President Reagan has given everyone a lift with a sense of humor that refuses to be hospitalized. It's humor with a show-biz tang, quick, resilient, playing with classic lines from the entertainment world in which he starred. And probably no one laughed harder to hear himself kidded Hollywood-style in the Academy Award ceremonies that brought his prerecorded image to an international audience of 300 million so soon after he had been shot.
To see the President there, speaking as "a former member of the academy," was to be reminded that the man who came quipping out of surgery was a trouper in more ways than one.
It's one attractive measure of Mr. Reagan that he has never belittled the acting profession for which he as a politician has so often been belittled. He doesn't snub the old friends anymore than the old jokes.
There is a humility here, the kind that can be afforded by someone secure enough to laugh at himself.
Not to be more solemn about it than Mr. Reagan would be, it is a quality linking him to those 300 million and more. When he talked about movies at their best reaching to emotions that everybody shares, he could have been talking about the common touch that leaders need to have.
And not just leaders -- anyone try ing to live with understanding on our crowded planet.