Dr. Oz explores the healing power of laughter with some of the funniest guys he knows. Mimic and humorist Kurt Kilpatrick talks to Dr. Oz about the importance of using laughing to stave off stress. Then, comedian and author Steve Rizzo explains how to become a "humor being."
The man of many voices, Kurt Kilpatrick is a news reporter for WJDX AM radio in Jackson, Mississippi, and co-host of the program, Burt and Kurt in the Morning. A professional humorist and speaker for more than 25 years, Kurt has established himself both by recording comedy albums and by being an award-winning humorist.
Having made a career out of making people laugh, Kurt says there's no denying humor's health benefits. "When people laugh a lot, those endorphins get running around up there in the brain and interject into the hypothalamus and all that stuff, and the humor just comes out, and that is beneficial," Kurt says.
Steve Rizzo is the author of Becoming a Humor Being, and the creator and executive producer of his own nationally syndicated PBS special. After doing stand-up comedy for many years, Steve transitioned to being a professional humorist speaker.
Steve says part of his goal in being a comedian is to help people cope with life's challenges. "People need to know that there is a difference between laughing at something that's very serious and laughing off the fear that represents it," Steve says. "If you can allow yourself to laugh off the fear, and anything that might be bothering you, you're going to beat it."
Tapping into your own inner sense of humor is the key to reaping the health rewards of laughter, Steve says. "Everyone has a 'humor being,' everyone on this planet," he says. "Your humor being is of your higher self—it's the part of you that brings out the best in you when times get really tough."
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013