When we type “LOL” as in “laughing out loud”, I suspect most of us are lying, I rarely laugh when I’m alone at the keyboard. I laugh a lot when I see some good stand up comedy with an audience, laughing for adults is I think quite a social activity. Children have less trouble laughing, less inhibitions.

Watching comedy alone, I rarely laugh out loud, but I did find myself laughing at one scene in Big Bang Theory, where Kripke sabotages Sheldon’s radio broadcast by pumping helium into the room.

Helium: The Big Bang Theory (click on the link to see the scene)

I love watching Big Bang Theory, there is a lot of very clever funny dialogue, but it is the above scene that actually made me laugh. I think the trigger for my laughter mechanism is very juvenile, it is triggered in this case by Sheldon’s increasing embarrassment, I’m not sure what this says about me. Am I empathising with Sheldon or Kripke or is it some kind of schadenfreunde, delighting in another’s misfortunes?

What makes you laugh out loud when you are alone?