Cancer patients need a laugh as much as anyone, and the British Columbia Cancer Agency has opened a humor room.

Corporate, union and individual donors raised money to equip the room with furniture, about 30 videos and more than 50 books, said agency librarian David Noble."It's not a formal therapy, per se, but a service which helps to alleviate some of the seriousness of having cancer and makes the patient feel better," Noble said.

The collection is available to the agency's 100 patients, who can watch the videos from their hospital beds, and to all cancer patients in the province, Noble said.

There are videos of Tom Hanks, Bill Cosby, Lucille Ball and the Three Stooges; books by the likes of Stephen Leacock and Erma Bombeck; and comics such as "The Far Side" and "Herman."

Noble rejected some kinkier funny business.

"Robin Williams was excluded on the basis of his material being . . . very sexually oriented and we thought it might offend some people," he said.

Support group member Lorraine Holland said her husband Bruce, 42, who was diagnosed with brain cancer seven years ago, got the idea for the humor room more than a year ago.

"We thought it would be terrific if people could watch a funny movie or video while they're in for chemotherapy. It's better than just sitting around and waiting," she said. "People assume they have to be sad around cancer patients, but they don't. Bruce doesn't want people to look at him and feel sorry for him."