Bill Vaughan? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: I once read a humorous comment about New Year’s Eve that contrasted the experiences of the young and the middle aged. The young were joyful because they were “allowed to stay up late” while the older people held a different opinion. Are you familiar with this joke and its origin?
Quote Investigator: A long running syndicated newspaper column in the U.S. presented the remarks of a fictional politician named ‘Senator Soaper’. The author of the column changed during the decades it was published. The following quip appeared in 1958 and was written by Bill Vaughan whose full name was William Edward Vaughan: 1
Senator Soaper Says …
Youth is when you are allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you are forced to.
Senator Soaper’s remark was printed in multiple newspapers in 1958. In 1959 the same statement was printed in an Ohio newspaper together with miscellaneous comical items under the title “As We Were Saying”. However, no attribution was given. 2
Here is one additional selected citation.