Health

Last Laughs: Comedians on Getting Old

There are many worthy ways to approach getting older, but laughing at it is perhaps the best

The queen of aging jokes

Who says getting older isn't any fun? Certainly not the people who make it their business to find the lighter side of everything, including the sudden surge of doctor's appointments that begin sometime after you turn 40.

There are many worthy ways to approach getting older, but laughing at it is perhaps the best—at least it's the most entertaining. These stand-up comedians skewer the indignities of aging, explore their fears about getting old and revisit their idiotic youthful follies in these classic clips. This quote, attributed to motivational speaker—and former stand-up comedian—Michael Pritchard, says it best: "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing."

1. Greg Behrendt

Behrendt describes the sinking feeling of realizing he was the "creepy old guy" at a Foo Fighters concert when a security guard came up to him.

"Excuse me, friend," the guard said. "I got to take the chain wallet and your studded belt."

Behrendt asked if this was because of security, and the guard replied, "Nope. It's because you're fifty."

To avoid the mortification of that happening again, Behrendt—also known as the author of "He's Just Not That Into You"—imagines a world with an early-bird "adult rock show" without the opening act so that those over a certain age don't have to see anyone "struggle through their career." Just one of hour of the best music and then home in pajamas watching "Mad Men."

Find out the connection between "sleeping wrong" and the dreaded "appointment" in Behrendt's clip from the New Zealand Comedy Gala.

2. Louie CK

Some people age well better than others, but Louie CK is arguably aging funnier than anyone else. In this bit, Louie is thankful that nobody spends their holidays delivering hot meals to 40-year-olds—at least he's not that pitiful yet. But this is also the age, he notes, when doctors stop trying to fix you. When you describe what's ailing you, they just nod their heads and say, "Yeah, that starts to happen." After that they overprescribe painkillers.

Louie also explains why, even if one day his grandmother kills his other grandmother, putting on his socks will still mark the lowest point of that day.

3. Patton Oswalt

Oswalt, who played the role of Spencer Olchin in the sitcom "The King of Queens," says that a sudden and inexplicable interest in World War II is a warning sign that a man is getting older. He imagines going back in time and meeting his 25-year-old self—a guy incensed by the band Nickelback—and suggesting that "making music for money and p***y" is not exactly the embodiment of evil that the younger Oswalt thinks it is.

4. Bill Burr

Burr talks about his fears of growing old in this irreverent, off-the-wall bit in which he describes old men who have "that permanent look of horror" on their face. Burr begs to be killed before he ever gets to that point. He then produces a theory to explain how "that look" got there in the first place, which involves a cocktail of marriage, nagging and the hazards of emotional repression.

5. Joan Rivers

The queen of aging jokes will always be the late Joan Rivers, whose grandchild, she claimed, called her "Nana Newface." Rivers tells her audience that it happens to everyone—at 40, you have trouble reading birthday cards, at 50, the memory starts to go, at 60, you start to fart and, exacerbating that already unfortunate condition, at 70, you lose your sense of smell.

Rivers is also famous for exploring, in depth, how her boobs have fallen. But even funnier is when Rivers describes how men's bodies also take a plunge. Male bodies drop so quickly, according to Rivers, that she was on camera at the Golden Globes with Dick Clark when his balls dropped. Joan's response? "Happy New Year."

   
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