Empowering Media That Matters

TheLaughter Effect

The Laughter Effect is a series of investigations that spotlights how and why comedy can play a role in social change. Reports and studies from this project offer strategic recommendations about leveraging comedy for social justice – for change-makers, professional storytellers, and researchers.

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The Laughter Effect


This report pulls together research across disciplines and a decade of research to ask and answer: How and why can comedy be leveraged for social change?

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How Comedy Works to Change the World

This quick primer breaks it down: Comedy opens doors to complex issues, persuades us emotionally, encourages us to share, and breaks down social barriers.

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The Laughter Effect on Medium


Comedy is already hard at work repairing the world. The Laughter Effect on Medium is an editorial series featuring case studies, analysis, and new ways of looking at comedy and social change.

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Improv/e: Original Comedy Collaborations

The Laughter Effect produces original comedy projects through our creative comedy production lab, Improv/e.

In this entry, Improv/e teamed up with the New America Foundation for 2018 International Women’s Day to spotlight unpaid caregiving and the burden for women around the world.


Leveraging Comedy for Social Change

Strategic Recommendations

For strategists and social justice professionals, how can comedy be leveraged for social change? The Laughter Effect strategic recommendations primer offers some tips for engagement.

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Samantha Bee, Comedy & the Refugee Crisis

In this study, we compared audience attitudes and perspectives about to the Syrian refugee crisis after they watched Samantha Bee or a traditional news show.

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