silly apps can brighten your day

When you need a good laugh, you don't need to look any further than the numerous funny or silly apps available for your smartphone.

One classic silly app is MouthOff. It does one simple and amusing thing: It animates a cartoon mouth on your phone's screen when you speak into your handset's microphone. When you speak, your plain, boring lips and chin are replaced with the chattering jaw of a skeleton, the fast-moving metal teeth of a robot, the wobbling curved grin of a cartoon cat or others. And that's it.

It is free for iOS and $1 on Android. Put it on your phone and you'll always have it on hand to brighten a dull moment. Warning: Children will adore it, and you may never get your phone back.

For similarly lowbrow laughs, check out BoothStache, free on iOS and Android. It superimposes different styles of mustaches onto a photo of your face. The app tries to detect where your eyes, mouth and chin are, and you can adjust these locations with a few taps.

BoothStache is five minutes of fun if you have ever fancied seeing what you look like when you do a Charlie Chaplin impression. And you can easily share the results online from inside the app.

Funny Movie Maker — Replace Your Face definitely has a mouthful of a name. But the program also has what it takes to make you laugh. It takes part of your face, like your lips, and superimposes that part on a photo of, say, a strawberry with eyes.

It's more clever than it sounds: You can edit the shape and size of the video effect, and you can use a photo of your choice instead of the built-in backgrounds if you want. This makes it perfect for making your cat talk, on video. The app is free on iOS.

Cheezburger taps into classic Internet gags, like video clips of cats doing strange things, and Failblog will make you giggle with schadenfreude at other people's stories of failure.

Your sense of humor may, of course, tilt less toward the peculiar. Just try these apps and never forget Robin Williams' advice: You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.