The Punch and Judy show can trace its roots to the 16th century to the Italian commedia dell'arte. The figure of Punch derives from the Neapolitan stock character of Pulcinella, which was Anglicized to Punchinello. He is a manifestation of the Lord of Misrule and Trickster figures of deep-rooted mythologies. Punch's wife was originally "Joan".
In the British "Punch and Judy" show Punch wears a jester's motley and is a hunchback whose hooked nose almost meets his curved jutting chin. He carries a stick, as large as himself, which he freely uses upon all the other characters in the show. He speaks in a distinctive squawking voice, produced by a contrivance known as a swazzle or swatchel which the Professor holds in his mouth, transmitting his gleeful cackle— "That's the way to do it". So important is Mr. Punch's signature sound that it is a matter of some controversy within Punch and Judy circles as to whether a 'non-swazzled' show can be considered a true Punch and Judy Show.
Textures by pareeerica: