Steve Nallon's lecture AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO LAUGHTER AND COMEDY is a popular and accessible talk that has proved to have a wide appeal to students and academics, performers and writers as well as the general public. The talk asks the basic question 'What makes human beings laugh?' It explores early laughter in babies and toddlers, plus speculative ideas as to why, when and how our cavemen ancestors first laughed. The talk takes the audience through some of the various theories as to why we laugh, including 'Surprise and Reversal', 'Configuration', 'Social Bonding', and 'Psychological Repression'. As Steve Nallon is a working comedian and writer, there are also useful 'insider tips' on how to think in comic terms and even how to create your own basic jokes. The extracts below come from a recording of the talk given at the University of York in October 2014.
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