No doubt cavemen grunted with laughter when one of them tripped on a diplodocus egg, Ancient Romans sniggered when someone went over on their tunic, and the Tudors were guffawing whenever anyone skidded on a rotten apple.
Playwrights and cinema stars — like Mr. Chaplin, above — have always understood that slapstick is the surest way to unite a crowd.
The Germans call it ‘schadenfreude’. Psychologists call it the ‘social comparison theory’. But what it boils down to is this: when other people have the misfortune of eating pavement, you feel better about yourself and better about the world around you. Here are some of the best things about it.
10. It happens to beautiful people.
18. Annoying drunks.
(We’re pretty sure this guy survived.)