Adding humor, when appropriate, can make difficult conversations easier to have. And depending on the topic and environment, some topics can only be brought up in a joking way.
Great comedians understand this. Comedy helps us navigate challenging topics, and a skilled humorist can serve as a sort of secular truth-teller – a guide through the areas we're not comfortable addressing directly on our own.
We laugh for a lot of reasons – to connect with others, enforce social norms, let off steam, and more. Critically, laughing provides an outlet for stress.
And when we're less stressed, we're able to face social challenges with more grace.