How Can We Connect the New White House Director of Communications to Music? Like This.

Spicey is out. Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street hedge fund guy, has been appointed Donald Trump’s director of communications for the White House. Setting aside the fact that his nickname is “Mooch”–not a great tag for a government employee–his last name has resulted in a huge spike in searches for the definition of “scaramouche,” as people try to make a connection between him and the middle section of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me
(Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo figaro magnifico

Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, took note of an 8,185% increase in people looking for what a “scaramouche” is. The answer, in case you’re wondering, is a stock character in the Italian commedia dell’arte that burlesques the Spanish don and is characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness.” The role of Scaramouche is to be beaten by another character known as the Harlequin.” The Harlequin is “a character in comedy and pantomime with a shaved head, masked face, variegated tights, and wooden sword.”

And to take this to its logical conclusion, there’s no evidence anywhere in music that the Scaramouche and The Harlequin ever danced the Fandango. (“A a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time that is usually performed by a man and a woman to the accompaniment of guitar and castanets.”)

Merrian-Webster apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

For more investigation into this, er, investigation, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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