What is laughter?
What unites a spectator, an Amazonian Indio who observes a stranger , and a child in the parent arms, when they laugh?
There are many tests done on laughter.
About its influence and contagiousness on social welfare.
But it is interesting to see that laughter is .. scared. Or rather, the reaction to fear. Terror.
There are only two main reactions in front of awareness of danger: affront or escape.
The balance between these two reactions leads to the fundamental emotions (not only) of any living being to the “living environment around him “.
Adrenaline, who is discharged suddenly in the circulatory system, making a leap up to the heart, blood pressure, muscles, and makes an animal escape under a sudden attack, is also called hormone escape, of salvation .. Its opposite is the hormone noroadrenalina, which clearly goes to face danger with all its risks.
And while the discharge of adrenaline triggers an hysterical, unbalanced, spasmodic effect on behavior, the noroadrenaline creates a very determined and impassive person towards the surrounding environment .
The killer, the impassive hunter, which moves in the logic (purely personal and questionable), contrary to what people believe in, is a person in the grip of noroadrenaline, the lucidity of the brain and the motor control, and he faces death in every possible outcome.
Prey, or weak, is one who “stumbles in its own emotions “” runs away from the face of danger, often exposing his back, alarmed cries, screams, escapes away, a prey to adrenaline, which makes squirt his heartbeats and the pressure at very high levels, is one who does not accept his possible death.
Which of the two choices is the best, depends on the situation, but …
Here is what the laugh is!
Laughter is the rush of adrenaline which is muted in its effect of physical and mental escape!
Any form of laughter comes from the discharge of adrenaline.
So the fear, the terror, is the basis of laughter.
That’s why the American Indians, when they approached an unknown European, a strange man different from them, laughing .. curiosity was stronger than their instinct to flee. But the smallest reaction could unleash deadly results.
That’s why a baby in her parents arms, in a dizzying array of facial emotions, often ends with a disarming smile or a laugh at a frontier of unknown .. he can not escape.
Here’s the sudden bursts of laughter front of the screen, seeing the slapstick comedy, where the actor slips very badly on a banana .. We do not need to escape from this danger, we are only observers. If it happened near us for real, most likely react with a jump, a cry, an action that makes us suddenly removed from the physical event .
The theater stasis play in acting by the dilation of a panic moment can result in a further accentuation of drama, or laughter. Usually they choose the stasis for the second result. The Comedy is based on this factor.
This also was the “theory of the Shock ” used by Hitchcock.
The sense of ridicule of jokes is triggered by this, because almost always the setting of the story is so coarse and distant from us that allows us to “respond to the situation that is not ours, thankfully, with a laugh!
Even the political satire is based on that. The impossibility of escape in front of a well-defined social situation.
Why the “one who is bad “, in film and theater, laughs, almost always, so cruel?
Because he can not escape from facing the danger he represents. He knows exactly what he is doing or what’s going on around him, but despite being a prey to his emotions, his fears, he keeps “doing what he must do “.
Why does the “Devil ” always laughing, even when he is hurt, or run away ..?
Why does the more wicked and formidable enemy of a superhero like brain Batman is the Jocker, a deformed masked face in a constant laugh at any time, even in pain?
Why does the suicide bomber of a movie “always laughs like a madman!”?
Why does the performance of “Evil ” is linked rhetorically to laugh?
Because these “characters ” living in a fear of what goes into their head, a fear which they can not escape from. This fear can become real action.
Madness … the nonsense … triggers laughter.
The impossibility of escape from, before an event that triggers fear, create laughter.
As conceptual level, the viewer also acts in this way. Reacts to a danger which can not (and should not, feeling himself superior) to escape. Being distant from the source of his fear, which is beyond the screen,he can laugh at.
The Storyteller always must be conscious of “what triggers the laugh ” Both in the psychological controlling direction of the characters, both in the effect that their actions will trigger to the viewer of the situation, realizing that the laugh really always comes by a moment of “panic “.