Laughter Rx: No Harmful Side Effects

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."  Mark Twain

LAUGHTER (RX) NO HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS - We've all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and though we don't recommend you try to bottle it, a daily dose can be a surprisingly effective supplement to a person's physical, mental, and social well-being, with no harmful side effects.  Laughter has the physiological benefits that counter the harmful effects of stress in the body, as well as improving a person's quality of life.  Whether it is laughing at a joke, or attending a Laughter Club, people are laughing for their health, and laughing for laughter's sake.   


Discussion Guide*

The following questions can be used to foster conversation and dialogue after viewing Laughter (rx) No Harmful Side Effects

  • When you are feeling unhappy or stressed, what types of things do you turn to?  What coping mechanisms do you use?  
  • What are some of the physiological benefits involved with laughter that stood out to you the most?   
  • Humor is different for all people.  What types of things make you laugh?   
  • When was the last time you laughed so hard your stomach ached?  Did you have tears coming out of your eyes?  What were the circumstances and who was involved?   
  • Who are people in your life that you laugh with?   
  • What are some ways you have, or might think of using laughter or humor in your life?



If you are interested in learning more about how laughter can be used as alternative medicine, please visit:

Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor

World Laughter Tour ~ includes nationwide listing of Laughter Clubs

Allen Klein

Gildaʼs Club Worldwide (Cancer support for the whole family)


Meet the Filmmakers


Chelsey D'arrigo headshot

CHELSEY D'ARRIGO graduated with a degree in cinema, and makes documentaries that explore the charms and the challenges of the unexamined lives of humans, and feels that the most interesting characters in life are the ones that we think we know.





Nani Dickinson headshotNANI DICKINSON is a San Francisco State University graduate with a BA in cinema.  Her interest in the filmmaking process is focused on post-production editing and sound, having taken a lead role in the editing of this project.  She intends to stay in the bay area to work in post-production film.






Brandi Kosloy headshotBRANDI KOSLOY received a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production along with a minor in Holistic Health. She has always had a love for film and complementary health care, and wishes to combine the two to make crucial films that will educate and enlighten people. Her career aspirations are to direct and produce documentary and narrative films. Brandi is looking forward to the prospect of traveling the world and continuing her career as a filmmaker.   




Charlie Vaughn headshotCHARLIE VAUGHN has always turned to humor to influence his work.  His directorial debut was the musical Flight to Sinai, about a 16 year-old boy who comes out to his religious parents and is sent to an ex-gay camp.  Laughter: No Harmful Side Effects is his first documentary collaboration, though not his first involvement in documentaries.  In 2006, he was featured in the documentary Outlaugh!  about gay, lesbian and transgender comedians. His next documentary will be about the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco.  "If you have to tell someone the truth, make them laugh or else they'll kill you," George Bernard Shaw.  Words to live or die by.


View the high-quality version of this film


*The information on these pages is provided by the student film makers and does not represent an endorsement or verification of statements from the Health Equity Institute