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Quiz about So Happy I Could Die
Quiz about So Happy I Could Die

So Happy I Could Die Trivia Quiz


"I could have died laughing" is a fairly common expression, but is there any truth behind the saying? Let's take a look and find out...

A multiple-choice quiz by Rowena8482. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Rowena8482
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
326,043
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
663
Question 1 of 10
1. One of the earliest documented cases of someone literally dying of laughter was Greek philosopher Chrysippus, in the third century BC. This fatal mirth was caused when he did something to his pet donkey and was over-amused at the results. What had the donkey been subject to, that made its owner laugh himself to death? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. One famous person who, so legend has it, died of laughter in the 17th century, was a Scottish Lord called Thomas Urquhart. At one time he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, and is perhaps best remembered for his translation into English of the works of Rabelais. What news is said to have caused the fit of laughter which killed him? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. George Banks works in a bank. His boss, Mr. Dawes the Bank Manager, dies laughing one day at work. In which children's story, made into a film in 1964, do these events occur? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Sudden uncontrollable outbursts of laughter, sometimes hysterical or maniacal rather than pleasant and happy, can be caused by a particular type of seizure in the brain. What is the proper name for such a seizure? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. A British bricklayer called Alex Mitchell died laughing in 1975, whilst watching a comedy sketch show on television. In the fateful sketch, a Scotsman was depicted doing battle with a black pudding, using bagpipes as his weapon. Which show was he watching? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Which neurological disease is also sometimes called "Laughing sickness"? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The plant Oenanthe crocata, commonly known as hemlock water dropwort, is the most likely candidate to be a substance recorded as "the sardonic herb" because it causes users to develop a fixed, grinning, facial expression. In ancient Sardinia, this sardonic herb was historically used for what purpose? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The Italian writer Pietro Aretino died "of suffocation caused by laughing too much" in 1556. As well as being famed for his satire and wit, he is also remembered for being the man who 'invented' what particular genre of literature? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Which television show featured "the funniest joke in the world", also referred to as "the killer joke", said to be so funny that anyone who hears it will immediately die laughing? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. A Thai man named Damnoen Saen-um died laughing in 2003. What was unique among documented cases about his particular case of dying of laughter? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. One of the earliest documented cases of someone literally dying of laughter was Greek philosopher Chrysippus, in the third century BC. This fatal mirth was caused when he did something to his pet donkey and was over-amused at the results. What had the donkey been subject to, that made its owner laugh himself to death?

Answer: Given wine to make it drunk

Chrysippus was the head of the Stoic School of philosophy in ancient Greece.
His death came about when his donkey was given copious amounts of wine, which of course made it drunk. The sight of the poor beast trying to eat some figs was too much for Chrysippus and he laughed so long and hard that he dropped dead. The most likely actual cause of death in cases like his is asphyxia or heart failure.
2. One famous person who, so legend has it, died of laughter in the 17th century, was a Scottish Lord called Thomas Urquhart. At one time he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, and is perhaps best remembered for his translation into English of the works of Rabelais. What news is said to have caused the fit of laughter which killed him?

Answer: The Restoration of King Charles II

Sir Thomas was taken prisoner by Cromwell's troops at the Battle of Worcester, and ended up in the Tower of London; he was later released and pardoned by Cromwell himself.
It is said that when he received news of the Restoration of King Charles II he laughed so hard he fell down dead on the spot.
3. George Banks works in a bank. His boss, Mr. Dawes the Bank Manager, dies laughing one day at work. In which children's story, made into a film in 1964, do these events occur?

Answer: Mary Poppins

The 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins", based on the books by P.L. Travers, starred Julie Andrews as Mary and Dick van Dyke as Bert.
Mr. Dawes, the bank manager who dies laughing, was also played by Dick van Dyke, 'in disguise'.
4. Sudden uncontrollable outbursts of laughter, sometimes hysterical or maniacal rather than pleasant and happy, can be caused by a particular type of seizure in the brain. What is the proper name for such a seizure?

Answer: Gelastic seizure

The term gelastic derives from the Greek word for laughter - "gelos". Gelastic seizures are classed as a form of epilepsy, and as well as being uncontrollable by the sufferer, are so far incurable.
As well as outbursts of laughter, gelastic epilepsy can also cause sudden uncontrollable crying fits. Sometimes they can be an indication of the presence of a brain tumour.
5. A British bricklayer called Alex Mitchell died laughing in 1975, whilst watching a comedy sketch show on television. In the fateful sketch, a Scotsman was depicted doing battle with a black pudding, using bagpipes as his weapon. Which show was he watching?

Answer: The Goodies

"The Goodies" show ran from 1970 until 1982 on British television, and the episode with the "fighting the black pudding" sketch in it is called "Kung Fu Kapers". Mr. Mitchell is recorded as having "laughed uproariously for twenty five minutes, then died on the sofa". His actual cause of death on his death certificate was heart failure.
6. Which neurological disease is also sometimes called "Laughing sickness"?

Answer: Kuru

Kuru is related to Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, and is thought to be caused by prions. The most famous outbreak of Kuru occurred in the Fore tribe from Papua New Guinea, when it was thought that it was spread among the people by cannibalism. Although this was never fully scientifically proven, the story made news headlines around the world.
Trypanosomosis is commonly known as sleeping sickness, and is passed via the bite of a tsetse fly.
7. The plant Oenanthe crocata, commonly known as hemlock water dropwort, is the most likely candidate to be a substance recorded as "the sardonic herb" because it causes users to develop a fixed, grinning, facial expression. In ancient Sardinia, this sardonic herb was historically used for what purpose?

Answer: Ritual killing of the old and weak who were no longer productive in society

Along with several other societies, the ancient Sardinians would "ritually dispose" of people who were no longer productive but had become a drain on limited resources. Archaeological investigations have indicated that the elderly and infirm were dosed with 'sardonic herb' and then either thrown off the cliffs or beaten to death! The actual hemlock water dropwort plant itself is poisonous and death would have occurred shortly after ingestion anyway.
8. The Italian writer Pietro Aretino died "of suffocation caused by laughing too much" in 1556. As well as being famed for his satire and wit, he is also remembered for being the man who 'invented' what particular genre of literature?

Answer: Erotic literature

Aretino's erotica works were considered the absolute height of obscenity in Rome during his lifetime. This made them incredibly popular with the 'fashionable set' among the nobles and aristocracy, and earned Aretino the enmity of the Pope and the Catholic church.

As recently as 2008, a proposed performance of a play by Aretino was cancelled after local people protested that it was obscene and shouldn't be allowed!
9. Which television show featured "the funniest joke in the world", also referred to as "the killer joke", said to be so funny that anyone who hears it will immediately die laughing?

Answer: Monty Python's Flying Circus

The "killer joke" (which later inspired the band Killing Joke's choice of name) was first shown on British television in 1969, during the very first episode of "Monty Python's Flying Circus". The sketch was also shortened slightly and used again in the 1971 film "And Now For Something Completely Different".
10. A Thai man named Damnoen Saen-um died laughing in 2003. What was unique among documented cases about his particular case of dying of laughter?

Answer: He was sound asleep and could not be woken

Damnoen Saen-um's is the only documented case of a person dying laughing whilst asleep. His wife reported that she tried and tried to wake him up, as he laughed uncontrollably in his sleep, but she couldn't do it. After about two minutes of laughing he just stopped breathing and was dead. His actual cause of death was attributed as heart failure and/or asphyxiation.
Source: Author Rowena8482

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Nannanut before going online.
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