Renowned ‘Humour-manitarian’ Jean-Paul Bell to be honoured by Jack Thompson at farewell event

A professional actor and comedian for more than 45 years, Jean-Paul Bell is known for his commitment to the healing power of laughter. After co-founding both The Humour Foundation and The Arts Health Institute (AHI), Jean-Paul will be celebrated with an open farewell event, “Hope Springs Eternal”, on November 3, at the Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, at 6pm-9pm. He will be honoured by a number of speakers including close friend Jack Thompson.

Jean-Paul created the Humour Foundation and the Clown Doctor program in 1996 to introduce humour therapy into every children’s hospital in Australia.  As the co-founder and creative director of the Arts Health Institute, Jean-Paul helps elderly people, particularly those suffering with dementia, to laugh. Jean-Paul has influenced thousands of aged care staff, hundreds of artists and many families who witness the joy of meaningful connection through his humour and compassion.


Author of Laughter is the Best Medicine and a prolific performer, Jean-Paul has taken his particular brand of laughter and comedy around the world. He travelled to war-torn Afghanistan and East Timor with Patch Adams and a band of clowns from across the world, and in 2011 he celebrated his 60th birthday by taking a troupe of circus performers to Nepal – where they performed at 20 schools as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Himalayan Trust, formed by Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary. In 2009  he was the subject of an award-winning ABC documentary, Honeymoon in Kabul, about bringing humour, levity and laughter to some of the most war-torn places on earth.


As Creative Director of the Arts Health Institute (AHI), Jean Paul has brought his particular artistic talents to the aged care sector, creating and performing in programs that enrich the lives of Australia’s elders.


The Arts Health Institute is a national social enterprise that is doing integral and ground-breaking work in the aged care sector, helping to bring creativity, meaning and dignity to Australia’s elders. Underpinned by research, the collection of individuals that make up AHI – professional nurses, artists, researchers, educators, doctors, performers, policymakers and leaders – translate research into knowledge to design programs to create a positive change in health and aging.


To celebrate the work of Jean Paul Bell thus far, and to farewell him to his next professional chapter, a celebration entitled “Hope Springs Eternal” will be held on November 3, at the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 at 6pm-9pm.

Actor Jack Thompson, friend of Jean Paul, will be among those giving addresses.

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