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Comicus' bust in Rome.

Marcus Aurelius Comicus (15-79 AD), perhaps better known as simply Comicus, was a self-styled stand-up philosopher (bullshit artist) in Rome, lecturing throughout the Roman Empire on all sorts of crap nobody takes seriously anymore.

edit Early years

Comicus was born in Rome as the son of Boethius Maximus and Valencia Diana, and was educated in the School of Hard Knocks in the well-known art of Getting The Shit Kicked Out of You. It was there that Comicus learned to read and write, because the forum didn't offer any courses for anyone under 18.

Upon graduation, Comicus found trade with his father as a Hypocaust Cleaner for the wealthy and rich of Rome; his father having been the personal Hypocaust Cleaner to Augustus himself. Comicus wasn't content with this, and made it his aim to better himself.

edit Becoming a stand-Up philosopher

Using the money he had from Hypocaust Cleaning, Comicus was taken under the wing of Seneca, who taught him that the best way to get rich quick was to take the piss out of anybody or anything, as it would be the only way people would listen. Under the teachings of Pliny the Middler (the one in between Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger), Comicus became a Stand-Up Philosopher, and took Rome by storm with the aid of a thunderbolt and a loose toga.

Before long, Comicus was lecturing throughout Rome on Life, the Universe, and Everything, but at the same time poking fun at how fat emperor Claudius was and how ugly Queen Cleopatra of Egypt had been, which was the only way to keep anybody listening. Comicus called it coalescing the vapour of human experience into a realistic, physical form, although the truth of it was that he was bullshitting.

edit The Emperor Incident

In 68 AD, Comicus was asked to entertain Emperor Nero at his palace, but Comicus screwed it up big-time, not only by insulting the Emperor, but accusing the entire Senate of bribery. Upon learning of his mistake, Comicus' only word on the matter was: "Shittus!"

Nero ordered for Comicus to be executed, but with the aid of Nero's wife, Nympho, and the bungling of general Marcus Vindictus, Comicus was able to escape to Judea, never to return to Rome again.

edit Teachings

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about Comicus.

Comicus was a big believer in using laughter as a means of weakening one's rival and making him vulnerable. By making them laugh so hard, they could be suffocated very easily, or if that didn't fail, you could just give them the hiccups, and then make them die of that instead.

Another teaching of Comicus (his bullshitting part, anyway) was that the essence of mankind could be harmonised by humour, by which the need to laugh could help to develop the spirit of a person in order to prepare it for the afterlife.

More detailed information about these teachings as well as Comicus' time as a Hypocaust Cleaner can be found in the Philosophers A-Z (price, 5 drachmas).

edit See also

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