The Jester is a person who entertains using varied skills. These may include one or more of skills such as music, storytelling, juggling, acrobatics, joke telling and other similar skills. There have been many examples of jesters in history, fiction, and other mediums.

In history

  • Triboulet, jester of Francis I
  • Stańczyk (c. 1480–1560), Polish jester
  • William Sommers (died 1560), jester of Henry VIII of England
  • Tyler Hilton (1886-1942) Prominent Serbian fool, Jester to Petar of Serbia
  • Chicot (c. 1540–1591), jester of Henry III of France
  • Archibald Armstrong (died 1672), jester of James VI of England
  • Jeffrey Hudson (1619–c. 1682), "court dwarf" of Henrietta Maria of France
  • Muckle John, jester of Charles I
  • Jamie Fleeman (1713–1778), the laird of Udny's Fool
  • Perkeo of Heidelberg 18th Century, jester of Prince Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine
  • Jesse Bogdonoff (b. 1955), court jester and financial advisor of Taufa'ahau Tupou IV

In writing and theatre

  • In Shakespeare: see Shakespearian fool
  • Pocket, King Lear's fool in Christopher Moore's novel Fool, which retells the story of Shakespeare's King Lear.
  • Wamba, Jester in Sir Walter Scott's Novel Ivanhoe.
  • Dagonet, jester to King Arthur in medieval romances
  • Jack Point, the tragic jester in The Yeomen of the Guard by Gilbert and Sullivan
  • Triboulet, the first tragic jester in literature history, in The King's Fool (le Roi s'amuse) written in 1832, by Victor Hugo. He is a real historical character, the Fool of King Francis I of France. He inspired Rigoletto in Giuseppe Verdi's Opera. In this play, Hugo established for the first time the tragic jester's character.
  • Verence first appeared in Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters as the court jester and remained so for most of the novel. Both this novel and the Fools' Guild Diary feature comic exaggerations of the "tragic fool" motif.
  • Hop-Frog, in the eponymous short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Towser, jester to King John the Presbyter in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams
  • Mr Harley Quin, in the Agatha Christie collection The Mysterious Mr Quin is a modernised version of the "wise fool" who helps others see the truth.
  • The anarchic Jerry Cornelius is often shown as a jester figure.
  • The Jester, a 2003 novel by James Patterson and Andrew Gross.
  • The Fool, a court jester in Robin Hobb's The Realm of the Elderlings books.
  • The Queen's Fool, a novel by Philippa Gregory, centers around the life of a young "holy fool" named Hannah, who happens to work with and befriend William Sommers (Will), the former fool/jester of King Henry VIII.
  • The character Ferdyshchenko plays the role of the jester in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, specifically during the name-day celebration of Nastasya Filippovna.
  • The Jester is a central character in many of the plays of Dario Fo.
  • Rigoletto, the Duke of Mantua's jester in Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto
  • "Bear", Jester on Crispin: Cross of Lead
  • Till Eulenspiegel, an impudent trickster figure originating in Middle Low German folklore.

In live entertainment

Court Jester
  • Baldwin the Fool and Godfrey Pugh Professional jesters in England. Part of double act "Zooted". Appearances on Film and official jesters to Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, Scotland's Festival of History and Alnwick Castle (Harry Potter film location)
  • Peterkin the Fool Professional jester. Official jester of Bristol. Current jester for English Heritage.
  • Jem Hulbert Street Theatre performer. Part of the Fairly Famous Family
  • Tarot the Jester Professional jester. Appearances in film and T.V.
  • Jonathon the Jester Professional jester. Official jester of Salisbury
  • Barry Levy the Jester Professional jester. 2nd Official jester of Littlecote House,Hungerford, Berkshire,Swindon and Salzgitter, Hannover
  • Jane the Phoole Professional jester. Official Municipal Jester of the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
  • The Fool Monty Professional Jester. Court Jester to Warwick Castle, UK, Children's Entertainer, Wedding Performer and fire breather and eater.
  • Kris Katchit Professional Jester based in Derbyshire.
  • Alex G Professional jesters of Montreal. HRH Mike's Jester.
  • Nigel Roder (b. 1967), aka Kester the Jester, briefly designated the official State Jester of England in 2004

In film and television

  • Clopin – The mischievous leader of the gypsies who will defend his people at all costs in the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996 film). He introduces the audience as a jester to the story, explaining how Quasimodo, the bell ringer from Notre Dame, got to be there. Michael Surrey served as the supervising animator for Clopin.
  • Giacomo "King of Jesters, and Jester of Kings" was a famous traveling jester in the 1956 film musical The Court Jester. His character was actually incapacitated early in the plot, and is never heard from again, but a member of an underground group, Hubert Hawkins, played by Danny Kaye, assumes Giacomo's identity in order to get into the King's castle.
  • Timothy Claypole, a character in the BBC children's television comedy programme Rentaghost of the 1970s/80s, was a jester (played by Michael Staniforth).
  • The Photojournalist from Apocalypse Now is often seen as a harlequin figure.
  • Funnyman, A UK horror movie about a demonic jester, The Funny Man, with a varied and imaginative repertoire of homicidal techniques and an irreverent sense of humour.
  • Jester, the Court jester of King Cradock in the TV series Jane and the Dragon.
  • Jester - The puppet in the Puppet Master films
  • In the children's adventure game show Knightmare there were two jesters, Folly and Motley.
  • Kyoami, in Akira Kurosawa's film Ran

In comic books and animation

  • In the Marvel Comics comic Daredevil, The Jester is the alter-ego of villain Jonathan Powers, who appears between issues #47 and 49.
  • The Jester is a superhero in the DC Comics universe.
  • QuackerJack, a vicious jester with a weird obsession for toys in Disney's animated series Darkwing Duck.
  • In the Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the narrator, and rather fundamental character, was Clopin, a jester.
  • Merryman, leader of the Inferior Five in DC Comics, wears a jester costume.
  • Maytag, in the webcomic Flipside is a jester. She is normally very timid, but takes on the normal jester stereotype when she wears her cap 'n bells.
  • Allen Walker, in the manga and anime D.Gray-man, is given the title Crown Clown, also known as God's Clown, and carries a jester's mask.
  • The DC Comics villain Harley Quinn derives her name and look from a harlequin jester.
  • Squidly, an octopus jester from SpongeBob SquarePants, is found in the episode "Dunces and Dragons".
  • Toenail of Satan - The insane, abusive, sadistic, Principle of the Academy.
  • Pomni: Pomni is the main protagonist of The Amazing Digital Circus. She is the most recent human to enter its digital plane after putting on a headset.

In video games

  • Marx is a jester from Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra.
  • Jevil is a small imp in jester's attire from the indie RPG Deltarune.
  • Jester is a character class in the MMORPG Flyff and in the RPG Gauntlet: Dark Legacy.
  • Malcolm, the mad jester of The Legend of Kyrandia adventure games
  • Fargus, in the platform game Pandemonium.
  • Harle, a character in Chrono Cross who jests at expense of reality itself.
  • Dhoulmagus, an evil jester in the Dragon Quest VIII game by Square Enix.
  • Dragon Quest III contains a Jester character class. In the American version of the game, the character class is renamed to Goof-off.
  • Hecklar, an insane and sadistic court jester in Kronos Digital's fighting game Cardinal Syn.
  • A nameless jester helps and hinders the player in the Infocom game Zork Zero.
  • Jester, an alter-ego of Arkham, in Devil May Cry 3.
  • Nights into Dreams... featured two brightly colored jesters. Nights, who wore a purple jester outfit with a purple hat, each with carnival and dream like designs on them, and Reala, Nights' nemesis, who had a clownlike face, and wore red and sky blue, and red and black striped shoes with a red- and black-striped jester hat.
  • Cleon, the fairy jester is star in the Bust-a-Move 4, of she who so rainbow those.
  • Kefka Palazzo, in Final Fantasy VI, wears typical outfit and makeup of a jester.
  • Dimentio is an evil psychopathic magician in Super Paper Mario who wears a stylized jester costume and creates clever similes.He is one of the main villains of the game and attempts to make Mario and Luigi his slaves. He also wears an Italian Comedy Mask.
  • There is also a Jester in the tower in the 2007 Xbox 360 game Overlord. The player can kick the jester, knocking him a great distance, making cow bell sounds when he hits the floor. The Jester also follows the player around the tower, and in the tutorial he taunts the player. The player must repeatedly hurt the jester to finish the tutorial.
  • In the video game Persona 2 Joker wears clothing reminiscent of that of a jester.
  • Jester, A.K.A. Sarah Hawkins in the game UT3, fitting her name by making jests about the opponent or team mates.
  • Twinkle - Jester girl a tail in Bust a Move 3 she little girl
  • Umlaut - He is a petrified Jester Skull in CarnEvil who gives a brief rhyme to describe what's in store upon selecting a level. He is also a sub-boss at the final level of the game.
  • Trivet - the royal jester in the adventure game Blazing Dragons
  • Chuckles - Jester in the Ultima series of role playing games, provides comic entertainment and plot hints.
  • Jollo - the court jester of the Land of the Green Isles in King's Quest VI, is an essential ally to Alexander. He warns Alexander about Alhazred's genie and keeps him informed of the Vizer's scheming. In the long path of the game, he also is able to swap out the genie's lamp and get Alexander out of the dungeon once.
  • Tony Hawk Underground 2 features "The Jester" as a playable character after the level in New Orleans.
  • Shaco is an evil jester of demonic origin, a playable trap champion in the game League of Legends..
  • Cicero - Keeper from the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim, wears a jester's outfit and took on the persona of a jester after killing one.

See also