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A triboulet at the Monthey carnival
The Triboulet of Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse (The Fool and Death by Sarah Bernhardt)

Triboulet (1479–1536) was a jester of kings Louis XII and Francis I of France.

He appears in Book 3 of François Rabelais' Pantagrueline chronicles. He appears in Victor Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse and its opera version, Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto, a blend of "Triboulet" and French rigoler (to laugh), intended to deflect the censorship that Hugo's work had received. A triboulet, a jester dressed entirely in red, is a character associated with the carnival of Monthey in Switzerland.

Portrait, c.1550

Attributed famous quotes[edit]

  • Triboulet once came to the Monarch with a complaint.
Triboulet: "A noble has threatened to hang me!"
The Monarch: "Don't worry! If he hangs you I'll have him beheaded fifteen minutes later."
Triboulet: "Well, would it be possible to behead him 15 minutes before?"
  • Once, Triboulet could not contain himself and slapped the monarch on the bum. The monarch lost his temper and threatened to execute Triboulet. A little later, the monarch calmed down a little and promised to forgive Triboulet if he could think of an apology more insulting than the offending deed.
A few seconds later, Triboulet responded: "I'm so sorry, your majesty, that I didn't recognize you! I mistook you for the Queen!"


Having broken an order from Francis I forbidding Triboulet from making jokes on the queen and courtesans, the king ordered that he should be put to death. Having served particularly well the king for many years, Francis I granted Triboulet the right to choose the way he would die. Triboulet, with his sharp mind, said the following: "Bon sire, par sainte Nitouche et saint Pansard, patrons de la folie, je demande à mourir de vieillesse." which translates to: "Sir, for Saint Nitouche's and Saint Pansard's sake, patrons of insanity, I choose to die from old age." Having no other choice than to laugh, the king ordered that Triboulet must not be executed, but rather instead be banished from the realm.[1][2]

External links[edit]

Media related to Triboulet at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ "TRIBOULET : le fou des rois". Triboulet (in French). 23 October 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "LA COUR : Triboulet, le fou du roi". Historia (in French). 24 January 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2014.