Saturday, January 12, 2019
Todays comedians can’t even touch these bad*ss medieval jesters (12 Photos)
When you think of the idea of court jesters, you probably picture a dude like this, but with a hat covered in bells or something. He’d play his little guitar thing, wail about wenches and tell a few jokes in Medieval english. In most cases, you’d be right.
But, there are a select few, recorded in history, that were legit badasses, pioneered the concept of gross body humor and even got killed in pursuit of a good bit. Oh, and there was also an actual jester who was secretly a murderer too.
Jesterin’ sounds fun!
Roland the Farter
Roland had many gifts as a court minstrel in the kingdom of Henry II, during the 12th century. His most famous, however, was that he was a gifted flatulist. Which means he was gifted at farting. Every Christmas, he was obliged to perform a traditional dance and end it with “one jump, one whistle, and one fart” all simultaneous.
For this, he was granted a manor house in Suffolk and more than 100 acres of land.
All because he could fart on cue; what a gig.
This guy was the Jester to William the Conqueror and was brought to the Battle of Hastings to boost troop morale. Before the battle began, he ran to the front of the crowd and started singing and juggling his sword.
The Anglo Saxon side got so annoyed with him, they attacked him and made him the first casualty of the battle.
This guy is remembered as Poland’s greatest minstrel and jester, as well as an intelligent philosopher. He actually used his jokes as a form of satire to criticize the King as well as his contemporaries, like a Renaissance-era Stephen Colbert.
His most famous story is during a time when the King had a huge bear captured in Lithuania and brought to Poland, so the King could hunt it. Instead, the bear charged at the King, caused the Queen to fall from her horse and miscarry, all while the jester ran away.
When the King came after Stanczyk for running away and criticized his manhood, the jester told him that the bigger bitch was the one that had a bear in a cage and decided to let him loose. That’s the last that people heard of Stanczyk.
Triboulet was the jester for both King Louis XII and Francis I of France, and was notorious for his quick wit, but also lack of impulse control.
His worst deed was to slap the King across the ass in the midst of entertaining the court. The King threatened to put him to death unless he could come up with an apology more offending than the ass slap. A few seconds later, Triboulet responded with “I’m so sorry, your majesty, that I didn’t recognize you! I mistook you for the Queen!”
Sadly, Triboulet forgot that there was an order forbidding him from making jokes about the Queen, and he was executed. Brutal.
This jester had a 50 year career as a fool through the region of Saxony in England. He was the kind of guy that appeared to be a pure and kind idiot, but was smarter than he looked. He had physical and mental deformities, but that didn’t stop contemporary writers from writing 600+ stories about the man that became best sellers. One of his best bits was trying to shoo away a painted bird and getting incredibly frustrated. It made people laugh, but it was also a kind of social commentary.
He also had extreme moments of clarity, where he’d make predictions that actually came true. Spooky.
This lady was the most famous female jester in history, working in the French court for Henry III, Henry IV and Louis XIII. She was notorious for dressing up like an Amazonian warrior outfit, with armour, long robes, a shield and a wooden sword. She was also insanely brave. There was an instance where a man entered the castle, trying to assassinate Henry IV, and she blocked the doorway of the King’s chambers to prevent him from escaping.
She also may have originated the “I’m with Stupid” joke, when a lady at court told her “I don’t like having a fool on my right side.” Mathurine, then jumped to the woman’s other side and said “I don’t mind at all.” Gonna need some ointment for that burn.
This guy was just out in his field working with his dad’s pigs, when a servant of Queen Elizabeth thought his manner and answers were hilarious, so he brought him to court to be their source of entertainment.
Based on all accounts, he was pretty entertaining. He could fence, tell stories, do ad-libs, improv, whip out wicked burns and tell crass riddles. He was so beloved that he just had to show his face, and people would start laughing in anticipation.
He was also the inspiration for Bottom and Yorick in Shakespeare’s
A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Hamlet
. So, he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.
Not only was Skelton a brilliant entertainer (as well as personal assistant and teacher to the Lord), he was also a lethally dangerous practical joker. In fact, he might have been a serial murderer.
According to the legends, he’d sit under a chestnut tree outside of Muncaster Castle and he’d talk with, and offer directions to, travellers. If you were an upright sort of person, he’d tell you what you needed to know. If he disliked you, he’d give you directions to a perilous and fatal patch of quicksand and cliffs, where no one ever returned from.
He may have also murdered a local carpenter, because he was secretly dating the daughter of his Lord, by taking off his head with the carpentry tools, hiding it, then making a series of jokes about it.
Jane was the personal fool of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr, the ill-fated wives of Henry the VIII. There’s not a lot known about her, but what historians have dug up, is that she’s the only female jester ever depicted in a painting, she had a valuable collection of shoes and clothes, and that she was bald.
But hey, she survived the reign of Henry the eighth without getting pregnant or her head chopped off, so that’s a plus.
Perkeo of Heidelberg
In the early 18th century, he became the court’s jester, and many a laugh was had at the expense of this Italian dwarf. He also had an additional title; the Keeper of the Tun.
The Heidelberg Tun holds the world record for being the worlds largest wine barrel, holding 58,000 gallons. It’s currently empty, but back then it was the way that taxes were collected in the form of wine. As the keeper, Perkeo helped himself to obscene amounts of wine, which was the only thing he drank. At the age of 80, he was persuaded to drink a glass of water, and supposedly died that night.
Do ye think I’m jesting? I think not!
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