Ron Burgundy Wants You to Laugh

Written By Robert Hawke
Image of Ron Burgundy / Will Farrell
Will Farrell as Ron Burgundy

I am watching outtakes of Will Farrell making Anchorman. He's brilliant and hilarious. I am rolling on the floor laughing (ROTFL in texting lingo). This is good for me. In fact, it’s so good that if a major pharmaceutical company could charge me 20 bucks a pop for a pill that would do this, they would. But they can’t, because laughter is free.

When I was recovering from cancer treatment, I looked desperately to try to find things that would help me heal. I went to health food stores. I had a list of specialists as long as my arm. I read books on complimentary therapy. But it turns out that one of the best and most accessible things I could do was just make myself laugh.

Laughter has been shown to improve mood, lift depression, improve cardio vascular fitness and increase levels of serotonin (a very beneficial drug that is naturally produced by our bodies). Many smart people with lots of letters after their names have studied the benefits of laughter at places like The Mayo Clinic, Berkeley, The University of Arizona and other institutions.

So it turns out that one of the easiest and most empowering things that those of us going through cancer and other health challenges can do is to watch a goofy movie or put on our favourite You Tube video of news bloopers, and just laugh. Find any reason to laugh. It’s healthy, free and you don’t need a prescription.


  1. Bennett, M.P., et al., The effect of mirthful laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity. Altern Ther Health Med, 2003. 9(2): p. 38-45.
  2. Berk, L.S., et al., Neuroendocrine and stress hormone changes during mirthful laughter. Am J Med Sci, 1989. 298(6): p. 390-6.
  3. Cho, E.A. and H.E. Oh, Effects of laughter therapy on depression, quality of life, resilience and immune responses in breast cancer survivors. J Korean Acad Nurs. 41(3): p. 285-93.