September 4th, 2009
As many of you know, Jay Leno will be starting a new venture/adventure with his prime-time show on NBC on September 14 at 10 PM. I was tickled to be contacted by our NBC affiliate to be part of a 3-part series on humor that will tie in with Jay’s launch. So, as they say… stay tuned! Hosted by Jim Kambrich, the series will air on channel 13 in the Albany, New York area on September 14-16 on the 11:00 PM news (with a repeat the next morning on the 5:00-7:00 AM news). People from around the world can catch the shows at www.wnyt.com for a couple days after the shows air on TV.
Here is an interview I did with Jay that appeared in our Laughing Matters magazine (Volume 5, #4) prior to Jay’s appearance at our international humor conference 20 years ago.
INTRO: Jay Leno is the pre-eminent comedy light in show business, and one of the most popular purveyors of belly laughs to roar down the pike in decades. As noted in a recent NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE article, “Jay Leno makes jokes that make news….He is both allowed and expected to make the Official National Jokes.”
Selected by Johnny Carson as the permanent guest host on the TONIGHT SHOW, Jay still manages to play to full houses for 300 audiences each year throughout the United States. Dubbed “the Bruce Springsteen of comedy,” he probably is in the Top Ten of Frequent Flyer miles nationwide– and has created millions of frequent smiles and belly laughs along the way. As trumpeted by WASHINGTON POST television critic and pundit, Tom Shales, “This is Jay Leno’s year. This is Jay Leno’s decade. Heck, this may be Jay Leno’s planet.” In his spare time, he works on his motorcycles and 1955 Buick Roadmaster– Jay notes proudly that “Mr. Buick” seats seven…for dinner.
Jay Leno has been called many things in his life, including “the funniest person in America” according to David Letterman. (more…)
November 23rd, 2008
We were delighted to honor Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz “post-humorously” with the Laughtime Achievement Award at our 52nd international conference in June 2008! We were also thrilled that their daughter, the incredibly-talented Lucie Arnaz, was with us to accept the Award, to moderate the LOL (Legacy of Laughter) panel, and to present an “Up Close and Personal” session.
We have been very impressed with the passion and mission of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York. Under the guidance of Mission and Outreach Department Director Mary Jane Price (who attended our June conference), the Center seeks to preserve and celebrate the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter.
Feel free to visit Humor Conference Slide Show to see a slideshow of photos from the 2008 conference.
September 1st, 2008
We are basking in the afterglow of all of the positive feedback that we received from our June 20-22 international conference on “The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity.” Here is a taste to “wit” your appetite:
* It was the best conference I’ve ever attended (and I’ve gone to MANY!). Great site, well-organized, perfect! (Dar Stone, Henderson, Nevada)
* The conference was extremely well thought-out and executed. What a terrific time we had! (Ethel Thomas, Moriches, New York)
* The most enjoyable part of the conference was the interaction with the conference attendees as well as the presenters in such a vibrant, beautiful, serene, comfortable location. (Lou Danner, Oxnard, California)
August 29th, 2008
Our 52nd international conference took place on June 20-22, 2008… we had a full house (or fool house) and a great time! On Saturday evening, we had a random drawing for a variety of prizes– e.g., free conference CD’s, free bookstore purchases, Smiles on a Stick, and having your name appear in John McPherson’s internationally-syndicated Close to Home cartoon, which reaches 40 million people in over 700 newspapers (John was also a presenter at our conference).
Cindy Zirkin was the lucky winner of this last prize. Check out Close to Home.
In the meantime, here is the true laugh-at-yourself anecdote that Cindy submitted:
While driving home to New Jersey after visiting friends in Connecticut, I was reveling in the fun we had. My friend and his two young sons and I had tossed water balloons, hiked, and played a spirited game of Monopoly. At 52 years of age, I was feeling young at heart.
After exiting the highway, I needed directions and stopped in front of a house where a few pre-teens were playing. They pleasantly gave me directions. As I started my car to leave, I heard their father shout to them from a large window, “Never talk to strangers!”
One of the girls called out, “Oh, don’t worry, Dad– it was just an old lady!”
July 28th, 2008
I was delighted to be interviewed recently by Eve Tahmincioglu for MSNBC. See her article on “No Joke!: The Workplace Needs a Good Laugh” that appears today. As Eve suggests, “A little humor can help your career– and a company’s bottom line.” In these challenging economic times, we all need to come to our senses… of humor!
May 25th, 2008
For more than 25 years, I have respected the pioneering work of Dr. Don Nilsen… and have appreciated his personal warmth and support of people interested in the study of humor. Over the decades, I have referred hundreds of people to Don– including people doing dissertations and conducting research on humor in a variety of academic disciplines, students writing class papers on humor, as well as folks who are just curious about humor.
As noted at 25 Years of Developing a Community of Humor Scholars , Don and his wife Alleen’s work with humor has three main phases:
(1)They launched six WHIM (Western Humor and Irony Membership) academic humor conferences at Arizona State University from 1982 through 1987.
(2)They helped organize and run the International Society for Humor Studies. ISHS sponsors annual humor research conferences and publishes a highly refereed quarterly: Humor: International Journal of Humor Research.
(3)They co-authored the award-winning Encyclopedia of 20th Century American Humor.
Over the decades, I have enjoyed our complementary partnership– with Don providing the scholarly and research foundation and The HUMOR Project focusing on the practical, powerful applications of humor in everyday life and work. For many years, we have included a session entitled “Search for Humor Research” at our annual conference. At our 52nd international conference on “The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity” on June 20-22, 2008, Dr. Ann Neilson will convene this research session again.
Whether or not you can attend our 2008 conference, I encourage you to get in touch with Don if you need humor bibliographies or leads on humor research in a wide variety of disciplines. In addition to his 150 research bibliographies, Don also has available many different Power Point presentations on humor.
To get in touch with Don, you can e-mail him at email@example.com. Feel free to say a big HELLO from The HUMOR Project.
March 31st, 2008
Blogger’s Note: We jest received this press release from the Pat Paulsen for President campaign headquarters. Our hope is that this release will provide some (comic) relief in the midst of otherwise serious presidential politicking. Of course, timing is everything in politics, life, and humor… April Fool’s Day is definitely perfect timing for this announcement! For additional insight and chuckles, check out an interview I did with Pat Paulsen for our LAUGHING MATTERS magazine. Enjoy…
March 24th, 2008
Blogger’s Note: There has been an accelerating amount of media coverage of our work and shenanigans at The HUMOR Project… especially about our upcoming international humor conference on June 20-22! Recently, I had the great pleasure of talking with Jackie Domin at the Spotlight Newspapers. Her article entitled “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” appeared last week in dozens of newspapers. Here it is for you to enjoy…
Dr. Joel Goodman is serious about his mission to help people get more “smileage” out of work and life.
In 1977, Goodman founded the Humor Project in Saratoga Springs. It’s the first organization in the world to focus full time on the power of humor, he said.
The Humor Project sponsors workshops and boasts a speakers bureau with more than 100 speakers who can give talks on such topics as humor and health, laughter and learning and humor in parenting. It has a bookshop that offers books, videos and props, and each year, it sponsors an international humor conference. This year’s edition is slated for June 20 to 22 at the Silver Bay Conference Center on Lake George.
“The conference really is an oasis of sorts,” Goodman said. “It’s a way to literally and figuratively get away from it all.” (more…)
March 24th, 2008
In the Fall of 1990, Dan attended a Humor Project presentation given by Margie Ingram. Afterwards, he wrote and introduced himself and his cartoon-eye view of the world: “My reason for this letter is to become involved, in some little way, in your mission to make people who wear frowns stand on their heads.” (more…)
March 18th, 2008
Blogger’s Note: This entry was written on the day of Governor Paterson’s speech that generated lots of laughter and ample applause. This was the day before some of his not-so-comedic confessions about affairs garnered groans. Perchance the PMS acronym should be Politician Marital Syndrome.
With the shock and aw-ful news about Governor Eliot Spitzer this week, all New Yorkers have been rocking and reeling with the raunchy revelations. It reminded me of one of my favorite playful and political mantras– the words of John F. Kennedy:
“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.”
Given the backdrop of the human folly furnished by Spitzer, Governor David Paterson’s inaugural address certainly did a lot with the third. In fact, the first half of his speech was a mirthful medley of one fun-liner after another.
After Paterson’s speech, I was tickled to receive a call from James Barron from The New York Times. James had attended our international humor conference in 1991, had done an article on the pioneering work and shenanigans of The HUMOR Project, and had obviously kept me in his rolling-in-the-aisles rolodex.
Check out the last paragraph in James’ article in today’s edition of The New York Times.
To sum it up, it’s clear that Governor Paterson has a good case of PMS: Political Mirth Syndrome. Even and especially in the toughest of times, his sense of humor added a human touch. Once again, he proved to me that in the midst of inhumane and insane situations, humor can help us to be humane and sane.
For more information on The HUMOR Project’s 52nd international conference on “The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity” on June 20-22 at majestic Silver Bay on Lake George, visit our conference Web site.
March 13th, 2008
Copyright © 2001 by Margie Ingram. All Rights Reserved.
Blogger’s Note: Margie wrote this shortly after September 11, 2001. This article is still a timely way to reframe our “brave new world” and provides perspective and a process for responding to challenging, world-changing, and/or crisis situations.
Several weeks now have passed since September 11th. We will undoubtedly always recall when we first heard of the tragedy, who we were with, where we were. In one form or another, we, along with our fellow Americans, have been grieving since then. We have checked in with family and friends who are either in NYC, Washington, DC or Pennsylvania or who may have known people involved. We’ve sent money and given blood. We’ve been participating in one or more of the hundreds – perhaps thousands – of candlelight vigils held in communities around America and hanging flags in our offices and homes in an effort to unite further with our fellow citizens, and, yes, with ourselves.
And now, we’re told that the best thing to do is to return to “normal,” to continue our lives as before. Yet some of us are wondering what that concept means: what’s “normal”? How do I begin to live what I knew as a “normal” life again? Even Daniel Shorr reflected on National Public Radio on September 24, “How can we return to normal when life is not normal at all?” (more…)
February 2nd, 2008
Pat Paulsen was the perennial presidential candidate who brought playful perspective, tongue-in-cheek satire, and lots of laughs to many otherwise serious campaigns. With Super Tuesday upon us, I thought it would be good timing to bring Pat back with his timely and timeless views. With dead-pan pundit Pat by our side, EVERY day will be a SUPER one… and funny one, too! This interview first appeared in our Laughing Matters magazine, Volume 10, #3.
Copyright The HUMOR Project, Inc. 1993 — All rights reserved
Pat Paulsen has never stopped being funny. I had the pleasure of meeting with him and his wife, Noma, at the Hotel Roosevelt, an art deco hotel in the middle of Hollywood. With an election year almost upon us, we need his humor now more than ever.
Pat Paulsen was born in a small fishing village in Washington State. Pat doesn’t remember much about his early childhood– “I was too young,” he explains. He does remember heading down to California when he was ten– the whole family riding in a 1929 Hu pmobile with a mattress on top and pots and pans hanging out the windows. “We weren’t exactly homeless but we may as well have been.”
January 27th, 2008
Copyright 2004 Margie Ingram. All rights reserved.
Blogger’s Note: This article was written in the Spring of 2004. Since the only constant in life is change, we wanted to share this timely and timeless article with you.
Transitions: they’re a part of nature. They are all about us. Seasons change, and this time of year, children are graduating, young couples are marrying and people are selling their homes and moving.
Transition is also a natural part of our human world and is a topic that I have been leading programs on for the last 24 years. Along the way, I have realized that “learning about,” “teaching about,” and “living through” these experiences can go hand-in-hand-in-hand.
January 20th, 2008
By E. J. Haley for SPICE magazine, January 2006
We’ve all heard it before, but where personal wellness is concerned, laughter really is the best medicine. And it’s that kind of medicine that Margie Ingram and her partner, Dr. Joel Goodman of the Humor Project, Inc., are prescribing to affect a positive difference in the world.
Based in Saratoga Springs, The Humor Project, Inc., was founded in 1977 “as the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor.” Recently, Ingram turned her 30 years of expertise into a focus on a growing trend in social and professional transformative counseling – life coaching. The aim of life coaching is helping people to make life-changing transitions and gain successes in their personal and professional lives.
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January 15th, 2008
Grant Van Patten will be attending our June 20-22, 2008 international humor conference for the 8th time. Grant is a wonderful human being who was involved in the early, pioneering days of television. He passes along a timely and timeless quote from Eric Sevareid, the renowned CBS journalist:
“Next to power without honor, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humor.”
As we plunge ahead on the primary campaign trail, it is important to remember the primary connection between honor and humor– they can go hand-in-hand.
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