red-hot poker

Definition

Theater

  • In the English harlequinade, a comic prop of clown,who would place it maliciously under the seat of some unsuspectingcharacter's trousers. As pantomime became more popular thanthe harlequinade, which was often relegated to the position of anafterpiece, so the red-hot poker was used less frequently.In 1864 Chambers Journal published an imaginary letter to Clown,which included the complaint: "What has become of the red-hotpoker? On behalf of the entire community, I repeat, with becomingwarmth of expression, WHAT HAS BECOME OF THE RED-HOT POKER?"
http://www.dictionarycentral.com/definition/red-hot-poker.html