Video of Famous People Laughing Wins 2008 Crystal Award

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New video shows world leaders, celebrities, and animals yukking it up. Award recognizes its unique viewpoint in a sea of online trivia.

Oil prices are through the roof, the stock market is tanking, and the Arctic has lost its ice, yet lots of famous people are laughing. A new YouTube video, "Laughter is Universal", has collected images of everyone from Elvis to the Dalai Lama to Jesus delivering a hearty snicker, snort, or chuckle. Last week it won the 2008 Crystal award for short Internet video, the first such honor for an unscripted video.

The producers sifted through some 8,000 images to find clips of celebrities laughing. Some notables appear in the film who would seem to have little to smile about, like Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears. The Pope almost bursts out of his cassock with an uncharacteristic guffaw. Nelson Mandela roars with pleasure. Among the usual images of children and babies, there is a panda cub seeming to titter, a laughing Jesus, a merry George Clooney, and even a photo of new Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov sticking out his tongue.

Obama and McCain display their giggling technique too.

The video was produced by the Garden Grown Film Project, a California-based cooperative production studio.

The video can be seen at


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John Toomey
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