The Youngest Sibling Is the Funniest…Or So They Think

According to a recent survey from YouGov, the youngest in the family is a comedian in the making—by their own estimations.

Portrait of beautiful smiling cute baby

Out of 1,782 British adults, 46 percent of younger siblings rated themselves funnier than their older siblings (only 36 percent of the older brothers and sisters thought they were better at hilarity).

But the claims might just extend into something factual. In his book My Youngest, There’s No One Like You, author Kevin Leman, lists a litany of comedians who happened to be the youngest in their households—Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Goldie Hawn, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, and Charlie Chaplin, to name a few.

On the other hand, the British poll respondents felt the older siblings to be more “responsible, successful, organised, and self-confident”. This appraisal goes beyond the idea of maturity; researchers point to the role of parents and the change in family dynamics when the brood is increased: “Parental attention soon shifts onto new arrivals, and first borns may have to learn the ropes themselves,” the research team writes. “As evidence, elder siblings are more likely to feel more organised and able to prioritise their own lives.”

Is this true for your family—are you the funny one, or the responsible one? And can you spot the same in your kids?