Grief does not eliminate playfulness and laughter even during dark times. Crying and laughter are both alike as cathartic releases, although some people have been taught that laughter is unacceptable during moments of duress and crises. Nonsense! In some instances, it can help relieve our suffering, even momentarily.

The Price of Taking Ourselves Seriously

I studied Laughter Yoga with Steve Wilson of the “World Laughter Tour”. I also belong to an organization called Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor”.  I have facilitated workshops and given keynotes there as well as in Hong Kong and London.  Seriousness is a disease (DIS-EASE). The worse thing we can do is take ourselves seriously. (I used to take myself seriously until I realized that no one else did.) Healthy Humor breaks down barriers, promotes healing, emphasizes optimism and encourages vigorous contact

Everlasting Optimism

I was a terrible pupil in school. During 7th 8th grades I was placed in a special education class for being “Overly Joyous”. My mother was called to school almost on a weekly basis to discuss my behavior. When I brought home my atrocious report card, my mother took one look and said, “I deserve this report card. I’m in school more than you!” With that she released me from the bondage of a distorted world reality and instead, skilled me in the view that there are more important things in life: Humor, laughter, and finding the funny.

May I challenge you, dear reader, to step off the stage of your drama, take seat in the third row, order some popcorn and witness your life as showbiz? Enjoy the spectacle. And Smile.



Share This Post