“He who laughs, lasts.”
I recently had a hilarious lunch with a new friend in Austin, Tuck Kamin, who wrote the book, “DYA: Design Your Age.” In a chapter called “Laughing Your Age Off,” he cites a variety of comedians who lived to ripe old ages:
George Burns (99), Bob Hope (100), Henny Youngman (92), Phyllis Diller (95). Dick Van Dyke (93), Carl Reiner (97), Mel Brooks (92), and Norman Lear (96). And, of course, there’s Betty White (98), who had a hit TV series well into her 90s. Mark Twain was right, “He who laughs, lasts.”
Lasts a long time.
Tuck also told me about 98-year-old Nellis Willis, who participated in a standup comedy competition on a cruise ship. Amongst her many gems, there was this: “I want to go out of this world the way I came in. Naked and in the arms of a rich doctor.”
I already love Nellis. And let’s follow her lead and bring a little more humor into our lives. Surround yourselves with books, movies, tv shows, and podcasts that make you laugh. Have lunch with your funniest friend once a month. Find a Laughter Yoga workshop in your neighborhood. And, of course, there’s always Saturday Night Live (or Sunday Afternoon Taped as it’s called by those of us who can’t stay awake). Either way, make it a practice to laugh until you cry as often as possible.
As Shakespeare said, “A light heart lives long.”