Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


1. an entertainer who specializes in jokes, comic skits, etc.
2. an actor in comedy



an actor performing comic roles; a theatrical role specialization.

The comedian was the central figure of the old folk street theater, the articulator of its satire and the embodiment of folk humor and common sense. In Renaissance theater, particularly in the works of Shakespeare (for example, the Fool in King Lear), the comedy roles had philosophical and dramatic content. Classicism drove the comedian from the genre of tragedy to the fringes of the “low” genres. However, cheerful comic characters embodying folk wit and vitality were used by Molière (for example, Scapin in Les Fourberies de Scapin) to satirize the ruling estates.

In 19th-century theater the comedian’s role was to satirize society and be the spokesman for humanist tendencies in progressive drama. The comedian approaches the tragedian when he reveals the dichotomy between the external humor and inner drama of the hero’s lot—for example, Kuzovkin in Turgenev’s The Parasite and Shmaga in Ostrovskii’s Guilty WithoutGuilt. In the theater and motion pictures of the 20th century, the range of comedians has expanded, and they play both true-to-life, psychologically profound roles and parts that retain slapstick traditions.


References in periodicals archive ?
It's so much better being a comedian in the Middle East.
I don't believe that until you talk about s3x, you cannot make it as a comedian.
Munawar Zarif was a versatile actor and comedian best known for his work in the Pakistani
While there is still a strong buzz of competition in the air, many of the wannabe comedians know each other well - very well in fact.
USA], Jan 07 ( ANI ): Actor and comedian Jerry Van Dyke, who earned four Emmy nominations for his role in the sitcom 'Coach', has died of a heart attack at his ranch in Arkansas.
Alongside being a trained classical musician and an award-winning comedian, expect Bailey to include his experiences of being a political activist and philosopher.
uk published an article headlined "If every Premier League club was a stand-up comedian, who would they be?
After 24 hours and 14,334 votes, The Great Aloo War of 2017 has ended in a tie,' said the American stand-up comedian.
smid=tw-nytimesarts&smtyp=cur&mtrref=undefined&auth=login-email) New York Times  released a report Thursday that detailed accusations from actress Dana Min Goodman, among other women, alleging the comedian of sexual misconduct that included masturbation in their presence.
The Dudleyborn Sir Lenny Henry comic and actor, 59, has also said while he did not include politics in his repertoire when he was a young comedian, he would "have a go" if he was starting out now.
Summary: The winner will earn a gig as a stand-up comedian at Frankie's Italian Bar & Grill's Comedy Cellar
The audiences could stand a substandard singer, but the comedian was the top of the bill as far as they were concerned.