Laughter is the best medicine

"When we laugh, great things happen inside our body," Goodman said. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and gives the immune system a natural boost.

"Humor is a wonderful way of dealing with stress," Goodman said. "And whatever your walk in life is, we all have stress."

That's why so many conference participants from previous years have given the experience high marks, he said. "People laugh their heads off during the weekend. They can really recharge their batteries."

The sessions aren't the only way they can do that. On Friday night, Brett Leake will give the keynote address. Leake has muscular dystrophy but didn't let that stand in the way of his dream of being a professional comedian. A 25-year veteran of the comedy circuit, he has been on "The Tonight Show" five times and has always been well-received when he's spoken at the humor conference.

"Brett Leake is this amazing, inspiring human being," Goldman said. "He's the highest-rated keynote speaker we've ever had." That's no small feat considering previous keynote speakers include Bob Newhart, Steve Allen, Jay Leno and the Smothers Brothers.

Speaking of comedy legends, the conference will honor Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz with the Laughtime Achievement Award. Their daughter, Lucy Arnaz, will accept on their behalf and moderate a panel discussion, "Legacy of Laughter: A Playful, Powerful Panel."

"We're very excited that Lucy Arnaz is going to be with us," Goodman said. "She's an amazing talent in her own right."

Registration for the conference is $425 before April 1. It's $455 by May 1 and $485 thereafter. Rates are also available for pre-conference and conference registration as well as just pre-conference registration. Information is available at www.humorproject.com or by calling 587-8770.""

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