A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 26, 2016
“Laughter is the best medicine” (proverb)

"Laughter is the best medicine” is an old proverb that comedians and comedy clubs sometimes remind audiences with. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” is mentioned in the Bible, Proverbs 17:22.

A German film Der Lachdoktor (1938) was subtitled in English, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” “Laughter, the Best Medicine” began in December 1947 as the title of a long-running jokes column in Reader’s Digest.

“Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis,” joked Saturday Night Live comedy writer Jack Handey in one of his “Deep Thoughts,” written for the Chicago (IL) in 1988.


Bible Hub
Proverbs 17:22
New International Version

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

16 March 1938, Variety, pg. 17, col. 4:
DER LACHDOKTOR
( ‘Laughter Is the Best Medicine’ )

26 November 1947, San Diego (CA) Union, pg. 5-A, col. 1 ad:
Laughter—the best medicine.
(...)
GET THE DECEMBER
Reader’s Digest

OCLC WorldCat record
A doctor holding a medicine bottle entertains a crocodile, while other crocodiles bite his coat tails; illustrating the saying “Laughter is the best medicine”. Coloured lithograph by A. Schaefer-Ast, 1947.
Author: Albert Schäfer-Ast
Publisher: [19]47.
Edition/Format: Image : Graphic : Original artwork : Picture : German
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
“A cheerful heart is good medicine”, Old Testament, Proverbs 17:22

OCLC WorldCat record
Laughter is the best medicine.
Author: F Storr
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Nursing times, 1965 Dec 24; 61(52): 1753-4
Database: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

OCLC WorldCat record
Laughter is the best medicine
Author: Laurie Dickinson
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Hospital Aviation, v5 n2 (198602): 7
Database: CrossRef

3 August 1988, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Improve your mind with these deep thoughts” by Jack Handey, sec.7, pg. 27, col. 1:
Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.

OCLC WorldCat record
Laughter, the best medicine : a collection of laugh-out-loud stories, jokes, and cartoons from America’s most popular magazine
Author: Reader’s Digest Association.
Publisher: Kansas City, MO : Reader’s Digest Association, [2005]
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
Who needs a doctor when laughter is the best medicine? Here are some of the funniest jokes, cartoons, quotes and anecdotes from Reader’s Digest, all guaranteed to tickle your funny bone (and make you laugh, too!).—Publisher.

Google Books
Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
Edited by Jennifer Speake
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2015
Pg. 177:
LAUGHTER is the best medicine
The idea of the beneficial effects of laughter upon the health is an ancient one: e.g. Bible (AV) Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Older English expressions of the concept include laugh and be fat (attested from 1596)and laugh and be well (1737); hence ‘Laughter, the Best Medicine’, the title of a long-running jokes feature in the Reader’s Digest.

Twitter
Seto Kaiba
‏@actuaI_kaiba
If laughter is the best medicine, every hospital bed should have a picture of your face on the end of them. #KaiBot
5:14 AM - 26 Apr 2016

Twitter
Dubious Genius
‏@dubiousgenius
They say laughter is the best medicine but, to be honest, I actually feel worse when people laugh at me.
12:51 PM - 26 Apr 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Tuesday, April 26, 2016 • Permalink