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The ROI of LOL

How Laughter Breaks Down Walls, Drives Compelling Storytelling, and Creates a Healthy Workplace

Laughter is a powerful tool for leaders who want to create happy, healthy, and productive organizations.

Featuring a special Afterword on the role of comedy in DEI training by Malcolm Frierson, PhD, Loyola Marymount University

Image of The ROI of LOL front cover, small.



Meet the Authors

Steve Cody


Steve is chief executive officer of Peppercomm, a strategic communications agency he named in honor of his late Black Lab, Pepper. He is a comedian, climber and dog lover, but not necessarily in that order.

In his role as CEO, Steve is responsible for driving everything from thought leadership and new service offerings to crisis counseling and workplace culture. The firm has won many workplace culture awards from premier media outlets including Fortune, Inc., The New York Observer and Crain’s New York Business. It has also been named a top workplace by PR Week, PR News, PR Daily and Bulldog Reporter and has garnered countless “best” campaign of the year awards from advertising, digital, workplace and PR trade media.

Steve is the co-author of a 2003 McGraw-Hill published book titled, “What’s keeping your customers up at night?” He has contributed hundreds of guest columns to Inc Magazine and has been quoted extensively in leading business, advertising, human resources, internal communications and public relations publications. And he’s been a guest on countless podcasts as well as a panelist at leading industry trade conferences and also co-hosts Peppercomm’s very own podcast, LaughingMatters.

Named one of Northeastern University’s 100 Most Successful Alumni, Steve is a trustee and former chair of the Institute for Public Relations and co-chairs IPR’s ELEVATE Board, whose members include some of the best and brightest rising stars in the PR profession. He also sits on the nominating committee of The Page Society, is a board member of Communications Week and is a two-time former chair of the PRSA’s Counselor’s Academy. He is a member of the advisory councils of the College of Charleston, the University of Florida and the Diversity Action Alliance.

Steve is married with two children and two grandchildren. His passions are ice, rock and mountain climbing as well as performing stand-up comedy (very poorly) and pickleball (surprisingly well). Over the years, he has helped organize comedy charity fundraisers that have distributed more than $100,000 to worthy nonprofits and charities.

Clayton Fletcher


Heard every day on Sirius/XM Radio's Laugh USA, Blue Collar Comedy, and Jamie Foxx's Foxxhole stations, Clayton Fletcher is an American stand-up comedian who performs throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Caribbean. Clayton has been featured on Hulu-TV's "Comedy Brew," MSNBC's "Your Business," AXS-TV's "Gotham Comedy Live," Amazon Prime's "Ivy League Comedy," and Comcast's "Who's Laughing Now?"

Clayton Fletcher allows us to see the world through the eyes of the son of a poker-playing mom and a jazz musician dad. His smart, clean, provocative comedy is geared towards audiences hungry for laughs without all of the crude shock value relied upon by so many modern stand-up comics. Drawing on his extensive theatre background, Fletcher brings to life all of the fun adventures his lifestyle provides. This comic proves once and for all that funny is funny, no matter who or even where you are!

Clayton lives in NYC and online @claytoncomic. Visit

Watch the Videos

In the News

The importance of laughing at work

Steve Cody and Clayton Fletcher share an excerpt from "The ROI of LOL."

Clayton Fletcher: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian

Chief Comedy Officer Clayton Fletcher gives insights on his comedy career.

Humor is key to business success, says PR firm CEO who spent years on the stand-up comedy circuit

Northeastern alum Steve Cody attributes business success to humor.

4 improv activities you can use in your DEI training and corporate culture to make progress

Fellow Laughing Matters Council members Malcolm Frierson & Liz Joynt Sandberg share tips for using laughter to strengthen DEI training.

How Peppercomm emphasizes humor, bonding to foster a positive culture

The agency’s approach to work earned it a Ragan Top Places to Work Award.

3 Tactics Companies With Low Turnover Rates Use to Retain Employees

Steve Cody attributes standup comedy training to agency’s low turnover rate.

Better Business Through Comedy

Founder and CEO Steve Cody joins O’Dwyer’s webinar to discuss how empathetic leadership begins with self-deprecating humor.

Humor: The Power of Laughter in Building a Great Workplace Culture with Steve Cody

Steve Cody joins Kendra Prospero in this podcast episode on humor and workplace culture.


  • Laughter is good for the soul and business! This remarkable book illustrates how humor can improve morale, strengthen team cultures and relationships, as well as spark creativity in organizations.
    Yanique Griffin-Woodall, Vice President, Communications, Customer Experience, Retail, CVS Health.
  • Comedians tell stories and jokes based on truth and this timely book reminds business leaders not to take ourselves too seriously while finding the humanity (and hilarity) in how we do our daily work.
    Brian Harrison (Lott), CEO, Mubadala.
  • These master storytellers have written a much-needed business book that is as practical as it is entertaining. The ROI of LOL is must-read for all leaders looking to reimagine how they develop new products, become more strategic, leverage conflict, and create enviable cultures.
    Courtney Harrison, Co-founder, Medius Advisory Group leadership consultants
  • Clayton Fletcher is an outstanding comedian and teacher. I cannot think of anyone better suited to teach you how to make your home or workplace funnier and happier.
    Gary Gulman, comedian, author, star of HBO’s The Great Depresh
  • Steve and Clayton’s engaging new guide to the use of humor in the workplace shines a light on how comedy is conducive to empathetic leadership, engaged employees, and better communications. I for one am sold on the power that humor can have in business!
    Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO, Ruder Finn.