Harper College Offers Class on How to be Funny

Girl Laughing, Wearing pink

If laughter is truly the best medicine, then you should be able to earn a doctorate degree on how to be funny. However, Harper College, in Palatine, Ill., will settle for a single community college course.

The two-part class, named “From Humor to Health: Comedy and Healthy Living”, not only focuses on how to be funny, but the health benefits of laughter.

Scott Cashman, the college’s continuing education manager, said that studies show creativity, memory, and problem-solving skills improves with a developed sense of humor.

“That’s the whole point of bringing together laughter and humor with a health perspective,” he said.

Though students may worry that humor is something that can’t be taught, Cashman said its quite the opposite. He said that learning to be funny is like learning to sing. With the funny pictures and funny quotes on the Internet today, anybody would be able to laugh easily.

“A lot of people think they can either sing or not sing,” Cashman said. “But you can become a better singer by learning how to sing. I’m not sure [the class] is going to change people’s worldview, but the way you can communicate with people can definitely be improved upon.”

Dobie Maxwell, a stand-up comedian and one of the class’ teachers, has taught at Zanies, a comedy club, and other community colleges. He said there’s a difference between teaching students and comedy clubs and students  in college.

“The first thing I tell them is I cannot make you funny,” Maxwell said. “If somebody [is] funny I can point them in a direction which is such a time saver.”

He said he’s not looking to make these students performers, rather help them incorporate laughter into their daily lives.

“From Humor to Health: Comedy and Healthy Living” is a free non-credit course, and is available to public. The class hopes to teach members of the community how to be funny at both work and at home.

Via The Chicago Sun Times

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