Comedy Through The Ages

Diary entry: Paulie has been researching the history and evolution of comedy through the millennia, my comedy research has taken me clear back to the ancient druids, now the ancient druid priests weren’t very funny, they were the ones who used to drag dead bodies through the streets, knocking on doors to ask people to donate to their retirement fund or some such thing, and if they didn’t donate, a priest would spread blood from their dead guy onto the person’s door and someone in the house was supposed to die, anyway, you don’t drag a dead guy through the streets all night without a laugh or two, and sometimes one of the druid priests would take a lung or a liver from their dead body and drop it down a guy’s pants, this was the early raw stages of comedy, it would take many years for comedy to begin to develop, comedy made slow but steady progress up through the time of the Persian Empire when the parlor game was developed, then everything was about partying in the parlor of the citadel playing such recently developed games as Spin the Goatskin, My Favorite Chakra, Odd Eunuch Out, I Spy With My One Little Eye (Because I Was Flogged And Lost My Other One), Hypnotize the Slave Girl, comedy was really on a roll like Alexander crossing the desert, unfortunately, Alexander was rolling across the desert with his armies, and the Hellenization of Persia and the world began, Alexander and the Greeks put an end to comedy in favor of philosophy and sports, the Greeks weren’t funny at all, but somewhere around 150 BCE things began to change, prop comedy came into being, things like fake rubber gladiator vomit, rubber camel poop, people began to laugh in new ways, bazaars began to spring up along the camel caravan routes, selling comedy props such as joy buzzers, two headed denarius coins, plastic ice cubes with the fly inside, fake rubber desert cobras and sand snakes, the amazing vanishing head trick (giant iron axe not included), some historians argue over whether the practical joke made it’s entrance to the comedy world at this time, but I maintain that the practical joke arrived right after prop comedy, almost as an adjunct, and they ran concurrently from then on, as we enter into the Roman era, the practical joke was all the craze and props were an essential part, we see such things as the toga with the back cut out of it, many rubber food items such as rubber quail eggs, rubber stag legs, turkey legs, and rubber goat cheese, also the dribble wine chalice; the rubber whoopie cushion didn’t catch on at this time as it seemed redundant, this brings us up to the time of the first Christmas when the “pie in the face” gag was first performed, a baby was born just outside of Seattle, a miraculous birth of which news spread quickly, three Stooges from the East heard about the babe’s birth and they followed Starbucks all the way to Seattle, bringing gifts for the newborn baby, each Stooge brought the babe a shepherd’s pie, when they arrived at the little lean to where the babe was, Joseph the father was drunk from drinking holiday eggnog all day and he continually boasted about how great his son was, he wouldn’t shut up about it and he was really annoying, that is when the three Stooges from the East hit Joseph in the face with their shepherd’s pies, and on this, the very first Christmas, the “pie in the face” gag was born, there was no room at the inn during this time because Starbucks was running a special promotion, a free bagel with every two lattes purchased, and you know how people love their bagels, anyway, the whole vicinity was jam packed like a Johnnie Appleseed festival except instead of apples it was coffee and donuts; the history and evolution of comedy through the millennia is truly an adventure worth taking, rich history comes alive better when you can laugh about it, we will continue our comedy journey through time in a future “Diary” entry, the Roman Catholic Church and it’s Dark Ages are coming up, we’ll see if there is anything funny about that, well, this is Paulie, out on the trail through time, saying shalom all…


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