Paul McGhee is currently President of The Laughter Remedy in Wilmington, Delaware, in the USA. His scientific contributions to the field of humor research make him unique among those who currently work as professional speakers discussing the importance of building more humor into your life. He has published 15 books and many scientific articles on humor and is internationally recognized for his contributions in three distinct areas: 1) scientific research on humor and laughter, 2) practical applications of humor in corporate and healthcare settings—including the only research-supported program for improving humor skills and 3) substantive, but entertaining, keynotes and workshops on humor.
Paul spent 20 years conducting basic research on humor and laughter before becoming a professional speaker and is generally viewed as a pioneer in the field. He began his teaching career at the State University of New York in Albany and finished it at Texas Tech University. He also spent two years with a research appointment at the Fels Research Institute in Ohio and three years at the University of Paris (L’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes). His early academic books, The Psychology of Humor (1972), The Handbook of Humor Research (two vol’s, 1983) and Humor: Its Origin and Development (1979), served as cornerstones in providing a solid foundation for the current resurgence of interest in humor and health.
Paul was a recipient of The Odyssey Award in 2009 from his undergraduate alma mater, Oakland University. This prestigious award was given in honor of Paul’s contribution to knowledge in the field of humor research and for exemplifying the university’s motto of seeking virtue and knowledge.
Paul quit his academic career conducting basic research on humor in order to develop hands-on tools which enable people to apply the lessons of humor research in everyday life. His new emphasis on practical applications includes both books and workshops which provide specific guidelines for getting the benefits of humor into one’s everyday life. The application books include 1) a research-validated Program (The 7 Humor Habits Program) for strengthening humor skills and learning to use humor to cope with stress, 2) a tool for building adults’ verbal humor skills (Small Medium at Large), 3) a similar tool for building children’s verbal humor skills (Stumble Bees and Pelephones) and 4) a summary manual (Understanding and Promoting the Development of Children’s Humor) which enables teachers and parents to better understand young children’s humor better so that humor may be more effectively used in the education of children from infancy to age seven to eight. He is currently preparing a book offering guidelines for the use of humor in the classroom for older children and adolescents.
Paul has worked full time as a professional speaker for the past 20 years. He has provided keynotes and workshops to many Fortune 500 Companies, hospitals and healthcare organizations, early childhood educators and conferences devoted to aging. He has presented in several European countries, as well as in Canada and the USA. He is currently working with a colleague in Singapore to bring programs on the benefits of humor and laughter to Malaysia and certain Asian countries.
Paul is frequently interviewed by the mass media about issues related to humor in the workplace, as well as the health and coping benefits of humor. In addition to frequent television and radio interviews in the USA, he has also appeared on numerous European radio stations and Canadian, Dutch, German, Swedish and Swiss television discussing his work. His work has been featured in many international publications, including the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek (Japanese), Geo (German and French), Schweizer Familie (Swiss), Psychologie Heute (German), L’Impatient (French), VG (Norwegian), OGGI (Italian), Der Spiegel (German), Die Welt (German), Die Zeit (German), Intra (German), among others.