Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/120527
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Type: Journal article
Title: Is the last “man” standing in comedy the least funny? A retrospective cohort study of elite stand-up comedians versus other entertainers
Author: Stewart, S.
Wiley, J.
McDermott, C.
Thompson, D.
Citation: International Journal of Cardiology, 2016; 220:789-793
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0167-5273
1874-1754
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Simon Stewart, Joshua F. Wiley, Cressida J. McDermott, David R. Thompson
Abstract: Background: This study aimed to confirm, in a large, diverse cohort of elite Stand-up Comedians and other entertainers, that there is an inverse association between comedic ability and longevity. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 200 Stand-up Comedians (13% women), 113 Comedy Actors (17.5% women), and 184 Dramatic Actors (29.3% women) listed in the top 200 in each category in a popular online ranking website. Longevity within each group was examined adjusting for life expectancy by year of birth and within-group ranking score. Results: Stand-up Comedians were younger than Comedy Actors (median birth year 1962 versus 1947: p<0.001) and Dramatic Actors (1962 versus 1946: p<0.001). Overall, 36/200 (18.0%), 33/114 (29.0%) and 56/184 (30.9%) of Stand-up Comedians, Comedy Actors and Dramatic Actors, respectively, had died (p=0.011). There was a significant gradient (p=0.011) in the age of death, with Stand-up Comedians dying at a younger age (67.1±21.3years) than their Comedy Actor (68.9±15.4years) and Dramatic Actor (70.7±16.6years) counterparts. Stand-up Comedians (38.9% versus 19.6%) were more likely to die prematurely compared to Dramatic Actors; p=0.043, OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.87). Independent of year of birth, for Stand-up Comedians alone, higher comedy rank was associated with shorter longevity (hazard ratio 0.938, 95% CI 0.880 to 0.999 for a 10-rank difference; p=0.045). Conclusions: These data reaffirm an adverse relationship between comedic ability and longevity, with elite Stand-up Comedians more highly rated by the public more likely to die prematurely.
Keywords: Comedy; mortality; entertainers
Rights: © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030121764
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.06.284
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1041796
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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