Bill Marx, Harpo Marx's son, makes a "Harpo" face for Justin Ybarra, a patient at the Mattel UCLA Children's Hospital during the Rx Laughter advisory board tour in April.

It Came from Hollywood

If the scientific community at large was hesitating, the idea that laughter could help heal began emerging on other fronts. Rx Laughter actually came straight from Hollywood, the brainstorm of Sherry Dunay Hilber, a former ABC and CBS network programming executive who oversaw such hit sitcoms as Home Improvement, Roseanne, Coach, Who's the Boss?, and Cybill. The study even has its own Web site:

Hilber came up with the study idea about two years ago in the midst, she says, "of looking for some more meaningful way of using my abilities, something beyond worrying about the ratings of last night's show." She pitched her concept to Stuber and Zeltzer, who...

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