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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 ?
Sonia, comedienne et directrice du theatre regional d'Annaba : [beaucoup moins que] Je suis completement detruite [beaucoup plus grand que] [beaucoup moins que] Je suis completement detruite.
We're proud to welcome our returning comediennes back to the stage, and we're excited to announce the new faces that will be joining them.
Unfortunately, when the legendary comedienne was alive, there were reports that suggested that Kathy Griffin wanted the position so much that she tried to steal Joan's job.
Comedienne Lauren Pattison from Heaton in Newcastle <B
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Last night's first show saw Benidorm actor Jake Canuso, comic Omid Djalili, Sugababe Jade Ewen, presenter Jenni Falconer and comedienne Helen Lederer don their swimwear and take to the boards to master one of sport's most difficult disciplines on primetime TV.
London, Oct 14 ( ANI ): Sandra Bullock welcomed US comedienne Chelsea Handler to her new talk show studio on Monday by stripping off for a comedy shower scene.
As well as getting the opportunity to network and meet fellow businesswomen from across the city and the county, they also heard from comedienne Ruby Wax, who entertained as well as tackling the serious subject of mental health.
COMEDIENNE and business trainer Ruby Wax will be making a special visit to Kenilworth this month in a bid to encourage more women into the world of business.
COMEDIENNE Jennifer Saunders has left hard-up students feeling absolutely fabulous, after pledging to let them share the proceeds from her return to campus.
Shoppers at Newcastle's Eldon Square got more than they bargained for when awardwinning comedienne Sue Sweeney strutted her stuff in her favourite bra.
Comedienne, author, teacher and workshop coach Leigh Anne Jasheway will be the guest speaker.