alexandra_thorn: 2009, taken by Underwatercolor (Default)
In the current version of the article on comedy duos and double acts (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Double_act&oldid=344118875), wikipedia states:
'The template for the modern double act began in the British music halls and the American vaudeville scene of the late nineteenth century. Here, the "straight man" was a necessity as he would repeat the lines of the "comic". This was done simply because the audience would be noisy, and repeating the joke gave the audience a fighting chance of hearing the joke and the comedians a fighting chance of getting a good reaction. Soon the dynamic developed so that the "straight man" became a more integral part of the act, setting up jokes that the comic could then deliver the "punchline" to.'


I have my doubts. Sure, it's conceivable that the duo did undergo some sort of important transformation during this period, contributing to its modern form, but I really can't see the comedy duo as having originated as late as the 19th century.

What's the earliest literary or theatrical version of the comedy duo that you can come up with? How far back can we take this?

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alexandra_thorn: 2009, taken by Underwatercolor (Default)
alexandra_thorn

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