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Since Greek comedy was based on satire and politics, where did the Greeks go to laugh?

Satyr plays.

These plays were the original vaudeville/slapstick/burlesque. Satyr plays were more blatant than any of those tame theatrical forms.

Satyr plays featured a chorus of satyr, mythical creatures who were the male companions of Dionysius and Pan. Their torso was that of a man while their legs were like a goat.

In the satyr play, there was all manner of phallic humor and what we might call bathroom humor. Jokes often included flatulence and flowers inserted between the buttocks. I might add that there is still an audience for this kind of humor. Is it a coincidence that college fraternities identify themselves with Greek letters?

This type of humor continued to be popular for centuries. It was prominent in the Roman Empire as well as in the middle ages and phallic humor is prevalent in Shakespeare.

In the 1990’s there was an off Broadway show called “The Puppetry of the Penis”. In this show, two Australian men transformed their members into a series of characters and objects.

I like the earthy honesty of this type of humor. Truth be told, the male appendage is kind of funny looking.

Some may think it should be a matter of private entertainment and they might be right in that regard.

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Comments

nan shartel March 24, 2011 @ 2:35 p.m.

i want to say something here...i really do ....i'm fascinated by one eyed puppets...but......;-D)

Homer what in the name of Zeus made u write this blog?????

the Iliad was so much more heroic...hahahahahahahaha........

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Homer Hesse March 25, 2011 @ 9:09 p.m.

Well, I debated whether or not to include the phallis angle but it was part of the deal back in the day so...why resist it?

I think it's amazing that the Greeks consumed theater like that without blushing. I'm convinced it was funny!

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