The 100 Greatest Funny People in Entertainment History #100-91

100. Aristophanes

Sex and Death and Lysistrata

Greek playwright, Aristophanes stands at the pinnacle of c omedy theater largely until William Shakespeare appears. The latter knew early what every audience wanted to see- sex, violence, laughter and poop jokes. He wasn’t annointed “the father of comedy” for nothing.

Aristophanes wove creative plots dosed heavily with all the naughty “ticket sellers” he could. Ancient Greek audiences flocked in droves to witness the comedy genuis’s newest work. Since 11 of the 40 plays scholars atttribute to Aristophanes still exist, we are able to bear witness.-ourselves to his style and language.

Originally performed in 479 BC, Lysistrata remains, all these years later, Aristophanes’s most well known play. Its Wikipedia page describes the plot:

“…a woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War between Greek city states by denying all the men of the land any sex, which was the only thing they truly and deeply desired. Lysistrata persuades the women of the warring cities to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace—a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes.”

In Aristophanes’s time, Greek theater took political issues head on . While the politicians of the time may not have liked it, their constituents helped to immortalize Aristophanes.


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