Unfortunately the laughter of adults too often carries to the ears of the young the ring of ridicule, that annihilating enemy of human dignity. Like grownups, children enjoy participating in a joke and appreciate admiration of their wit and cleverness, but do not enjoy being the butt of the jokes
(Leontine Young (20th century), U.S. social worker and author. Life Among the Giants, ch. 12 (1965).)
If we cannot accept the importance of the world, which considers itself important, if in the midst of that world our laughter finds no echo, we have but one choice: to take the world as a whole and make it the object of our game; to turn it into a toy.
The childless experts on child raising also bring tears of laughter to my eyes when they say, "I love children because they're so honest." There is not an agent in the CIA or the KGB who knows how to conceal the theft of food, how to fake being asleep, or how to forge a parent's signature like a child.
(Bill Cosby (20th century), U.S. comedian. Fatherhood, ch. 5 (1986).)
... in the happy laughter of a theatre audience one can get the most immediate and numerically impressive guarantee that there is nothing in one's mind which is not familiar to the mass of persons living at the time.
(Rebecca West (1892-1983), British author. The Strange Necessity, ch. 12 (1928).)
This crown to crown the laughing man, this rose-wreath crown: I myself have set this crown upon my head, I myself have pronounced my laughter holy.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 366, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Fourth and Last Part, "On the Higher Man," section 18 (issued privately in 1885, publication in 1892).)