I recently saw Spamalot, the Broadway extravaganza and laugh-fest written by former Monty Pythoner Eric Idle. Being a Python fan from way back, I thoroughly enjoyed the re-creations of some of my favorite moments from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (the knights who say \u201cni\u201d; the killer rabbit; the French castle scene). As work had been somewhat stressful lately, getting out and laughing for a couple of hours was wonderfully therapeutic.Various studies argue that a good belly laugh produces numerous health benefits. \u201cLaughter reduces at least four neuroendocrine hormones associated with the stress response, including epinephrine, cortisol, dopac and growth hormone,\u201d writes Paul E. McGhee in an article titled \u201cHumor and Health\u201d (his website is http:\/\/laughterremedy.com). Other sources claim that laughter relieves pain, boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure and stimulates the production of endorphins, which make you feel good.But can laughter help a business be more productive? Many believe it can. Not only can humor reduce stress, making employees happier and healthier, it can also enhance people\u2019s ability to retain and retrieve information, says author and consultant Ron Culberson in a recent Fast Company article, \u201cLaughing Your Way to Success.\u201d My favorite Python, John Cleese, agrees. Cleese branched out into corporate training videos and motivational speaking in the \u201970s and \u201980s. (Who can forget such classics as \u201cMeetings, Bloody Meetings\u201d and \u201cBody Language Howlers\u201d?) \u201cHumor in training increases retention and decreases anxiety,\u201d Cleese has said. \u201cIf the training point is surrounded with humor, it can be readily digested, remembered and applied.\u201dHumor in the workplace has been shown to stimulate creative thinking and increase productivity, says Bruce Baum, professor of exceptional education at Buffalo State University, in the Fast Company article. \u201cThe more fun you have, the more you can get done.\u201dBut Cleese is well aware that the workplace is not the most conducive environment for humor. He once said, \u201cI find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.\u201d And if you look at the portrayal of the workplace in popular culture, that\u2019s pretty much the picture you get. Have you seen The Office? Sure it\u2019s funny, but in a painful way.Part of the problem is that at first blush comedy seems to be at odds with competition. Can you imagine Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen taking time before her program to tell a joke? Well, maybe if she had, she might not have fallen. A famous Joe Montana story has the Hall of Fame quarterback pausing in the huddle to draw his teammates\u2019 attention to John Candy sitting in the stands during the 49ers\u2019 successful last-minute drive in the 1982 Super Bowl. The trick is finding the right way to incorporate humor into your work setting.Have you found that way? If so, I\u2019d love to hear about it.