The earliest fun makers were called Fools.  They were not, however, foolish.  They often said wise and clever things which influenced kings. In Greek and Roman days, fools performed in shows like our modern circus. 

The first fairs took place around 1000 A.D.  The fair was a combined church holiday,

market place, and amusement show.  The jesters provided the entertainment.  They traveled from palace to palace and from town to town, tugging laughs out of everyone from kings to commoners.  The fool/jester was now being called a Zany.

In the 1500’s, a show was born in Italy that amused Europe for two hundred years.  It was the “commedia dell’arte” (Comedy of Arts).  The Zany was the central character in the show.  He played everyday characters in a mocking way.  Many of these fun-makers used gestured and silly faces called pantomime.  People of all languages understood and laughed.  The zany of the commedia dell’arte” evolved directly into the clown that we know today.

By the beginning of the middle ages in the fifth century, some royal courts in Europe had Fools to entertain them.  It was then that fools were given the name Court Jesters.  Jesters were also tumblers and acrobats.  They dressed in colorful costumes and hung bells on their hats and their shoes.

All my information was obtained at my local library. Please

visit your library and check out the books about clowns.