Medieval kings knew the value of a jester - someone who was allowed to say the truth, and was able to soften the blow by the skilled application of humour. They were a valuable pressure valve too - careful doses of humour can dissolve tension, and lead to honesty.
It turns out that comedians are fast-thinking types too, and can even have the occasional creative flash (at least, that's what folks tell me in the brainstorming sessions I do with executives).
Perhaps it's because we jokers are not afraid to think outside the box, because we have to be good at seeing others' points of view and are practiced at turning ideas over and over until we find an angle we can use.
Whatever the reason, the jokers in your midst can help keep everyone sane, as well as generate off-the-wall ideas. See jokester-meets-business-wiz Andy Nulman if you need any proof, or have a look at this Fast Company article on humour Professor John Morreal.
And ask yourself - who is the joker on your team?
Joker pic by kevin (iapetus) at flickr.