William & Mary

John Morreall, Professor of Religion

"Humor promotes creative thinking, mental flexibility, the ability to cope with change...it helps us get along with each other." -- John Morreall

John Morreall, professor of religion at the College of William and Mary, has been studying humor for more than 25 years. He is the current president of the International Society for Humor Studies.

Morreall has given more than 400 talks and seminars on the benefits of humor for a wide range of groups, including hospitals, schools, professional organizations and corporations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. Some of his clients include Disney, AT&T, IBM, ING and the IRS. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Arizona Republic, Manchester Guardian and Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo).

Morreall has written several books on a varity of topics in humor studies, including Taking Laughter Seriously (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983), Humor Works: The Benefits of Humor in the Workplace (Amherst, MA: Human Resource Development Press, 1987), and Comedy, Tragedy and Religion (Albany: State University of New York Press). Morreall also edited and contributed to The Philosophy of Laughter and Humor (Albany: State University of New York Press), and served as the book review editor for Humor: International Journal of Humor Research from 1988-1999.

Morreall teaches several courses at William and Mary, including “Comedy, Tragedy and Religion,” “Modern Religious Thought,” “Theory and Method in the Study of Religion,” and “Roman Catholicism Since 1800.”