When Carlini was convulsing Naples with laughter, a patient waited on a physician in that city, to obtain some remedy for excessive melancholy, which was rapidly consuming his life. The physician endeavored to cheer his spirits, and advised him to go to the theater and see Carlini. He replied, “I am Carlini.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Comic,” closing words, Letters and Social Aims (1875)

This joke/anecdote has numerous variations over the last century and more. For example, see here and here.

Added on 26-Feb-09 | Last updated 22-Feb-22
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