Laughter contest held, hilarity ensues

Nicole Veillette of Ste-Eustache, Que. has the best laugh in the province, according to the judges at Montreal's The Grand Laughing Championship.

Nicole Veillette of Ste-Eustache, Que. has the best laugh in the province, according to the judges at Montreal's Grand Laughing Championship.

Ten of Quebec's most mirthful residents were brought together Wednesday night to determine who has the province's best laugh.

The competition was the first of its kind to be televised, according to the championship's website. It will air on French-Canadian specialty cable channel Canal D, which broadcasts documentaries.

The competition was filmed for a documentary entitled Rire Extreme, which follows the contest's creation and development.

Competition creator, filmmaker and "laughologist" Albert Nerenberg says he came up with the idea for the competition after meeting American Doug Collins, who supposedly has the world's most contagious laugh.

Nerenberg says laughter is good for the heart and strengthens the immune system. He hopes to turn the Grand Laughing Championship into a national and eventually international event.

"We're trying to prove that laughter could be a competitive sport," he said.

With files from The Canadian Press