by Amy Trang Hoang,
What's so funny?
“Ho, ho — ha, ha, ha!”
Eight students stand in a circle in the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture
Garden, repeating the chant while clapping their hands and high-stepping
on the dewy grass. On the fourth go-round, they raise their hands
over their heads and let loose with a “haaaaa!” and
break into giggles.
No joke. UCLA has a Laughing Club. Members meet
Monday and Thursday mornings at 8 to exercise their funny bones
in preparation for the serious day ahead. Most club members are
students, but anyone is welcome.
“It really expands my enjoyment of the day,”
says Andrew Meyers, a third-year Spanish major who has been participating
in the Laughing Club since the group formed last spring.
Scot Pipkin, a fourth-year geography major, started
the club after a friend told him about a similar group in India.
Pipkin, who says he “loves being silly,” leads the
UCLA group through 20 or so minutes of exercises that combine
laughter, movement and a bit of imagination.
One exercise has participants making believe they’re
pouring tea into a gigantic cup, then belting it down with a great
flourish. In another, club members laugh while patting each other’s
hands, first slowly and then with increasing speed, until they’re
patting and laughing at a frantic pace. The meeting ends with
an exercise in which participants gather all their psychological
“stuff,” pack it into the shape of a big ball and
heave it into the stratosphere, laughing all the way.
Michael Brown, a fourth-year major in design |
media arts, says laughing for no particular reason is like “emotional
“I’m able to open up and break through
barriers,” Brown says. “It’s cathartic.”
by Judy Lin