It happened to me once. And it wasn't even very funny. As always with humour, its a question of timing. I was chairing a planning authority meeting in the early 80s when we were considering a retrospective application to 'regularise' a chain saw repair business. There were dozens of letters complaining about the eardrum-shattering noise that was blighting this part of the tranquil Montgomeryshire countryside. After reading out all the letters of objection, the Principal Planning Officer (a droll character named Wilkes) observed that the immediate neighbours hadn't objected - and added that it was because they'd already become too deaf to notice. I 'corpsed' , and my Deputy had to take over while I left the meeting to recover.
So I sympathise with Charlotte Green, who 'corpsed' this week on the Today programme and had to be rescued by James Naughtie over something not very funny at all. Ms Green has history of course, but I could fully understand her previous collapse. She was introducing an item about a newly appointed big-wig in Papua New Guinea named Jack Tuat (where the 'u' is pronounced as a 'w'). I'd probably have pronounced his surname as twaite and pretended it was the local dialect.
Today's Telegraph lists other examples of presenters losing it. Most cricket fans will remember well Brian Johnston's collapse after Aggers described Ian Botham's vain attempt to avoid hitting his wicket as "He couldn't quite get his leg over" - ball-by-ball commentary at its funniest. Personally, I also liked his "Lilley - caught Willey, bowled Dilly". I must admit that I didn't know about the Reginald Bosanquet 'corpse', until I read it today. It was an item during the fireman's strike in 1978, when the ITV news cameras were following an Army Green Goddess fire crew to rescue a cat stuck up a tree - and then accidentally ran over it and killed it. Today, his uncontrolled laughter would probably have cost him his job as the only appropriate response to the thousands of complaining letters from cat lovers.
Probably the best example I remember in the world of politics occurred in the National Assembly for Wales. Former Tory AM for North Wales, Peter Rogers, a farmer with an unmatched lung capacity was at full throttle dismissing the arguments of what he disparagingly referred to as 'The Green Welly Brigade', and unfortunately said 'Willy' instead of 'Welly'. Lord Elis Thomas, the Presiding Officer, just about managed to hold himself together.