• An improvised comic interpolation used to enliven the mainaction of the commedia dell'arte. Usually introduced whenthe action seemed in danger of flagging, the lazzo might consistof an unexpected pun, a topical allusion, or a piece of pantomime.Lazzi were often vulgar, sadistic, or slightly disgusting;a popular example involved Harlequin catching and eatinga fly. A longer version of the lazzo, known as the burla,frequently involved a practical joke. Both forms are thought to haveinfluenced the slapstick antics of Charlie Chaplin, the KeystoneCops, and others.