excerpted from online article:
Contemporary artists often look at the world from slanted perspectives in order either to highlight or counteract the conservatism of social norms, systems and thought. In doing this they imply alternative systems and approaches. A similar role can be attributed to humor, the source of laughter, which may include jokes, parody, comedy, irony, satire and nonsense. The creation of a perspective that distorts "normal" views of the world may have the effect of exposing people's real intentions, or it may enable an issue or situation to be viewed from multiple angles. Under certain circumstances it can also serve to illuminate nearly forgotten sources of pain, still evident in the dark corners of society. The laughter that results from such distortions, or shifts in perspective, acts like an opaque filter, softening the glare of a direct confrontation with something that might otherwise be unpleasant. The very act of laughing relieves stress, tension, and even fear. Today's world is full of tensions and anxieties, both visible and invisible, but laughter has the power, momentarily, to release us from ingrained realities. It is like a distant star that brings a glimmer of hope for the future when the way ahead is still in darkness.
(link to complete article: Design News - All About Laughter: Humor in Contemporary Art - TAXI Design Network )