The early modern era was one of contestation over laughter, with multiple strands of reaction to laughter’s potentially disturbing qualities. From attempts to civilize laughter to the rising commerce in laughter, the ambivalence and distrust of the earlier Western tradition increasingly gave way to appreciation of positive laughter. The early modern laughers of this book hold lessons for modern readers about the hidden undercurrents of laughter. Their experiences highlight the roots of some modern ideas, such as the high valuation of sense of humor in prospective mates. Less positively, they suggest how the growth of commercial laughter fed new modern stereotypes, like the idea that women have less humor than men.