As pleased as Punch!

There he is, Punch. Mr. Meany--always portrayed with his stick that he uses quite vehemently on the other person (generally Judy or their baby(!)or the crocodile(!!)) with his big nose, big chin, motley clothes and his little scary voice (which I find out is part of his is called the Swazzle--as wiki sez:

In the British "Punch and Judy" show Punch wears a jester's motley and is a hunchback whose hooked nose almost meets his curved jutting chin. He carries a stick, as large as himself, which he freely uses upon all the other characters in the show. He speaks in a distinctive squawking voice, produced by a contrivance known as a swazzle or swatchel which the Professor holds in his mouth, transmitting his gleeful cackle— "That's the way to do it". So important is Mr. Punch's signature sound that it is a matter of some controversy within Punch and Judy circles as to whether a 'non-swazzled' show can be considered a true Punch and Judy Show.

I love this Swazzle thing. Really could be a great name for a lot of things. A whole twist to the character, a sound, a signature beyond the beating of the other characters. The Professor is the name of the single puppeteer who performs these little plays...always of two characters. I was musing on the history (there's quite a bit) of Punch and Judy  to Rob. Surprisingly, we both had the same opinion of them (albeit, I always go for the look as primary) as they are anachonistic and the shows which both of us saw in our childhoods...the children of today do not even see. It was horrifying to go to a show, not understand what this little puppet who hit people and spoke in this bizarre manner and try to figure out what your parents had in mind in taking you to this performance. Was there some message I was too stupid to understand? Was this something to expect as my parents wanted to hit me with a stick? Why were people laughing? It was puzzling and scary the way the clowns are..only somehow Punch and Judy were more academic (translated, more tasteful and somehow, good for you).

I like it that Punch is a derivative character from the Commedia del'Arte, Punchinella...who also has a wonderful nose (and mask)...not quite a clown...but maybe close enough?