Molière (real name Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622 – 1673) was a 17th century French theatre writer, director, and actor, and is considered to be a significant figure and master of satire and farce. His works generally satirized all layers of French society and focused on ridiculous figures, undone by vanity, greed, or ignorance, and the farcical complications and miscommunications which surround them. Some of his best known plays include The Imaginary Invalid, Tartuffe, The Mischievous Machinations of Scapin, and The Doctor in Spite of Himself.


  • In Sesame Street Episode 1141, an Old West sketch featured Adam T. Glaser, absent-minded jack of all trades, including baker, mailman, and fireman. He wears a different hat according to which function he's fulfilling at the moment. One of the earliest examples of this motif, which has become a stock comic device, can be traced to Molière's 1668 play The Miser, in which Maitre Jacques, a servant, functions as both cook and coachman, and insists on changing his hats before giving a reply in either capacity.


Molière's plays, like those of Shakespeare, are still widely performed, from regional theater to Broadway. Many actors who have appeared in Muppet/Creature Shop productions have performed Molière.

  • Linda Bove played a servant in the National Theatre of the Deaf's version of Sganarelle (Broadway, 1970)
  • Paul Brooke played Geronte in Scapino (Broadway, 1974)
  • Paul Bürks played Clitandre in The Misanthrope (German radio, 1953) and the dancing master in The Would-Be Gentleman (German radio, 1955)
  • Kristin Chenoweth played Hyacinth in Scapin (Off-Broadway, 1997)
  • Robert Eddison played Philinite in The Misanthrope (Broadway, 1975)
  • Peter Friedman played the commander in Don Juan (Broadway, 1972)
  • John Glover played Pierrot in Don Juan (Broadway, 1972) and the title role in a modernized version of Tartuffe (Broadway, 1996)
  • Bill Irwin played the title role in Scapin (Off Broadway, 1997)
  • Joe Jamrog played La Merluche in The Miser (Broadway, 1999)
  • Charles Kimbrough played Orgon in Tartuffe (Off-Broadway, 1999)
  • Kevin Kline played Leandre in Scapin (Broadway, 1973)
  • T. R. Knight played Damis in Tartuffe (Broadway, 2003)
  • Jane Krakowski played Mariane in Tartuffe (Broadway, 1996)
  • Will Lee played Harpagon in The Miser (Broadway, 1936)
  • John Bedford Lloyd played Cléante in Tartuffe (Broadway, 2003)
  • Alf Marholm played a guardsman in The Misanthrope (German radio, 1953)
  • Diana Rigg played Célimène in The Misanthrope (Broadway, 1975)
  • Michel Robin played Colin in George Dandin (Broadway, 1968)
  • Friedrich Schoenfelder played a police officer in Tartuffe (German radio, 1963)
  • Marilyn Sokol played Matherine in Don Juan (Broadway, 1972)
  • Jean Stapleton played Philamante in The Learned Ladies (Broadway, 1991)
  • Stanley Tucci played Dubois in The Misanthrope (Broadwat, 1983)
  • Hattie Winston played Zerbinetta in Scapino, a variant on Scapin (Broadway, 1974)
  • David Wohl played Mr. Dimanche in Don Juan (Off-Broadway, 2003)
  • John Wood played Tartuffe (Broadway, 1977)
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