Zany Characters to End the Month

Z is for zany, and Z is the last post in the A to Z Blog Challenge 2013!  Reaching the end entitles the blogger to feel a bit zany, a bit like a clown ready to turn cartwheels, wear brightly colored costumes, and dance around in circles!

But before we call it the end, let’s take a look at the word “zany” and how it’s use in character development.  It is possible that clowning around isn’t the only thing a zany can do!

zany | adjective

1.  ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish.

zany | noun

2.  one who plays the clown or fool in order to amuse others. 3.  a comically wild or eccentric person. 4.  a secondary stock character in old comedies who mimicked his master. 5.  a professional buffoon; clown. 6.  a silly person; simpleton. 7.  a slavish attendant or follower.

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Dictionary.com provides many definitions of zany, including both adjective and noun.  As you study the word “zany” and its definitions, note the connections it makes with other words we’ve talked about this month:  Whimsical is part of the adjective definition, “whimsically comical,” and all the definitions under the noun group are reminiscent of the jocular.

We are all familiar with circus clowns, and

Clowns in Circus Makeup and Costume
Clowns in Circus Makeup and Costume

with the buffoons who entertain between acts at Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil Clowns
Cirque du Soleil Clowns

But what if you’re not developing a character who is actually a circus clown or performer?  A character who is an ordinary person who just happens to be someone who clowns around.

Instructor Trilby Jeeves leads a Buffoonery workshop at the Harbour Dance Centre, Vancouver BC, Canada David Buzzard Photography buzzard@direct.ca www.davidbuzzard.com
Instructor Trilby Jeeves leads a Buffoonery workshop at the Harbour Dance Centre, Vancouver BC, Canada David Buzzard Photography buzzard@direct.ca http://www.davidbuzzard.com

Your character here develops around the type of clown he or she is.  For example, a buffoon, according to its definition, can be either a person who enjoys amusing with tricks, odd gestures and postures, and jokes OR a person who is “given to coarse and undignified joking.  Here’s a photo from a Vancouver buffoonery workshop led by Trilby Jeeves, master of buffoonery.

Trilby’s website provides an overview of this type of buffoonery and an interesting tidbit on the history of buffoonery.  From the site and this photo, you get a pretty good idea of what lengths someone will go to in order to be a buffoon!

Taxi Cast on the Set Christopher Lloyd is front row, right.
Taxi Cast on the Set Christopher Lloyd is front row, right.

The definition of a “comically wild or eccentric person” took me back to the sitcom Taxi and its cast of eccentric characters.

My favorite of them all was Christopher Lloyd (front row, right), who went on to play eccentric characters in Back to the Future and many other films and TV shows.  His character was always oddly out of synchronicity with everyone else with a flair for eccentricities beyond the imagination.  His speech pattern, demeanor and walk spoke comical eccentric before he ever opened his mouth.

Your eccentric comic or zany will have mannerisms different from the norm in such a way to make them seem comical to others.  And perhaps their dress, hair or makeup will be similar in its deviation from the standard way of dress.

My hope is this brief overview of the word “zany” will be helpful.  Amazingly, zany is the shortest word in the 26 and yet had the longest list of definitions.  I could drag this out with more examples, but do not see the need.

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Note:  I am traveling April 25th through 29th and will not have Internet access.  I will respond to your comments as I can when I return.

Image attributions may be found by clicking on the image.

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18 thoughts on “Zany Characters to End the Month

  1. I do believe all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post.They’re really convincing and will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for beginners.
    Could you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

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  2. Woo-Hoo! Challenge complete! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve really enjoyed following your posts through the challenge and I’m looking forward to following your blog beyond the challenge.

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    1. Woo-Hoo is right! I’ve enjoyed this extraordinary journey you’ve taken me on during the challenge. I feel I’ve been to places I never imagined I could visit. Through your amazing photography and beautiful writing style I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

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  3. Sherrey, well, we’ve come to the end of it – it’s been so wonderful meeting you and all the help you’ve given me. I much look forward to time to use those tips you so generously provided. Thank you so much!
    Today is a public holiday here in South Africa – Workers’ Day – I will allow more than a little zaniness into this day …

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    1. Susan, we made it! It has been a joy meeting you and reading your excellent posts. I look forward to reading more of them and getting to know you better. Happy Workers’ Day! Be more than a little zany indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. That would be a fun character to write! And I agree about Christopher LloydGlad I had the opportunity to meet you and look forward to future posts

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    1. Sue, congrats to us on finishing! So good to meet you and I look forward to reading and sharing more.

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    1. Trilby, thanks for visiting! I will tell you that I found your site via Google images using the words “zany” and “buffoonery.” Fascinating work that you do, or is it really work????

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      1. Oh dear… ‘busted’!! I LOVE my “work” but, you’re right. It is a lot of fun. (sometimes herding bouffons can be a challenge, though… lol) Again, thank you, Sherrey, for including me in your Zany category. It’s a wacky legacy but someone has to keep the balance in this serious world, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Sherrey, Congratulations on finishing your delightful, informative and entertaining A-Z series. I have enjoyed your colorful and succinct descriptions. Now go celebrate with some zany antics. You’ve earned it. Great job!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kathy, for your following my A to Z path to the finish line! Now, back to that memoir. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Well, I know both of us are feeling a bit zany today. Congratulations on finishing the A – Z Blog Challenge, Sherrey. You put together a fantastic series. Now we can take a bit of a rest … I know I will ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Yes, Belinda, we made it! I’ve been away four days so I have some reading catch up to do, but I will be reading yours soon.

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