TIL a study of 200 stand-ups showed that they died young, at an average age of 67.1, compared to actors, 70.7. The funnier they were, the shorter they lived. The funny one in a comedy duo was likely to die younger than the straightman.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/13/no-laughing-matter-as-researchers-show-that-stand-ups-die-young?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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  1. > In total, the research focused on 200 standup comedians, 114 comedy actors and 184 dramatic actors. When the researchers looked at the ages of those who had died in each group, they found that the standups died younger, with the average age of death just 67.1 years, compared to 68.9 for comedy actors and 70.7 for dramatic actors.

    >Once date of birth and life expectancy were taken into account, standup comedians were found to be more likely to die prematurely than dramatic actors, although there was no difference with comedy actors. Of the 36 standups who had died, nearly 39% had passed away prematurely, compared to almost 20% of the 56 dramatic actors who had died.

    >The researchers also found that comedians ranked higher by the public were more likely to have a shorter lifespan than their less funny colleagues. But the trend was reversed for dramatic actors and, to a lesser extent, comedy actors. “When you adjusted for the age of a dramatic actor versus a standup comedian, the higher you were ranked in your acting ability the more likely you were to live longer,” said Stewart.

    >While the numbers involved in the study were small, the research also hints that standup comedians are more likely to die from non-natural causes, such as suicide or accidents, than dramatic or comedy actors. However, more than 80% of the deaths recorded for stand-up comedians were from natural causes.

  2. Listening to a ton of good comedians talk about their upbringing, it’s not really a shocker. A ton of the great ones bring the average way down. Learning to be funny wasn’t the only way they learned to live.

  3. The comedians that are old enough to have died at that age came up in smoke filled, coke-fueled comedy clubs soaked in booze and staying up every night eating nothing but stale burgers and club sandwiches. Things might be different with the current generation.

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