Langston Hughes nel testo The book of Negro Humor (1966) dà una sua definizione di umorismo.
In tre parole?
Umorismo come terapia.
In quattro righe?
“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it. Of course, you laugh by proxy. You’re really laughing at the other guy’s lacks, not your own. That’s what makes it funny – the fact that you don’t know you are laughing at yourself. Humor is when the joke is on you but hits the other fellow first – before it boomerangs. Humor is what you wish in your secret heart were not funny, but it is, and you must laugh. Humor is your own unconscious therapy”.