BIG Jester News: Welsh Town Appoints Its First Jester in 700 Years

In Depth

Important developments in the jester trade: The Welsh town of Conwy has appointed its first official jester in 7o0 years. This suggests an imminent thaw in the long-frozen job market for official jesters. Your major in jesting and minor in practical jokes are FINALLY going to pay off.

AFP reports that the Welsh town of Conwy has named one Russel Erwood its “Erwyd le Fol,” with a ceremony that involved “falconry, knights and a parade.” Fuck getting a hoodie and a building ID card; demand a welcome falcon at your next job. But this guy isn’t any old fool; he’s a “professional magician and circus performer,” and he had to pass some tests before he could assume his post:

The 34-year-old had to successfully complete three challenges to get the job: juggling daggers blindfolded, balancing a sword on his chin and making a gold coin disappear during a conjuring trick.
Erwood followed his tasks by balancing a blazing barbecue on a wooden pole down by the town’s quayside, a stunt known as “The Burning Brushes of Beelzebub”.

He has some very decrepit shoes to fill: “The market town’s previous jester — Tom le Fol — was appointed by King Edward I of England who was besieged by the Welsh within the town walls over the winter of 1294-1295.”

“Jesters were always more than just entertainers, they were a recognised figure within the community and as such the appointment of a town jester was never taken lightly,” said Toby Tunstall, chairman of the local chamber of trade. Nowadays the job description is closer to “tourist attraction” than “court gadfly,” of course, but perhaps America could borrow his services tomorrow for several hours of GOP primary debates?

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Photo via Getty.

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