Funny Business

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Lore tells us that April Fools' Day is a hangover from the New Year's celebrations of 16th century France; in 1562, a new Christian calendar was introduced and the beginning of the new year shifted from April 1 to January 1. In medieval times, however, word didn't travel very quickly, so those who hadn't heard of the change continued celebrating the April holiday, much to the amusement of those in the know. Today, the first day of April continues to provide a chance to have fun at someone else's expense. But for some, the laughter continues year-round. And purveyors of comedy are laughing all the way to the bank.


People who watch comedy and variety shows on television are 93 percent more likely to attend a rodeo than those who don't tune in to sitcoms.

• Attend a rodeo 193
• Order Avon 154
• Collect coins 151
• Own a pet bird 147
• Quit smoking with an aid 139
Source: Mediamark Research, Inc.

Best Sellers

Gag Gifts Price
• Rubber chicken $8.95
• Nerd glasses $2.50
• My Pretty Nose Hair $2.95
• Fake mustache $4.95
• Devil Duckie $3.95
Source: Archie McPhee & Co., Seattle, WA

Funny Pages

Thirty-two percent of Americans read the comic strip section of the newspaper. Comic-heads are also characterized as people who…

• Read the science section 178
• Buy sci-fi books 165
• Are lactose intolerant 164
• Play table tennis 156
• Participate in martial arts 135
• Have a post-grad degree 119
• Are aged 65 or older 115
• Live in East Central U.S. 113
Source: Mediamark Research, Inc.

Novelty Shops

• No. of novelty shops 37,285
• No. of employees 208,371
• Annual sales $14.5 billion
Source: 1997 Economic Census


• Average age of comics readers 24
• Percent of comics readers who are male 95%
• Average cost per comic book $2.60
• Number of new comic book titles per month 375
• Number of comic book shops 3,500
• Annual comic book sales in 2000 $260 million
Source: John Miller, editor “Comics & Games Retailer� industry magazine


Attend comedy clubs?
Percent who consume: Yes No
• Rum 31% 18%
• Ice Beer 16% 8%
• Tequila 27% 15%
• Cognac 11% 6%
• Micro Brew Beer 17% 9%
Source: Simmons Market Research Bureau


Comedy Central fans* are less likely to be happy with their lives, but feel more empowered that they can do something about it.

Percent who disagree: All Comedy Central
“I am very happy with my life as it is.� 15% 17%
“There is little I can do to change my life.� 56% 64%
*“Fans� is defined as those individuals who viewed 7 hours of Comedy Central or more in the past 7 days.
Source: Simmons Market Research Bureau

*The national average is 100. For instance, people who watch comedy or variety shows on television are 54 percent more likely to order Avon.

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