Hester Lynch Thrale is best known to literary scholars for her friendship (and later break) with the formidable Samuel Johnson, but Thrale was also an author in her own right. Her extended project in self-writing, the Thraliana, began as a collection of anecdotes and finished as a diary. She archly referred to it as a “jestbook”; laughter provided the frame and impetus for preserving her life’s memories. In the course of it, she also drew up a remarkable table rating her acquaintances for their various qualities, giving numerical value to each. Wit and humor had special prominence in this assessment of social performance. Her friend Arthur Murphy, author of highly successful comedies and assiduous student of laughter—as witness his enormous compilation of laughter lore—also topped the ranks of wit in Hester’s social scale. She and James Boswell not only enjoyed Johnson’s company, but each turned Johnson’s witty sayings to account in literary productions of their own. Part of a social circle tied to the literary marketplace, Thrale and her circle show the gendered impact of laughter’s increasing status as a commodity, both in actual sales and in social currency.