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Richard Tarlton

Adrian Schiller plays Tarlton
Adrian Schiller revives a
classic Tarlton routine
Stand-up comic Tarlton may have been the Jim Carrey of his age. A wit and physical comedian, and a huge box office draw, he was allegedly so funny at one royal performance that Elizabeth I had him removed from the stage. Well you wouldn't want to pee yourself while wearing your robes of office now would you?

Later, in the presence of the Queen, he took jokes about royal favorites Sir Walter Raleigh and the Earl of Leicester too far and fell out of favor.

He performed in Stratford in 1856. Shakespeare might have found himself writing for the comic's inimitable style in his early days with the Queen's Men.

Tarlton left the Queen's Men in 1588, but his legacy lived on in works by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

Tarlton died in 1588.

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