John Witherspoon: Longevity Through Laughter

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Now I’m pretty sure that just about everyone I know has seen Friday, the movie that has one of my favorite comedians, John Witherspoon. His wit and crude humor had my family and me laughing for years, making tough times good and good times better, which is a divine act. For me, laughter is the medicine for depression and many other health issues. Witherspoon knows better than anybody the power of laughing at whatever life throws at you, including an Internet death.

“What the Hell y’all talking bout on Here?!??” Witherspoon first tweeted after a 2012 rumor of him dying started trending. “I ain’t “DEAD” I’m in Ft Lauderdale at the Hard Rock Cafe Gettin dat Paper.”

Ha! The veteran comedian and actor is still making folks laugh, which is all the better for us. Laughter is a natural human emotion that brings people together, invokes happiness and brings stability and balance to your soul, mind, and even body.


A good, hearty laugh relieves the physical tension and stress you may have acquired from work or a rude individual through the release of endorphins, which is the body’s feel good chemical. This leaves your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes, resulting in a better sense of well-being.

And John can find laughter in just about anything, including how he grew up in a family of 11 brothers and sisters. “My mother made me wear two left boots to school when I was in 5th grade,” explains John. “You never forget that when you’re growing up. That’s why I work so hard now.”

Laughter also decreases stress hormones within the body and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease, making you less likely to get sick.

He takes this same approach to his marriage to his wife of 29 years.

(Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage)

(Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage)

“I know what’s going to push her buttons, and she knows what’s going to push my buttons. It’s very simple; don’t push those buttons. You can move around in different ways to get a point across. A person has got to have their own agenda if you gonna be married a long time. She has to have things to do without you, and you have things to do without her. My wife and I have to have that situation because I’m on the road all the time doing stand-up comedy.”

“We have two kids. My wife will get up and go to France. I might go there for a week, but she’ll spend three weeks, a month. It’s fine with me, because I get bored after about a week. And the time we do spend together is a fun, laughing, quality time. You need to have your own agenda if you want longevity with your person. And if you don’t want them to…