I understand that Dave Barry, writer/columnist, has actually written a wise and concise explanation of what humour is, which I don’t think can be topped. Because of this, I decided to address laughter instead.

There are a couple of possible reasons that laughter exists. Here I have adopted the silly and cheeky version purely for entertainment purposes.

Reason 1: One of our ape ancestors was coughing, the sort of cough that’s painful to hear, and decided that that was the new way to display happiness. This might be why if we laugh too long or too hard, we get a painful feeling in either our lungs or our sides. Or our throats. Whichever comes first.

Reason 2: It was first used as a method to scare other apes away, but then they realized that all they needed for that was a pointed stick. Or if they listened to Monty Python, they might have charged at each other using bananas, which would result in the early invention of the gun.

Reason 3: Smiling wasn’t good enough for them, they needed to make noise that didn’t involve other apes slipping on banana peels or whacking each other with tree limbs.