[[caption-width-right:273:Columbina, possibly the sanest character in the play, considers.]]

A form of theater developed in late-Renaissance Italy, '''Commedia dell'Arte''' ("artists' comedy") relied on a UniversalAdaptorCast of [[StockCharacter stock characters]], whose roles, characteristics, and costumes were well-defined and widely known. The troupe would take a scenario, which would outline the plot, and create their own dialogue and actions to tell the story. Contrary to popular belief, Commedia actors did not improvise their dialogue on the spot. Rather, they created the dialogue before performing the scenario.

The Commedia dell'Arte is an ancestor of the British tradition of {{Pantomime}}, which also relies on stock characters and audience interaction. It also set the stage (no pun intended) for the RomanticComedy genre, and has been emulated by the likes of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan, Creator/WilliamShakespeare (''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' is a particularly good example), Creator/{{Moliere}}, Creator/BertoltBrecht (expertly retooled the stock characters in ''Theatre/MrPuntilaAndHisManMatti'') Creator/AAMilne (albeit without the romance), and the writers of ''Series/BlackAdder'' and of ''Series/FawltyTowers''.

See VillainousHarlequin for a more contemporary depiction of this genre's most famous character.

Commedia dell'Arte stock characters usually included:
* '''[[OfficialCouple The Lovers]]''' (''innamorati'') Their romance tends to drive the plot whether or not they're the main characters. Frequently [[UpperClassTwit rather airheaded]] and reliant on their [[HypercompetentSidekick much smarter servants]].
** '''The Guy''' (''innamorato''): Never masked; not especially well-developed as a character, since [[SatelliteLoveInterest his only function is to be in love]]. His name is usually Lelio, Leandro, or Claudio. Generally in love with himself, and [[InLoveWithLove with the idea of being in love]], and with the ''innamorata''; if anyone gets any CharacterDevelopment, it will be him learning to reverse that order.
** '''The Girl''' (''innamorata''): Never masked; not especially well-developed as a character, since [[SatelliteLoveInterest her only function is to be in love]]. Will have a PimpedOutDress. Has a good chance of being named Isabella. Generally in love with herself, and [[InLoveWithLove with the idea of being in love]], and with the ''innamorato''; if anyone gets any CharacterDevelopment, it will be her learning to reverse that order.
* '''[[AdultsAreUseless The Old People]]''' (''vecchi'') [[ParentalMarriageVeto get in the way of the lovers' happiness]]; often, two of them (usually the Doctor and Pantalone) are the lovers' respective fathers. The ''innamorato'''s father may want to marry the ''innamorata'' himself.
** '''[[MilesGloriosus The Captain]]''' (''il Capitano''): Blowhard, [[CasanovaWannabe thinks he's God's gift to women]], will turn out to have FeetOfClay. Often serves as the RomanticFalseLead. If the ''innamorato''[='=]s biggest rival for the ''innamorata''[='=]s hand isn't his own father, it's this guy. Typically a disliked foreigner, often from UsefulNotes/{{Spain}} (as Spain, the superpower of the time, held political sway over Italy). Usually has an OverlyLongName (very common in Spanish nobility). A variant is Scaramuccia.
** '''The Doctor''' (''il Dottore'', ''Graziano''): No, ([[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy probably]]) not [[Series/DoctorWho that Doctor.]] Often an AbsentMindedProfessor type; often the father of one of the ''innamorati''. If he's the father of the ''innamorata'', then he will rarely have much plot relevance, and will just sort of hang around and be funny. A parody of the Bolognese laureate intellectual (Bologna has one of the world's oldest universities). Mostly portrayed as a doctor in law, usually intersperses his lines with [[CanisLatinicus dog Latin]] and mangled renditions of commonplace Latin sayings for comical effect. Sometimes a KnowNothingKnowItAll. May go off on long free-associating tangents [[MeaninglessMeaningfulWords in an attempt to sound intellectual]].
** '''Pantalone''': Often the father of the other ''innamorato/a''. [[{{Greed}} Rich and miserly.]] Keeps propositioning Colombina, the DirtyOldMan. Is also a BadBoss to Arlechino. Sometimes an UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist. Based primarily on the stereotype of the rich Venetian merchant. Has a peculiar, shuffling walk, because he's always wearing Turkish sandals.
** '''Tartaglia''': Defined by his [[PorkyPigPronunciation terrible stutter]]; is often [[BlindWithoutEm blind as a bat]] as well. Often a priest, whose main role is to conduct whatever marriages happen at the end.
* '''The Servants/Commoners''' (''zanni'', from whom we get the word "[[ZanyScheme zany]]") [[HypercompetentSidekick Frequently the ones to ensure the marriages, as you can't count on the lovers being able to pull it off]].
** '''Arlecchino''' (''Harlequin''): Cheeky but loyal servant to Pantalone or the Doctor; audience favorite; usually drives the action. Can [[NoFourthWall interact with the audience.]] Forms a BetaCouple with Colombina. Often a BigEater or LovableCoward, and tends to suffer AmusingInjuries. Although can also appear as an intelligent and/or amoral trickster. May also be a BumblingSidekick. Wears bells on his hat, and an outfit covered in red and black diamonds, and carries the original [[SlapStick slap-stick]]. Known for acrobatic movements on stage. Varients include: Trivelino/Trivelin, Truffa/Truffaldin/Truffaldino, Guazetto, Zaccagnino, and Bagatino.
** '''Colombina''' (''Pierrette''): DistaffCounterpart of Arlecchino; servant of the ''innamorata''. Forms a BetaCouple with Arlecchino. [[OnlySaneEmployee Often the smartest/sanest person in the play.]] (What, [[OlderThanTheyThink you thought]] WomenAreWiser [[OlderThanTheyThink was a]] ''[[OlderThanTheyThink recent]]'' [[OlderThanTheyThink invention]]?) Usually plays a musical instrument, sings, dances, or does all three. Wears lots of bright colours. Also can be known as Arlecchina.
** '''Pierrot''' (''Pedrolino'', ''Pedro''): Loyal, hardworking, dependable servant; the story's ChewToy. In love with someone, usually Colombina, who doesn't love him back. May be the SadClown. Usually dressed almost entirely in white, with a little bit of black. Variants include: Pedrolino, Burrattino, Bertoldo, [[Theatre/{{Pagliacci}} Pagliaccio]], Peppe Nappa, and Gian-Farina.
** '''Brighella''': Another [[{{Greed}} greedy]] character, but much less rich than Pantalone. Sometimes a middle class [[CMOTDibbler shopkeeper]] or tavern owner instead of a servant. [[ConsummateLiar Has no problem lying through his teeth.]] Tends to be a ManipulativeBastard and a LovableRogue, perhaps even a MagnificentBastard. Dresses in white with a bit of green, and probably plays the lute. Typically has a small, pointy beard. Variants include: Fenocchio, Flautino, Sbrigani, Franca Trippa/Francatrippa/Francatrippe, Turlupin/Tirelupin, Sgnarelle, and Gandolin.
** '''Pulcinella''' (''[[Theatre/PunchAndJudy Punch]]''): A hunchback or otherwise disabled/disfigured character, based on the stooping walk of Renaissance Italian coal carriers. Can be an idiot, can be a GeniusCripple. Very violent, especially towards Arlecchino and Pierrot, and speaks in an unusually squeaky voice. His name means "little chicken".
* '''Other characters'''
** '''La Signora''': Often the wife of Pantalone and/or the mistress of Pedrolino, she is tough, beautiful and calculating but narcissistic. Sometimes a courtesan and often called Rosaura.
** '''Beltrame''': similar to Brighella, was either or both a shrewd villager and a blunderer who was always trying to appear of a higher rank than he really is.
** '''Scapin/Scapino''': similar to Brighella, and often seen as his brother or son, he was the more toned-down version. He's usually more interested in charming a servant girl or eating than carrying out Brighella's villainy.
** '''Mezzetino''': Often seen as the brother of Brighella, he is fond of the ladies even if they weren't fond of him. His character has many variations: a loyal or scheming servant or a deceitful or cuckolded husband.
** '''La Ruffiana''': An "old windbag" type; like the rest of the old people, she's out to thwart the innamorati.
** '''La Strega''': The witch. A relatively new character, La Strega is either portrayed as an intelligent manipulator who enjoys watching the chaos she creates, or a raving mad woman who frightens the other characters. She often provides love potions and other various items to the other characters.
** '''The Pavironica family''':
*** '''Sandrone''': a crude, clever, and cunning peasant.
*** '''Pulonia''': the wife of Sandrone.
*** '''Sgorghiguelo''': the son of Sandrone.
!!Examples and references in modern media:


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''Harlequin Valentine'', by Creator/NeilGaiman, is explicitly based on commedia dell'arte tropes, with Harlequin as a [[TricksterArchetype trickster spirit]] romancing a mortal woman (who is, in the Columbine spirit, the sanest and most sensible character, and things don't go quite as expected). Along the way, Harlequin nominates the other characters as filling various stock roles, although it's ambiguous whether this is genuine insight or just a case of labelling people according to his preconceptions.
* In one of the volumes of ''ComicBook/DeCapeEtDeCrocs'', a group of protagonists who get captured, are forced to perform one of these for their captors.


[[folder: Film ]]

* The cast of ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' fit this pretty well, for the most part:
** Brad and Janet are the Lovers.
** Eddie makes a passing Arlecchino.
** Columbia, fittingly, is a Colombina.
** Frank-N-Furter has elements of both The Captain (obviously "not from around here," interested in AnythingThatMoves) and Pantalone (abusive of Eddie, his Arlecchino, hints of a relationship with Columbia.)
** Riff Raff is a dead giveaway as the Pulcinella, hunchback and all.
** The Criminologist is perfect as the Doctor.
** The others are a bit of a stretch - presumably Rocky as the Pierrot, Magenta as the Brighella, and Dr. Scott as the Tartaglia.
* The Creator/MarxBrothers fit the archetypes quite nicely.
** Groucho: Arlecchino, though with aspects of Brighella, given his costant schemes.
** Chico: Brighella
** Harpo: Pierrot. ''Film/ANightAtTheOpera'' even has a scene of him dressing up in the costume that he stole from a production of ''Pagliacci''.
** Zeppo: In early productions, the Innamorato. Later on, he becomes a more toned-down Arlecchino for Groucho to boss around, before leaving the pictures altogether, in favour of...
** Alan Jones: Innamorato all the time.
** Margaret Dumont: Columbina, or a GenderFlip of Il Dottore.
* Andre Moreau of ''Film/{{Scaramouche}}'' is a heroic fugitive who goes undercover in the ''commedia dell arte'' troupe his [[SlapSlapKiss beloved Lenore]] acts in, discovering an unexpected talent for slapstick.
* The cast of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' fits nicely:
** Belle and the Beast: Innamorati (main romantic leads of the movie, although much more fleshed out than the usual innamorati)
** Gaston: Il Capitano (vain, boasting antagonist who lusts for Belle)
** Maurice: Il Dottore (AbsentMindedProfessor, father of the innamorata)
** [=LeFou=]: Pulcinella (ugly and stupid servant of the main antagonist)
** Lumiere: Arlecchino (smart, confident and flirty leader of the Beast's servants)
** Cogsworth: Pierrot (ButtMonkey, although lacks the "hopeless lover" trait of the usual Pierrot)
** Mrs. Potts and Fifi the Feather Duster have the traits of Colombina divided between them: Mrs. Potts embodies WomenAreWiser, while Fifi is Lumiere's love interest
** Monsieur D'Arque: Brighella (cunning and greedy minor villain)
* Creator/JeanRenoir's ''The Golden Coach'' is a 1952 film {{Homage}} to Commedia'dell Arte, bringing the style to cinema with legendary actress Anna Magnani playing Colombina
* Creator/CharlieChaplin's ''Film/Limelight'' features a ballet - "Harlequinade" with the Commedia dell'Arte characters.
* ''Film/MoulinRouge'' is an example with Christian and Satine as the innamorati, The Duke and, to a lesser extent, Zidler, as the Old People trying to keep them apart, and Toulouse and the Bohemians as the Servants trying to keep them together. The difference is that The Lovers are the ones clearly driving the plot while the Servants are more sidelined. [[spoiler: It also does not have a happy ending.]]


[[folder: Literature ]]

* It is less evident from the book's final edition, but in ''Literature/TheMasterAndMargarita'' by Mikhail Bulgakov two of the devil's servants bear some resemblance to the most popular zanni characters. Koroviev, the talkative trickster dressed in checked clothes brings to mind Arlecchino, and in certain early version of the novel there's a character called "Fiello", a hunchbacked brute with mouth full of fangs, dressed in white, grotesque clothes with bells attached, who seems to have some of Pulcinella's characteristics. The latter was subsequently modified by the writer to become Azazello, another servant of the devil. Azazello lacks any significant resemblance to Commedia dell'Arte characters.
* Commedia dell'Arte motifs figure in the later [[Literature/TheCorneliusChronicles Jerry Cornelius]] stories by Creator/MichaelMoorcock, particularly ''The Condition of Muzak'' and ''The Entropy Tango''.
* The characters do not fit the archetypes, but in ''[[Literature/TheVampireChronicles The Vampire Lestat]]'', the title character joins a Commedia dell'Arte troupe in his pre-vampire days. He plays Lelio, and counts his time as an actor among the best experiences in his human life.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/TheGoldenOecumene The Golden Age]]'', Phaethon donns a Harlequin outfit for the Masquerade. The Earthmind salutes his fidelity when he greets her. Possibly inspired by this, his foes don the forms of Scaramouche and Columbine to pursue him.
* Creator/AgathaChristie wrote a series of stories featuring a [[Literature/TheMysteriousMrQuin Mr. Harley Quin]], who had a knack for turning up where there were two lovers in trouble and, seemingly by chance, saying or doing just the right thing to influence events in their favour. (Being Agatha Christie stories, this often involved inspiring a EurekaMoment in somebody trying to solve a murder, but it didn't always -- and there's at least one Harley Quin story in which nobody dies at all.)
* The story "Puss-in-Boots" in Creator/AngelaCarter's ''Literature/TheBloodyChamber'' is essentially a commedia dell'arte play in prose form, with the titular cat helping his owner get in bed with Pantalone's young beautiful wife. Several stock characters of the genre are referred to by name.
* ''Literature/WinnieThePooh'', albeit without the romance or the social class:
** Pooh himself, with his clumsy nature, very little brain, and great appetite, is Arlecchino, of course.
** The self-important Rabbit has aspects of both Pantalone and Brighella.
** Owl, a rambling fool who thinks himself a wise and learned fellow, is pure Il Dottore.
** The rambunctious, unintentionally-violent Tigger is primarily a Pulcinella figure.
** Both Eeyore and Piglet have aspects of Pierrot - Eeyore the perpetual gloominess, and Piglet the defeatist, timid attitude.
** Kanga is a sort of a Columbina figure, albeit a fairly bland one, while her son Roo is a Pulcinella-in-training, but with some of the wide-eyed innocence of the ''innamoratti''.
* Partly-inverted in the ''Literature/JeevesAndWooster'' series of Creator/PGWodehouse. On the one hand, the manservant [[TheJeeves Jeeves]] is always ready with a ZanyScheme to help his social betters work their way around a ParentalMarriageVeto or some other such problem. But on the other hand, he - and most other servants - are portrayed as highly dignified characters, with all of the real clowning done by the upper classes, with his master, Bertie Wooster, as a rare aristocratic ''Arlecchino''. That said, many of the upper class characters fit these archetypes pretty well, despite not being servants, with Bertie's aunts Dahlia and Agatha representing different takes on the ''Signora'' (as Bertie puts it in a moment of hyperbole, Agatha eats broken bottles and turns into a werewolf by the full moon, while Dahlia is the sort of werewolf whom it is a pleasure to know), the constantly-infatuated Bingo Little is an ''innamorato'' (with the tendency to fall in love with barmaids; rather appropriate, given the class inversion at play here), the drippy newt-enthusiast Gussy Fink-Nottle is a ''Pierrot'', Madeleine Basset (who believes every time a fairy blows its nose, a baby is born) is a comedic take on the ''innamorata'', the unscrupulous bookmaker Rupert Steggles is ''Brighella'', and the paranoiac nerve-specialist Sir Roderick Glossop is ''Il Dottore''. Likewise, there's always a violent ''Pulcinella'' figure on hand to threaten Bertie with bodily harm, most notably the hot-tempered Tuppy Glossop and the would-be fascist dictator Roderick Spode.
** Wodehouse's other most notably series, the ''Literature/BlandingsCastle'' stories, also apply ''zanni'' tropes to the aristocracy, with the doddering Clarence Threepwood, Earl of Emsworth, as a kindly ''Dottore'' figure, his domineering sister Lady Constance Keeble as a ''Signora'', their disreputable brother Galahad as an elderly ''Arlecchino'', and Clarence's nemesis and neighbour Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe as a sort of ''Brighella'' figure, and there are always a pair of ''innamorati'' on hand, one of whom will generally be a grandchild or distant in-law of Clarence. This time, however, the servants are a bit more in on the act, with the eternally put-upon butler Beach as a toned-down, non-romantic ''Pierrot'', and the truculent gardener Angus [=MacAllister=] as ''Pulcinella'' (without the violence or threats thereof), and the opportunistic pig-keeper George Cyril Wellbeloved as a more conventional Brighella.
* The theatre troupe in ''Players of Literature/{{Gor}}'' is this with the serial numbers very half-heartedly filed off -- with justification, since all human Gorean cultures originated on Earth and have adapted to the local customs as necessary. Characters include Bina (a truncation of "Columbina", but also previously established as Gorean for "Slave Beads" and a common slave name) Brigella (note spelling) who is a ''female'' character, Chino and Lecchio who are an Arlecchino double-act, and Petrucchio who is often a MilesGloriosus. As this is low art, female players are always slaves and have an alternative means of earning coins if the plays are doing poorly. (On the other hand, men do the heavy lifting and are more likely to be flat-out killed if they fall into bandit hands.)


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The characters of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' can do this frequently, although the main character, Michael Bluth, can shift between an Innamarata and a Pantalone multiple times in any given episode, most of the time, however, he is Pierrot.
** The Lovers: George Michael and Maebe, although Maebe tends to also often be the rare female version of Arlecchino.
** Il Dottore: Dr. Tobias Funke, of course.
** Pulcinella: Buster Bluth.
** Il Capitano: GOB and his illegitimate son, Steve Holt.
** Brighella: George Sr.
** Pantalone: Lucille usually plays this part, considering her greed and generally bitter nature.
** Pierrot: Poor, poor Michael Bluth.
* Rarely actually seen, but apparently a regular sketch on ShowWithinTheShow of ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip''. [[ViewersAreGeniuses Nobody gets the joke, of course.]]
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' is basically an extended series of mutations of this central trope, particularly emphasizing the social classes and power dynamics of the stock characters.
** Edmund Blackadder himself is always some variant on the Brighella figure, defined by his greed, cowardice (particularly in the first series), and the fact that he is never the highest-status person around - even when he's the son of the king, he's only the second son, and as the series progresses, his rank in the world gradually drops.
** Baldrick, whether the HypercompetentSidekick of the first series or the cheerful dimwit he is the rest of the time, is always some kind of Arlecchino, consistently the lowest-status character present, and always with some kind of 'cunning plan' on hand.
** The gloomy, supercilious Percy is pure Pierrot, especially in the second series, where he's constantly hopelessly in love with some offscreen woman.
*** His fourth-series incarnation, Captain Darling, is more of a particularly British take on Il Capitano, however - Edmund's rival and nemesis, but more out of priggish professionalism than hammy bravado. He also occasionally borders on the Pierrot, devotedly following General Melchett's orders, often the butt of Blackadder's jokes and awaiting in vain to marry Doris...
*** The first series' Prince Harry is an Il Capitano.
*** Whenever Flashheart shows up, he's a more straightforward Capitano, with all the bravado that implies. Unlike most versions of Il Capitano though, he's TheAce, especially in the second series.
** Either incarnation of Melchett - and, indeed, any character played by Creator/StephenFry, such as the third series' Duke of Wellington - is generally a Dottore figure.
** George is an odd case. Appearing in series three as a kind of dimwitted Innamorato figure (with aspects of Pantalone, given his lechery and high-ranking position as Prince Regent), but when he returns in ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' as Lt. George - this time, subservient to Cpt. Blackadder - he's more of an assistant Arlecchino to Pvt. Baldrick.
** King Richard IV of the first series is a cross between Il Capitano, given his military background and [[Creator/BrianBlessed hearty, exuberant manner]], and Pantalone, given his position of power and often-unreasonable nature. The second series replaces him with a much more straightforward Signora in Queen Elizabeth I.
** The third series' Mrs. Miggins is a pretty straightforward Columbina, given her quasi-romantic relationship to Blackadder, middle-class social status (she owns and operates an inn/pie shop), and her collaborative role in many of Blackadder's plots. This also applies to Kate/Bob of the second and fourth series.
* On ''Series/TheAmazingRace,'' a Fast-Forward task involved a routine with such a troupe. The green pass would appear during the performance, upon which it could be claimed.


[[folder: Music ]]

* "The Carnival Is Over" by Tom Springfield, a signature song of The Seekers:
-->''Like a drum my heart was beating\\
And your kiss was sweet as wine\\
But the joys of love are fleeting\\
For Pierrot and Columbine.''


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Characters from Creator/{{Moliere}}'s plays tend to fit in those roles.
* Carlo Goldoni's ''early'' plays are classic Commedia dell'Arte. From ''Momolo Cortesan'' onwards, though, his works take a completely new style, often violently clashing with the classic Commedia dell'Arte popular in Italy and France at the time.
* In the plays of Creator/WilliamShakespeare:
** Playfully mocked in ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing''. The [[MeaningfulName aptly-named]] Hero and Claudio are the innamorati, Antonio is the tartaglia, Margaret is the colombina, etc. It's mockery because Beatrice and Benedick are the real main characters, and they are probably the only ones who don't fit any stock models. Also, the ZanyScheme is cooked up by Don Pedro, probably the highest-ranking person in the play, and his chief compatriot, Hero's father Leonato, really should be a Pantalone figure.
** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is, if anything, a deconstruction. It has its eponymous Innamorati, Friar Lawrence as the Tartaglia (with the subversion that he's sort of right about everything), Lord and Lady Capulet as the pantalone and the signora, Tybalt as the Capitano, the nurse as the Columbine, Mercutio as the Arlecchino and Benvolio as the Pierrot. However, the ZanyScheme doesn't work out, the innamorati don't get a HappilyEverAfter, and a lot of people die.
** ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' has Portia and Bassanio the innamorati, as well as Shylock the Pantalone. And of course, Touchstone, Bottom, Gratiano, and many others are perfect arlecchini.
** ''Theatre/TheMerryWivesOfWindsor'' has Fenton and Anne as the innamorati, the foolish doctor Caius, Evans as the priest with a "speech impediment" (actually an outrageous Welsh accent), and Falstaff of all people as a sleazy Pantalone-type.
** ''Theatre/TwelfthNight'' has Andrew Aguecheek as a MilesGloriosus Scaramouche, Malvolio the Pierrot, Feste the Arlecchino, Maria is the Colombina to Sir Toby Belch's Capitano, with Duke Orsino as the hopeful Innamorato to Olivia, ending up with Viola after she reveals her disguise as Cesario, and Olivia falls for Sebastian, mistaking him for Cesario, who is really Viola, his fraternal twin sister.
** At least one version of ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'', produced for television in the '70s by [[Creator/{{PBS}} WNET New York]], is explicitly Commedia, down to the costumes and presentation style.
* ''Theatre/{{Pagliacci}}'' is a classic opera, by Ruggero Leoncavello, about a Commedia troupe. The title literally means 'clowns'. The ShowWithinAShow is that Colombina is cheating on Pierrot with Il Capitano, and it's played for laughs, but backstage, Canio (the actor playing Pierrot) finds out that his wife (Colombina) is actually cheating on him with the actor playing Il Capitano. He sings the classic aria ''Vestia la giubba'' ('put on the costume') and then goes mad with grief.
* The Pantomime Theatre in the Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli frequently features new and old plays with this. Here the loving couple however usually is the trickster Harlequin and the beautiful Colombina. The latter is the daughter of the old rich man Kassander, who won't accept their love, but of course they always get each other in the end. The favourite of the audience is however Kassander's always unlucky and not too bright servant Pierrot. In fact Pierrot has become quite a symbol in Tivoli - and in three other Danish amusement parks which also have a Pierrot each entertaining the children.
* ''Servant of Two Masters'':
** Pantalone
** The Lovers: Silvio and Clarice.
** The Doctor: Lombardi, Silvio's father.
** The Captain: Florindo. Beatrice is his love interest and has some captain-like qualities when posing as Federigo.
** Arlecchino: Truffaldino.
** Colombina: Smeraldina.
** Brighella
* Based directly on ''Servant of Two Masters'', Richard Bean's ''One Man, Two Guvnors'' updates the plot to 1963 Brighton:
** Pantalone: Charlie Clench.
** The Lovers: Alan Dangle and Pauline Clench.
** The Doctor: Harry Dangle, Alan's father.
** The Captain: Stanley Stubbers. Rachel is his love interest has some captain-like qualities when posing as Roscoe
** Arlecchino: Francis Henshall.
** Colombina: Dolly.
** Brighella: Lloyd Boateng.
* ''Theatre/SweeneyTodd'' might be seen as a very twisted version:
** Anthony and Johanna, of course, are the innamorati.
** Judge Turpin is Pantalone, Pirelli is il Capitano. Depending on the portrayal, Beadle Bamford is either a particularly malicious Brighella, or an evil Dottore, with his dandy mannerisms and eloquent speech patterns. It also helps that the Beadle is usually played by a heavyset actor.
** Todd himself and Mrs. Lovett are Arlecchino and Columbina, making Toby Pierrot.
** The Beggar Woman is the only character who doesn't neatly fit into a traditional mold. However, she does show several qualities of the modern La Strega character, with her mad ramblings and repulsive appearance.
* Aspects of this structure are present in all of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's works, but ''Theatre/TheYeomenOfTheGuard'' is probably the most pronounced form it takes, albeit with a few unexpected twists.
** Jack Point is introduced as an Arlecchino figure, but by the end, he's become a tragic Pierrot.
** Wilfred Shadbolt is set up as the ''Pierrot'', given his unrequited love for Phoebe, but in the end, he wins her hand (though not her love) and becomes more of an ''Arlecchino''.
** Col. Fairfax is set up as ''Innamorato'' to Phoebe's ''Innamorata'', but we gradually learn Fairfax to be more of a ''Capitano''.
** Elsie Maynard is pure ''Colombina''.
** Lieutenant Sir Richard Cholmondeleigh probably should be ''Il Capitano'', but he and Sgt. Meryll are both more ''Dottore'' figures in their ineffectualness and lack of insight.
** Dame Carruthers is a ''Signora'' figure.
* In the Music/GiacomoPuccini opera ''Gianni Schicchi'', much of the characterization is in the commedia dell'arte tradition. Rinucchio and Lauretta are obviously the ''innamorati'', with nothing much to do while most of the ''vecchi'' are trying to keep them apart. Maestro Spinelloccio is ''il Dottore'', complete with Bolognese accent. The title character combines the mercuriality of Arlecchino with the greed and magnificent duplicity of Brighella, and is the father of the ''innamorata''.
* In ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum'', many of the characters from the Creator/{{Plautus}} play "Pseudolus" upon which this is based are probably the Ur-examples of several Commedia dell' Arte types, so it's not surprising that they show up here in spades:
** Pseudolus is the ''arlecchino''
** Gymnasia (despite being TheSpeechless) is the ''colombina''
*** (Speechless in the movie. Has one line in the play.)
** Hysterium is the ''pedro''
** Hero is the ''innamorato''
** Philia is the ''innamorata''
** Senex is the ''pantalone''
** Lycus is the ''brighella''
** MilesGloriosus is the ''capitano''
* ''Theatre/{{Zemsta}}'' has:
** Wacław - ''inamorato''
** Klara - ''inamorata/colombina''
** Papkin - ''il capitano''
** Rejent - ''il dottore/pantalone'' (more of ''il dottore'')
** Cześnik - ''il dottore/pantalone''
** Podstolina - ''la segnora''


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''[[VideoGame/NancyDrew Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice]]'', a crime ring uses characters from the Commedia dell'Arte as code names for the various members:
** Il Capitano: Communications, [[spoiler: Antonio Fango]]
** Scaramuccia: Security Systems Expert, [[spoiler: Gina ]]
** Brighella: Thief, [[spoiler: Nico Petit]]
** Il Dottore: Boss, [[spoiler: Helena Berg]]
** Arlecchino: Smuggler, [[spoiler: Enrico Tazza]]
* In ''Majora's Mask'', Anju and Kafei are the Innamorati, Mayor Dotour is il Dottore, and Link seems to be a male version of Columbiana. The Curiosity Shop owner is Brighella, Tingle might be Pulcinella, and I'm sure other characters fit into other roles as well.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''[[http://www.commedia2x00.wordpress.com Commedia 2X00]]'' uses the Commedia dell'Arte characters and plot as a vehicle, except in the skewed sci-fi/video-game setting of the Twenty-Xth Century; Dottore is a deranged cyberneticist who loses his funding for crimes against nature and arranges for his daughter Isa to marry billionaire Mr. Pants in exchange for a massive dowry, despite the fact that Isa is in love with Mr. Pants' son Flave. Dottore's project is the creation of Super Fighting Cyborgs. So far the only one we've seen is Arlecchino, who in a shout-out to Mega Man, "having a strong sense of loyalty, volunteered to be converted to a Super Fighting Cyborg."


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The characters of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' are strikingly like Commedia characters:
** Arlecchino: Fry
** Colombina: Leela
** Brighella: Bender
** Pantalone: Professor Farnsworth
** Il Dottore: Dr. Zoidberg
** Il Capitano: Zap Branigan
** Innamorati: Amy and Kif
* As can ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Arlecchino: Homer/Bart
** Colombina: Marge/Lisa
** Pantalone: Mr. Burns
** Pierrot: Smithers
** Brighella: Moe
* Creator/WarnerBros' classic cartoon characters also show their Commedia roots:
** WesternAnimation/BugsBunny: Scapino
** WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck: Arlecchino - due to his tendency to receive slapstick as often as he doles it out.
** WesternAnimation/PorkyPig: Tartaglia
** Yosemite Sam: Il Capitano
** Wile E. Coyote: Il Dottore - his "education" brings out his foolishness.
* In a similar manner to ''Winnie-the-Pooh'', ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom'' is like a Goth version of the commedia, minus the romance:
** Ruby herself seems a benign Arlecchino, being the one administering conflict rather than being involved.
** Iris is Columbina, in the hard-working, go-getter, rational voice of reason sense, sort of combining traits with Pulchinella. Doom Kitty is a more traditional Columbina.
** There are two Pierrots -- Scaredy Bat with his defeatist, afraid of everything attitude, and Misery with her constant depression and well...misery.
** Poe the Crow is both Pantalone in the sense of puffing himself up and Il Dottore in the sense of his claimed profession and actual class amongst the cast.
** Skull Boy is both a more benign Pantalone in the sense of his versatility and trying many jobs, and also a Scapino in his general attitude.
** Frank and Len are both Pulchinella, being oafish and dimwitted, as well as often initiating slapstick.