My Greatest Fear #54: Laughing Out Loud During a Moment of Silence

wv1vflzHave you ever been in a situation where it randomly occurs to you that now would be the worst possible time to do something, and then, because you put the thought in your mind, you’re a little worried that your subconscious might take over and do the thing you definitely don’t want to do?

I was watching Saturday Night Live this weekend, and I marveled at how well the actors prevent themselves from breaking in the middle of the skits. Granted, some actors are better at this than others. But some seem simply impermeable. How do they do it? Are there sacrifices that come with that level of mental fortitude?

Laughing in the middle of an SNL skit would not be out of place, but doing so in the middle of a moment of silence (or any collective, public silence, like at church or in class) would be a nightmare! I’ve never done this, nor have I ever seen someone do it, but I wonder if anyone ever has that type of thought.

Whether it’s just me or others too, it’s definitely one of my greatest fears, and I hope it never happens!

9 thoughts on “My Greatest Fear #54: Laughing Out Loud During a Moment of Silence”

  1. For a recent clip I give you Kenan Thompson from last weeks SNL, this man almost never breaks, and he just breaks down near the end. The skit is cringy and goes on to long, but that moment, he just broke.

    I do have the thoughts what might be funny in a situation where you should remain quite, but never really had the urge to break form, unless it was something that was more akin to holding back laughter at something happening not in my head.

  2. How about at a funeral? I was probably about nine or 10 years old, I was sitting right behind my grandparents at a funeral for my great aunt, Whom I had met perhaps twice in my life. The person giving the eulogy commented that she had been known as a “stubborn Bohemian.” At that point my grandmother, rather forcefully nudged my grandfather (who, himself, was well known as a “stubborn bohemian”). I noted her shoulders bouncing up and down indicating she was laughing, which started me laughing, to the point of tears, and I couldn’t hold it back. In the middle of a funeral! Fortunately my family is pretty laid-back and has a great sense of humor, so nobody took offense. But still, at the time, as I was laughing to tears, I was rather mortified. I will never forget that experience. Although I have to admit, I’m really not embarrassed by it. We still occasionally laugh about this at family get-togethers. And as everyone always comments, “auntie would’ve been laughing as well.”

  3. I can recommend an episode of the British comedy “Coupling” called “The Giggle Loop”. They put a name to the phenomenon.

    I am actually notorious in my family for instigating giggling at inappropriate times. I’ll lean over and whisper something irreverent, or just goofy. Next thing you know my mom, my brother, my husband (all recent victims) and I are shaking with suppressed laughter. I have noticed that I am the common denominator.

    I suppose I should keep the remarks to myself?

    • Carlie: The Giggle Loop! Well done, Coupling, for putting a name to this phenomena. 🙂 And well done to you, Carlie, for perpetuating it!

  4. Jamey,

    About two months ago my daughter and I attended a Catholic Mass near our home. When we’re together, we always have a great time…part of what makes our relationship great is that I can make her laugh…a lot. Anyway, at one point during the Homily, I gave her a look and she just started shaking as she stifled the laugh so hard (remember, she’s an actress) she let out this guffaw that sounded nothing like a laugh. Thinking quickly, I grabbed a napkin out of my pocket and handed it to her, saying “God bless you.” The sound caused the people in front of us to turn around…they must have thought it might have been a laugh, but when they saw the napkin and heard me, they simply nodded their head saying “God bless you” as well. That was close…



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