The chanters or chorus often wore masks. Eventually one person, a character who was associated with the Phallus, the symbol of fertility surrounding the Dionysus worship, began the practice of interacting with the chorus. Over time, another character was added to express the God/hero and eventually yet another, as the unheroic comic or komos reveller.
A ludicrous figure with distorted mask, padded belly and buttocks and a large artificial phallus. In keeping with this costume the language of the dialogue was full of frank obscenity, a feature of ordinary life. The procession initially sang unison hymns in a horse-shoe formation round a central alter of Dionysus. Gradually these hymns evolved into interactive secular stories.
“They were enlivened by the antics of the satyrs – half men, half goats – who were the attendants of Dionysus.”
The costume of the comic actor was, as might be expected, less hampering, since he needed to be something of an acrobat. He usually wore soft slippers (socci), flesh-coloured tights and a short tunic, grotesquely padded. Masks were exaggerated for comic affect. The attendants of Dionysus in the satyr play wore short furry breeches to which was attached a tail.
It appears that the requirement for early comics to be nimble is a tradition, which has evolved and been folded into the term, harlequinesque. However the attributes of the cock is also a consideration. Hugill, tells us along with the wearing of animal heads, some clowns wore the popular cocks’ head. “The cock was considered a stupid, vain and libidinous creature and the character wearing this headdress would be interpreted as having the same traits.”