The archetypal action hero or heroine is the protagonist of an action film or other entertainment which portrays action and adventure. Other media in which such heroes appear include swashbuckler films, Westerns on television, old-time radio, adventure novels, dime novels, pulp magazines, folklore. Anandalok Best Action Hero Award Osgerby, Anna Gough-Yates, Marianne Wells. Action TV: Tough-Guys, Smooth Operators and Foxy Chicks. London: Routledge, 2001. Tasker, Yvonne. Action and Adventure Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2004. Female action heroes photo gallery - The Boston Globe The Lost Action Hero - The Washington Post
Pedrolino is a primo zanni, or comic servant, of the Commedia dell'Arte. The character made its first appearance in the last quarter of the 16th century as the invention of the actor with whom the role was to be long identified, Giovanni Pellesini. Contemporary illustrations suggest that his white blouse and trousers constituted "a variant of the typical zanni suit", his Bergamasque dialect marked him as a member of the "low" rustic class, but if his costume and social station were without distinction, his dramatic role was not: as a multifaceted "first" zanni, his character was—and still is—rich in comic incongruities. Many Commedia historians make a connection between the Italian Pedrolino and the Pierrot of the French Comédie-Italienne, although a link between the two is possible, it remains unproven and seems unlikely, based on the scant evidence of early Italian scenario texts. Pedrolino appears in forty-nine of the fifty scenarios of Flaminio Scala's Il teatro delle favole rappresentative and in three pieces of the "Corsini" collection of manuscripts.
All of these provide evidence of how he was played. He is a type of what Robert Storey calls the "social wit" incarnated as "the go-between, the willing servant, the wily slave" who "survives in serving others". In the Scala scenarios, which offer the most revealing showcase of his character, he is invariably cast as the "first" zanni, a type to be distinguished from the "second" zanni by his or her function in the plot; the Commedia critic and historian Constant Mic clarifies the distinctions when he notes that the first zanni instigates confusion quite voluntarily, the second creates disturbance through his blundering. The second zanni is a perfect dunce; the first zanni incarnates the comic element of the play, the second its static element. Since his function is "to keep the play moving", Pedrolino seems to betray, in Storey's words, "a Janus-faced aspect": "He may work cleverly in the interests of the Lovers in one play—Li Quattro finti spiritati, for example—by disguising himself as a magician and making Pantalone believe that the'madness' of Isabella and Oratio can be cured only by their coupling together.
So multiform is his character that his cleverness can give way to credulity and his calculation can sometimes be routed by grotesque sentimentality. Despite such inconsistencies in character and behavior, he has an "instantly recognizable" identity. "The recognizability came," as Richard Andrews writes, "from his costume. That recognizability arose from his puckish love of mischief: "He takes a child-like delight in practical jokes and pranks," as a modern-day practitioner of the Commedia writes, "but otherwise his intrigues are on behalf of his master.... At times, the best he can scheme for is to escape the punishment others have in store for him." Naively volatile, he can be moved to violence when angry, but, in obedience to the conventions of comedy, his pugnaciousness is deflected or foiled. Pedrolino is most presented as having an all-white wardrobe and wearing exaggeratedly over-sized and loose-fitting clothes including a white jacket with large buttons and comically long sleeves, a large neck ruff, a large, floppy hat.
He is one of the few unmasked male characters, not an Innamorati. Instead of a mask, Pedrolino is said to have been defined, according to some Commedia historians, by a white "floured" makeup known as infarinato, which inspired, in part, the makeup of the modern-day white-faced clown. Pedrolino first appears among the records of the Commedia in 1576, when his interpreter Giovanni Pellesini turns up in Florence leading his own troupe called Pedrolino. A member of some of the most illustrious companies of the 16th and 17th centuries—the Confidenti, Fideli and Accessi—Pellesini was "a much sought-after and paid guest star", his status is underscored by the fact that Pedrolino figures so prominently in Scala's scenarios, since, as K. M. Lea convincingly argues, Scala, in compiling them, drew upon the "chief actors of his day... without regard to the composition of a company at any particular period." Pedrolino—and Pellesini—were, we must conclude, among the brightest luminaries of the early Commedia dell'Arte.
Pellesini had a lengthy run as Pedrolino and performed for a number of high-ranking spectators, including the Duke of Mantua at Fontainebleau while traveling with the Confidenti. His last appearance as Pedrolino was in 1613 at the age of eighty-seven, performing with the Accessi company at the court theater of the Louvre, an engagement to which the poet Malherbe responded: Harlequin is quite different from what he was, so is Petrolin: the first is fifty-six and the second eighty-seven; these are no longer proper ages for the theater.
Tom Thumb (film)
Tom Thumb is a 1958 fantasy-musical film directed by George Pal and released by MGM. The film, based on the fairy tale Thumbling by the Brothers Grimm, is about a tiny man who manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him, it stars Russ Tamblyn in the title role, with a British supporting cast, including Bernard Miles and Jessie Matthews as Tom Thumb's adoptive parents, June Thorburn as the Forest Queen and comic actors Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers as the villainous duo who try to exploit the tiny hero for profit. Director Pal worked with cinematographer Georges Périnal, animators Wah Chang and Gene Warren, art director Elliot Scott and special effects artist Tom Howard to create the animated and fantasy sequences. Peggy Lee wrote the songs, Douglas Gamley and Ken Jones wrote the music; the film is referenced in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Pinkeltje. The film is featured in That's Dancing! The filming locations for the movie were in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA and London, England.
Jonathan, a poor but honest lumberjack, lives in the forest with his loving wife Anne. One day, while chopping down a tree, the mystical forest queen appears before Jonathan and begs him to spare the tree as it is a home to a family of birds; as selling wood is his livelihood, Jonathan is reluctant, but after the queen demonstrates her magic powers, Jonathan agrees. In gratitude, the queen tells Jonathan she will grant his wife three wishes. Jonathan races home to tell Anne about the incredible encounter. Jonathan and Anne accidentally squander the wishes while bickering over dinner; as they turn in for bed that night, they look over the second bedroom of their cottage, stocked with toys for the child they dearly wanted but were never able to have. Anne laments their previous squandering of their magic wishes, which they could have used to wish for a child, but Jonathan consoles her that the forest queen may yet show them kindness and grant them one more wish. Anne remarks that she would love any child they would have had "even if he was no bigger than her thumb."
They are roused by a soft knocking at the door and find before them a young boy, the size of a thumb, who addresses Jonathan and Anne familiarly as "father" and "mother". Anne instinctively knows. In the following days, family friend Woody takes Tom into town. Tom is carried off by a balloon on to the top of the nearby castle's treasury tower, where two thieves and Antony, are conspiring to steal the gold, they realize that due to his size, Tom will be able to slip between the bars of the grill on the treasury roof and trick him into believing they need the gold to help poor orphans. As a reward for his assistance, Ivan gives Tom a single gold sovereign from the stolen loot. Tom returns home late at night, to find his parents distraught over his disappearance from the carnival. While he sneaks in through the window, he accidentally drops his sovereign into a cake his mother had been baking. By the next morning, the robbery has been discovered and guards are scouring the countryside searching for the thieves.
A unit stops at Jonathan's cottage to ask. Anne offers the guards some cake and one guard bites into the slice containing the sovereign recognizing it as part of the stolen treasure. Jonathan and Anne are taken away to be flogged in the town square. With Woody's help, Tom tracks down the real thieves and, thanks to his ability to control animals manages to bring them back to the town square, along with their loot, thereby exonerating his parents. Ivan and Antony are arrested and the gold is returned to the treasury; the movie concludes with Woody marrying the forest queen, whom he has been clumsily romancing throughout the movie. Russ Tamblyn as Tom Thumb Alan Young as Woody Terry-Thomas as Ivan Peter Sellers as Antony June Thorburn as Forest Queen Bernard Miles as Jonathan, Tom's Father Jessie Matthews as Anne, Tom's Mother Ian Wallace as The Cobbler Peter Butterworth as Kapellmeister Peter Bull as Town Crier Stan Freberg as Yawning man Dal McKennon as Con-Fu-Shon "Tom Thumb's Tune" Music and Lyrics by Peggy Lee Sung and danced by Russ Tamblyn and the Puppetoons"After All These Years" Music by Fred Spielman Lyrics by Janice Torre Sung by Jessie Matthews"Talented Shoes" Music by Fred Spielman Lyrics by Janice Torre Sung by Ian Wallace"The Yawning Song" Music by Fred Spielman Lyrics by Kermit Goell Sung by Stan Freberg"Are You a Dream" Music and Lyrics by Peggy Lee Sung by Alan Young Variety wrote, "film is top-drawer, a comic fairy tale with music that stacks up alongside some of the Disney classics".
According to MGM records the film earned $1,800,000 in the US and Canada and $1,450,000 elsewhere, making a profit of $612,000. At the 1959 Academy Awards, the film won an Oscar for Tom Howard in the category of Best Effects, Special Effects. At the 1959 BAFTA Awards, Terry Thomas was Nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the category of Best British Actor. At the 1959 Golden Globes, the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical. At the 1959 Laurel Awards, the film was nominated for Top Musical, while Russ Tamblyn was nominated for a Golden Laurel for Top Male Musical Performance. At the 1959 Writers Guild of America Ladislas Fodor was nominated for a
Peter Sellers, CBE was an English film actor and singer. He performed in the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show, featured on a number of hit comic songs and became known to a worldwide audience through his many film characterisations, among them Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series of films. Born in Portsmouth, Sellers made his stage debut at the Kings Theatre, when he was two weeks old, he began accompanying his parents in a variety act. He first worked as a drummer and toured around England as a member of the Entertainments National Service Association, he developed his mimicry and improvisational skills during a spell in Ralph Reader's wartime Gang Show entertainment troupe, which toured Britain and the Far East. After the war, Sellers made his radio debut in ShowTime, became a regular performer on various BBC radio shows. During the early 1950s, along with Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, took part in the successful radio series The Goon Show, which ended in 1960.
Sellers began his film career during the 1950s. Although the bulk of his work was comedic parodying characters of authority such as military officers or policemen, he performed in other film genres and roles. Films demonstrating his artistic range include I'm All Right Jack, Stanley Kubrick's Lolita and Dr. Strangelove, What's New, Pussycat?, Casino Royale, The Party, Being There and five films of the Pink Panther series. Sellers's versatility enabled him to portray a wide range of comic characters using different accents and guises, he would assume multiple roles within the same film with contrasting temperaments and styles. Satire and black humour were major features of many of his films, his performances had a strong influence on a number of comedians. Sellers was nominated three times for an Academy Award, twice for the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performances in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, once for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film.
He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role twice, for I'm All Right Jack and for the original Pink Panther film, The Pink Panther and was nominated as Best Actor three times. In 1980 he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in Being There, was nominated three times in the same category. Turner Classic Movies calls Sellers "one of the most accomplished comic actors of the late 20th century". In his personal life, Sellers struggled with depression and insecurities. An enigmatic figure, he claimed to have no identity outside the roles that he played, his behaviour was erratic and compulsive, he clashed with his directors and co-stars in the mid-1970s when his physical and mental health, together with his alcohol and drug problems, were at their worst. Sellers was married four times, had three children from his first two marriages, he died as a result of a heart attack in 1980, aged 54. English filmmakers the Boulting brothers described Sellers as "the greatest comic genius this country has produced since Charles Chaplin".
Sellers was born on 8 September 1925, in a suburb of Portsmouth. His parents were Yorkshire-born William "Bill" Sellers and Agnes Doreen "Peg". Both were variety entertainers. Although christened Richard Henry, his parents called him Peter, after his elder stillborn brother. Sellers remained an only child. Peg Sellers was related to the pugilist Daniel Mendoza, whom Sellers revered, whose engraving hung in his office. At one time Sellers planned to use Mendoza's image for his production company's logo. Sellers was two weeks old when he was carried on stage by Dick Henderson, the headline act at the Kings Theatre in Southsea: the crowd sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow", which caused the infant to cry; the family toured, causing much upheaval and unhappiness in the young Sellers' life. Sellers maintained a close relationship with his mother, which his friend Spike Milligan considered unhealthy for a grown man. Sellers's agent, Dennis Selinger, recalled his first meeting with Peg and Peter Sellers, noting that "Sellers was an immensely shy young man, inclined to be dominated by his mother, but without resentment or objection".
As an only child though, he spent much time alone. In 1935 the Sellers family settled in Muswell Hill. Although Bill Sellers was Protestant and Peg was Jewish, Sellers attended the North London Roman Catholic school St. Aloysius College, run by the Brothers of Our Lady of Mercy; the family was not rich. According to biographer Peter Evans, Sellers was fascinated and worried by religion from a young age Catholicism. In his life, Sellers observed that while his father's faith was according to the Church of England, his mother was Jewish, "and Jews take the faith of their mother." According to Milligan, Sellers held a guilt complex about being Jewish and recalls that Sellers was once reduced to tears when he presented him with a candlestick from a synagogue for Christmas, believing the gesture to be an anti-Jewish slur. Sellers became a top student at the school, he was prone to laziness, but his natural talents shielded him from cri
The Servant of Two Masters
The Servant of Two Masters is a comedy by the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni written in 1746. Goldoni wrote the play at the request of actor Antonio Sacco, one of the great Truffaldinos in history, his earliest drafts had large sections that were reserved for improvisation, but he revised it in 1753 in the version that exists today. The play draws on the tradition of the earlier Italian commedia dell'arte; the play opens with the introduction of Beatrice, a woman who has traveled to Venice disguised as her dead brother in search of the man who killed him, her lover. Her brother forbade her to marry Florindo, died defending his sister's honor. Beatrice disguises herself as Federigo so that he can collect dowry money from Pantaloon, the father of Clarice, her brother's betrothed, she wants to use this money to help her lover escape, to allow them to wed. But thinking that Beatrice's brother was dead, Clarice has fallen in love with another man and the two have become engaged. Interested in keeping up appearances, Pantalone tries to conceal the existence of each from the other.
Beatrice's servant, the exceptionally quirky and comical Truffaldino, is the central figure of this play. He is always complaining of an empty stomach, always trying to satisfy his hunger by eating everything and anything in sight; when the opportunity presents itself to be servant to another master he sees the opportunity for an extra dinner. As Truffaldino runs around Venice trying to fill the orders of two masters, he is uncovered several times because other characters hand him letters, etc. and say "this is for your master" without specifying which one. To make matters worse, the stress causes him to develop a temporary stutter, which only arouses more problems and suspicion among his masters. To further complicate matters and Florindo are staying in the same hotel, are searching for each other. In the end, with the help of Clarice and Smeraldina Beatrice and Florindo find each other, with Beatrice exposed as a woman, Clarice is allowed to marry Silvio; the last matter up for discussion is whether Truffaldino and Smeraldina can get married, which at last exposes Truffaldino's having played both sides all along.
However, as everyone has just decided to get married, Truffaldino is forgiven. Truffaldino asks Smeraldina to marry him; the most famous set-piece of the play is the scene in which the starving Truffaldino tries to serve a banquet to the entourages of both his masters without either group becoming aware of the other, while trying to satisfy his own hunger at the same time. The characters of the play are taken from the Italian Renaissance theatre style commedia dell'arte. In classic commedia tradition, an actor learns a stock character and plays it to perfection throughout his career; the actors had a list of possible scenarios, each with a basic plot, called a canovaccio, throughout would perform physical-comedy acts known as lazzi and the dialogue was improvised. The characters from The Servant of Two Masters are derived from stock characters used in commedia dell'arte. True commedia dell'arte is more or less improvised without a script, so The Servant of Two Masters is not true commedia; the stock characters were used as guides for the actors improvising.
Truffaldino Battochio – Servant first to Beatrice, afterward to Florindo. He is the love interest of Smeraldina. Beatrice Rasponi – Master to Truffaldino, a lady of Turin and disguised as her brother Federigo Rasponi, she is the love interest of Florindo. Florindo Aretusi – Master to Truffaldino, of Turin and the love interest of Beatrice Pantalone Dei Bisognosi – A Venetian merchant Smeraldina – Maidservant to Clarice and the love interest of Truffaldino Clarice – Pantalone's Daughter and the love interest of Silvio Silvio – Son of Dr. Lombardi and the love interest of Clarice Dr. Lombardi – Silvio's father Brighella – An Innkeeper First Waiter Second Waiter First Porter Second Porter There have been several adaptations of the play for the cinema and for the stage: Слуга двух господ – a 1953 Soviet adaptation Slugă la doi stăpâni – a Romanian National Radiophonic Theater production. C. Banham, Martin, ed. 1998. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43437-8.
Goldoni, Carlo. 2011. Il servitore di due Marsilio Editori. ISBN 978-88-317-0831-9; the Servant of Two Masters, translated with
Terry-Thomas was an English comedian and character actor who became known to a worldwide audience through his films during the 1950s and 1960s. He portrayed disreputable members of the upper classes cads and bounders, using his distinctive voice, his striking dress sense was set off by a 1⁄3-inch gap between his two upper front teeth. Born in London, Terry-Thomas made his film debut, uncredited, in The Private Life of Henry VIII, he spent several years appearing in smaller roles, before wartime service with Entertainments National Service Association and Stars in Battledress. The experience helped sharpen his cabaret and revue act, increased his public profile and proved instrumental in the development of his successful comic stage routine. Upon his demobilisation, he starred in Piccadilly Hayride on the London stage and was the star of the first comedy series on British television, How Do You View?. He appeared on various BBC Radio shows, made a successful transition into British films, his most creative period was the 1950s when he appeared in Private's Progress, The Green Man, Blue Murder at St Trinian's, I'm All Right Jack and Carlton-Browne of the F.
O.. From the early 1960s Terry-Thomas began appearing in American films, coarsening his unsubtle screen character in films such as Bachelor Flat, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World and How to Murder Your Wife. From the mid-1960s he starred in European films, in roles such as Sir Reginald in the successful French film La Grande Vadrouille. In 1971 Terry-Thomas was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which brought his career to a conclusion: his last film role was in 1980, he spent much of his fortune on medical treatment and, shortly before his death, was living in poverty, existing on charity from the Actors' Benevolent Fund. A charity gala was held in his honour, which raised sufficient funds for him to live his remaining time in a nursing home. Terry-Thomas was born Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens at 53 Lichfield Grove, North London, he was the fourth of five children born to Ernest Frederick Stevens, managing director of a butcher's business at Smithfield Market and part-time amateur actor, his wife Ellen Elizabeth Stevens.
As a child, Terry-Thomas was referred to as Tom, the diminutive used by his family. He led a happy childhood, but believed that his parents secretly desired a daughter in his place. By the time he reached adolescence, his parents' marriage had failed and both became alcoholics. In an attempt to bring them together, Terry-Thomas entertained them by performing impromptu slapstick routines, reciting jokes and singing and dancing around the family home; the performances worked, his father became removed from his family. In 1921, Terry-Thomas began to nurture his distinctive, well-spoken voice, reasoning that "using good speech automatically suggested that you were well-educated and made people look up to you", he used the speech of the actor Owen Nares as a basis for his own delivery. Terry-Thomas became fascinated by the stage, attended the Golders Green Hippodrome to see the latest shows, it was there that he developed an interest in fashion, adopted the debonair dress-sense of his hero Douglas Fairbanks.
Terry-Thomas attended Fernbank School in Hendon Lane, a welcome escape from the stresses of his parents' break-up. When he was 13, he transferred to a public school in Sussex, he excelled in Latin and geography, took up drama. The latter subject led to his expulsion from the school, after his frequent and inappropriate use of ad lib during lessons, he took up a position in the school jazz band, first playing the ukulele and percussion and additionally he performed comedy dancing routines to the band's music. Terry-Thomas enjoyed his time at Ardingly, relished his association with upper middle class school friends, his academic abilities were modest, he only came to the notice of staff through his frequent tomfoolery. Although he felt intimidated by his school surroundings, his confidence grew as he put on "a bold and sustained show of chutzpah", according to his biographer, Graham McCann. On his return home to Finchley to start a break in 1927, his more mature manner impressed the family's housekeeper Kate Dixon, who seduced the young student at the family home.
He stayed at Ardingly for one more term and returned home to London, but made no plans to further his education or start long-term work. Instead, he accepted a temporary position at Smithfield Market, where he earned 15 shillings a week as a junior transport clerk for the Union Cold Storage Company. By his own admission, he never stopped "farting around" and kept his colleagues entertained with impersonations of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Erich von Stroheim, he invented various characters, including Colonel Featherstonehaugh-Bumleigh and Cora Chessington-Crabbe, recited comic stories involving them to his colleagues. His characterisations soon came to the notice of the company's management who prompted him to enrol in the company's amateur drama club, he made his début with the drama company in the role of Lord Trench in The Dover Road, staged at the Fortune Theatre, London. The production was popular with audiences, he subsequently became a regular performer in many amateur productions.
Terry-Thomas made his professional stage début on 11 April 1930 at a social evening organised by the Union of Electric Railwayman's Dining Club in South Kensington. He was billed as Thos Steven
A jester, court jester, or fool, was an entertainer during the medieval and Renaissance eras, a member of the household of a nobleman or a monarch employed to entertain him and his guests. A jester was an itinerant performer who entertained common folk at fairs and markets. Jesters are modern-day entertainers who resemble their historical counterparts. Jesters in medieval times are thought to have worn brightly coloured clothes and eccentric hats in a motley pattern and their modern counterparts mimic this costume. Jesters entertained with a wide variety of skills: principal among them were song and storytelling, but many employed acrobatics, telling jokes, magic tricks. Much of the entertainment was performed in a comic style and many jesters made contemporary jokes in word or song about people or events well known to their audiences; the modern use of the English word jester did not come into use until the mid-16th century, during Tudor times. This modern term derives from the older form gestour, or jestour from Anglo-Norman meaning storyteller or minstrel.
Other earlier terms included fol and bourder. These terms described entertainers who differed in their skills and performances but who all shared many similarities in their role as comedic performers for their audiences. Early jesters were popular in Ancient Egypt, entertained Egyptian pharaohs; the ancient Romans had a tradition of called balatrones. Balatrones were paid for their jests, the tables of the wealthy were open to them for the sake of the amusement they afforded. Jesters were popular with the Aztec people in the 14th to 16th centuries. Many royal courts throughout English royal history employed entertainers and most had professional fools, sometimes called licensed fools. Entertainment included music and physical comedy, it has been suggested they performed acrobatics and juggling. Henry VIII of England employed a jester named Will Sommers. During the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I of England, William Shakespeare wrote his plays and performed with his theatre company the Lord Chamberlain's Men.
Clowns and jesters were featured in Shakespeare's plays, the company's expert on jesting was Robert Armin, author of the book Fooled upon Foole. In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Feste the jester is described as "wise enough to play the fool". King James VI of Scotland employed a jester called Archibald Armstrong. During his lifetime Armstrong was given great honours at court, he was thrown out of the King's employment when he over-reached and insulted too many influential people. After his disgrace, books telling of his jests were sold in London streets, he held some influence at court still in estates of land in Ireland. Charles employed a jester called Jeffrey Hudson, popular and loyal. Jeffrey Hudson had the title of Royal Dwarf. One of his jests was to be presented hidden in a giant pie. Hudson fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War. A third jester associated with Charles I was called Muckle John. Scholar David Carlyon has cast doubt on the "daring political jester", calling historical tales "apocryphal", concluding that "popular culture embraces a sentimental image of the clown.
Jesters could give bad news to the King that no one else would dare deliver. In 1340, when the French fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Sluys by the English. Phillippe VI's jester told him the English sailors "don't have the guts to jump into the water like our brave French". After the Restoration, Charles II did not reinstate the tradition of the court jester, but he did patronize the theatre and proto-music hall entertainments favouring the work of Thomas Killigrew. Though Killigrew was not a jester, Samuel Pepys in his famous diary does call Killigrew "The King's fool and jester, with the power to mock and revile the most prominent without penalty"; the last British nobles to keep jesters were the Bowes-Lyons. In the 18th century, jesters had died out except in Russia and Germany. In France and Italy, travelling groups of jesters performed plays featuring stylized characters in a form of theatre called the commedia dell'arte. A version of this passed into British folk tradition in the form of a puppet show and Judy.
In France the tradition of the court jester ended with the French Revolution. In 1968, the Canada Council awarded a $3,500 grant to Joachim Foikis of Vancouver "to revive the ancient and time-honoured tradition of town fool". In the 21st century, the jester is still seen at medieval-style pageants. In 2015, the town of Conwy in North Wales appointed Russel Erwood as the official resident jester of the town and its people, a post, vacant since 1295. Poland's most famous court jester was Stańczyk, whose jokes were related to political matters, who became a historical symbol for Poles. In 2004 English Heritage appointed Nigel Roder as the State Jester for England, the first since Muckle John 355 years previously. However, following an objection by the National Guild of Jesters, English Heritage accepted they were not authorised to grant such a title. Roder was succeeded as "Heritage Jester" by Pete Cooper. In Germany, Till Eulenspiegel is a folkloric hero dating back to medieval times and ruling each year over Fasching or Carnival time, mocking politicians and public figures of power