As an addendum to the "hysterical meaning funny" discussion:
The best practical definition of hysteria is "someone that lets fear/any other strong emotion break out-of-control, and then starts to look for a cause". The "looks for a cause" part means autosuggestion. An example is that people react irrationally and out of proportions: cry, laugh, etc.
I believe that's the origin of its usage to mean funny, e.g. "John was hysterical last night". The exaggerated actions of John certainly caused people around him to react by laughing/smiling. There are many movies that make jokes over hysteria (Airplane! comes to my mind) exploiting those irrational and exaggerated reactions.
In some cases, hysteria can lead to a "conversion disorder" which is also called "conversion hysteria", and is essentially when a person develops physical symptoms based on psychological effects.
As to why it is used mostly in reference to women, see FumbleFingers' or LindaBrammer's answers.