Finito la Commedia

What Is Finita la Commedia?

Follow Me for Great Political Satire & Social Commentary“Finita la commedia” is an Italian phrase meaning approximately “the farce is over.”

Beginning in 1992, I began self-publishing a social commentary and political satire newsletter. As I was attending the University of Michigan Law School at the time, I called my mini-zine “Motor City Q.E.D.” (yeah, even though U-M is in Ann Arbor).

When I moved away, a new name seemed in order, so I began calling it Finito la Commedia— a misspelling of a phrase that stuck with me after hearing during the O.J. Simpson period. A commentator–perhaps Dave Barry, although I’m not sure–noted the amazing coincidences that would have to have occurred to explain OJ’s bloody clothing, sudden trip to Chicago, injured hand, possession of bloody gloves, documented history of domestic violence, and low-speed chase. “Finita la Commedia, OJ,” he said.

He may have been proved wrong by humanity’s oddness and prosecutorial stupidity, and I also expect to be proven wrong many times. In fact, as has been pointed out to me, I was wrong about the correct phrase in Italian (finita vs. finito)! Still, I mostly seek to expose and laugh at our social and political foibles as best I can. Enjoy!


11 Comments so far
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Ehm… the problem here is that in italian this phrase is not correct 😉 It should be “Finita la commedia”, being “commedia” (show) a feminine word, while “finito” is supposed to be associated with a masculine one.


Comment by andreaforlani

Yes, you’d surely think so, wouldn’t you? (I speak Spanish, so I know what you mean.) I don’t actually speak Italian, so I can give no definitive answer, but I can say that I routinely see this phrase two ways: “finito la commedia” and “la commedia è finita.” I have also seen the reverse-ordered “É finita la commedia.” I have never seen “finita la commedia,” however. So, to change languages again, c’est la vie.

Comment by Finito la Commedia

The phrase is wrong if you are trying to mean “the show is over” or “the farce is over” (search in wikipedia about “Pagliacci” the last lines of the play and you will find de origin of that use), the right forms are “Finita la commedia”, “La commedia è finita” and you can even say “È finita la commedia” all same meaning, “Finito la comedia” is a phrase you use when you are meaning “I finished the work” or “we finished the work”, because the origin could be “(Io ho) finito la commedia” or “(Noi habbiamo) finito la commedia” it´s a matter of verb conjugations. Sorry about my english, not the language I know best, hope i managed to write a clear explanation.

Comment by Diego

not “i finished the work” neither “we…”, “the job is done” would be the right example

Comment by Diego

Thanks, Diego. That makes a lot of sense. I guess I’ll just have to be quirky, though, since I’ve had this moniker for nearly 15 years now, though. 🙂

Comment by Finito la Commedia

“La commedia è finita!” (The play is over!) is the final line in the opera “Pagliacci”, uttered by the character of Canio after he stabs and kills his wife Nedda and her lover Silvio on the stage of the play that all three of them were acting in.

It has remained a popular saying in Italy and abroad when a sad affair comes to a tragic end.

Comment by Arturo

Thanks, Arturo! It does appear I have been misinformed about this phrase for the past 15 years. Finita la commedia! 🙂

Comment by Finito la Commedia

Many years before, Haydn’s “Il mondo della luna” had “Finita è la commedia” at its end…

Comment by Hagai Agmon-Snir

at the end…è finita la comedia (old italian, from latin comoedia)

Comment by Hu

En Cornellà también decimos ‘finita la mamada’ lol!!!

Comment by Mariano Rajoy

This is a bit of irony in the opera. Traditionally, plays are either comedies or tragedies. In the opera Pagliacci (strawmen, scarecrows, clowns) the play being acted out is a farce, a comedy. Yet the opera itself, ending in the death of Nedda, is a tragedy. So when Canio says “the comedy is finished,” he’s making a distinction between the comedy in which he plays the clown; and his own life, which is ruined.

Comment by Christian LeBlanc

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