Every year we reach that time, the time for every laugher in the nation to show their laughter voice. A contest of natural contagious human joy. The search for the best laughers in the country. No, not stand-up comedy, but laughter for no reason – no reason except that it is the best medicine ever.
Some people will come on stage in a pair or small group and show us how they laugh joyfully together. The audience will choose the winners. We are all welcome to compete, or sit back and enjoy.
In 2018 we partnered with We Stand Together for people of all backgrounds and beliefs and languages to speak together with the universal languages of love and laughter.
“Our aim is to get people to connect with each other through laughter, feel happier and enjoy life. 50 years of research backs up the fact that laughter really is a great medicine. It’s not a serious competition, no really it’s not, but a way to come together and make connections. The winner is chosen by the audience, and the prize cost us about 35p."
National Laughter Week was started in Manchester in 2012 by an experienced crew in the areas of community development, festival organisation, filmmaking and event organisation including:
It was originally called The Olaughics because it was inspired by the 2012 London Olympics.
2013 saw the launch of Wales National Laughter Day (12th June) and LaughWales, a project to promote laughter throughout the country and in particular in areas of social deprivation.
In 2014 we had a Laughter Party in Manchester for 120 people, and a conference for 110 people from around the UK and overseas.
In 2015 we had a conference in St Albans with Dr Kataria visiting, and events around the UK.
In 2016 we took on the name National Laughter Week, and included a stunning 3 day festival at Cabourne Parva led by Wes Floyd and Tim Barker.
In 2019 we held our 8th UK National Laughter Championships at The Comedy Store, Manchester.
In 2020 and 2021 we had online laughter championships. We look forward to an in-person event in 2023.
Back in 2011 we had riots on our streets. The reasons for these are complex, but science shows that when we regularly have more laughter in our lives, our sense of happiness increases, stress levels reduce, we have greater resilience in confronting things which might cause distress. We can change this world with laughter.