When Alex Mitchell laughed himself to death while watching a comedy skit, it was a tragedy, but it certainly was not the first time anyone died from a fatal case of belly laughs.
Martin the Humane, King of Aragon and Sicily (July 29, 1356 – May 31, 1410) regretted eating an entire goose. His indigestion was affecting his mood, so he sent for his court jester, in hopes that a little levity might help lighten his spirits and ease his suffering.
As the jester entered the room, Martin asked him where he had been. The jester replied, “Out of the next vineyard, where I saw a young deer hanging by his tail from a tree as if someone had so punished him for stealing figs.”
The king started laughing uncontrollably and continued for the next three hours. His laughter ended only when he fell out of bed and died.