"Forty" wrote Victor Hugo "is the old age of youth." Forty and older is also the age of funny.
Yet sometimes the perception is just the opposite -- especially with comedians who are coming up in their careers. "I've often found that the industry finds less value in their brand and comedy," says Eric Hanson of Pascal Hanson Management, who has produced comedy specials, like Stand-Up 360, and has been a dominant force in comedy management for two decades.
However, Hanson has noticed that when club owners like Al Martin go against the grain and add older comedians into their line-ups, the results pay off. These comedians are big crowdpleasers. The audiences keep returning for more. "Most great comics have had a fair amount of pain," says Martin who owns the Broadway Comedy Club and Greenwich Village Comedy Club in New York City. "And that takes life experience."
Just ask Jane Condon who has appeared on The View, Girls' Night Out and has performed for the Clintons. "I love being a comedian over 40 because I have a lot to say," says Condon. According to Michael Goldman, CEO and founder of ComedyTime.TV, which runs stand-up comedy videos from top comedians of all ages, Condon's videos are some of the most popular on the site. "Age has not been a factor for a comedy clip to go viral," explains Goldman. "We feature numerous comedians over 40 who get millions of hits."
To support this important demographic, Hanson and his business partner Christian Pascal are doing all they can to challenge this perception. (After all, people over 40 have a buying power of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation's financial wealth.) Hanson and Pascal recently started a division for comedians over 40. "In the 1980s most networks didn't want to take a chance on a sitcom with four women over the age of 50 but The Golden Girls is still shown around the world," says Hanson. "There was a time back in the '50s and '60s and '70s when most comics where in their 40s," says a Last Comic Standing finalist, Michele Balan. "Phyllis Diller didn't start comedy till she was 37!"
See this talent for yourself. Click to this Parade.com story and watch 40 comedians over 40 doing their stand-up. "I have lived a life," says Condon. "So buckle your seat belt and get on my ride. You will have a good time."
Pascal Hanson Management is seeking comedians over 40 to represent. This October 8, they're presenting a showcase at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York City to feature the funniest 40 and over comedians. If you are over 40 and think you are funny, email a link to FunnyOver40@gmail.com.