Photo cred - John Zwinck

Montreal a capital of laughter. As the host of Just for Laughs, the world’s largest comedy festival, it’s been the proving grounds for some of the world’s top comedians. It is also the birthplace of laughter competitions, which have spread to over a dozen countries worldwide.

I'm hosting the 4th annual Montreal Laughter Championship this Sunday May 4, where the city's greatest laughers converge in a hilarious throwdown. While Montrealers are great at making you laugh, they're also great at laughing.

As a laughologist, I've studied laughter for years, so let me reveal some outstanding laughs unique to our fair city. Laughs like:

The Poutine

  • A perfect laugh when you're in a food coma after stuffing your face. Hold your belly with your hands and shake it as you laugh. You'll look like Santa Claus, and feel like it too.

The Slapshot

  • Just like Brendan Gallagher ripping one by Anders Lindback, you don't see this one coming. You start to laugh and your hand comes up and slaps down - on the table, your knee, maybe even someone else's knee. It's sudden, it's powerful, and it gets everyone's attention.

The Chain Smoker

  • These types don't make a sound when they laugh. You know they're laughing, you can see their mouths moving, but nothing is coming out. All you can hear is them gasping for breath as they silently chortle.

The Pothole

  • You're having a nice laugh, just coasting along, nothing too crazy. But then suddenly, somehow, it all gets way funnier. And your whole body reacts instantly - your arms twitch, or your back arches, or you just plain fall over.

The Tam Tam

  • This is when you're laughing with friends and you all start swaying back and forth in the same way. You're all having such a great time that your bodies are moving together, just like a nice Sunday at Tam Tams, grooving with your peeps to some trippy music.

The Icy Sidewalk

  • It's the dead of winter, and you're walking along minding your own business, when you step on a patch of ice and WHAM! You're on your back, rolling on the ground, holding your bruised ass. Or you laugh so hard and so suddenly that WHAM! You fall out of your chair, and you're on your back, rolling on the ground, holding your aching sides.

The Pig Snort

  • You know the kind. Someone starts laughing. Then they start to snort. Then they laugh even harder at their own snort. My mother is fantastic at these.

The Diabolical

  • This is an evil laugh. The evil overlord has captured the hero and is ready to torture him. His plan will soon come to fruition, and the whole world will bow down before him!

Would you like to watch the funniest laughs in Montreal? This Sunday May 4, come out to The Montreal Laughter Championship and laugh at the most contagious laughs in the city. We're laughing at Do Henrique art gallery, 3714 Notre Dame W. Get your tickets here.

How do you laugh?

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