Tag Archives: Seinfeld


Annoy your friends with your pretentiousness: refer to shows like I Love Lucy and Make Room for Daddy as "Parathespian Comedies."

Annoy your friends with your pretentiousness: refer to shows like I Love Lucy and Make Room for Daddy as “Parathespian Comedies.”

Balladeer’s Blog presents another examination of an ancient Greek comedy. Callippides was written by the comedian Strattis and falls into that comic poet’s specialized area: Parathespian Comedies.

Another fun element of our shared humanity with the ancient Athenians who flocked to attend these plays is the fact that even 2,400 years ago audiences were fascinated and entertained by the trappings of “showbiz”. “Parathespian Comedies” were just one of the many sub-genres of ancient Greek comedy but Strattis is the writer most associated with them … by me and the .000001 percent of the population who are into such things.

Yes, a few thousand years before I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Seinfeld and other such sitcoms the spectators at the Theatre of Dionysus were laughing at comedies depicting what it was like to be one of the performing, writing and singing stars of the Athenian stage. The Parathespian Comedies sometimes featured fictional stars as the characters but would also depict real-life figures of the stage in stories that were either wholly fictional or based on backstage gossip of the time.  

Callippides was based on the real-life actor and megastar of ancient Greek tragedies. In this particular case Strattis presented a very unflattering comedic poke at Callippides, making jokes that depicted him as a William Shatner-esque ham instead of the accomplished thespian he was often hailed as.   Continue reading


Filed under Ancient Greek Comedy




It’s Garry Shandling’s Show was the pre-Seinfeld version of Seinfeld. And no, I don’t just mean because both programs starred popular stand- up comics. I mean basically Shandling’s program, which aired on cable via Showtime and later on network tv via Fox, seems like the blueprint that Seinfeld followed almost slavishly. That’s my opinion, anyway.

Consider the following points: episodes of Seinfeld started with Jerry on-stage doing a few bits for a nightclub audience – episodes of IGSS started with Garry on his sitcom set doing a few bits for the studio audience … Seinfeld dealt with life as a stand-up comic trying to juggle his career and romantic life – ditto for IGSS … Jerry had a Continue reading


Filed under Forgotten Television