It can be both a generic name, referring to all zanni or the name of an actual Mask when the character is not defined further as being Arlechinno, Brighella, Pedrolino, etc. Anche il famoso Arlecchino era uno degli Zanni.

[1] Theater, speziell Commedia dell’Arte: Zanni [2] übertragen, gehoben: Kasper, Clown Herkunft: seit 1549 [1] bezeugte Konversion aus dem Eigennamen Zanni → it, das die toskanische Form des venetischen Zani → vec ist, das In Commedia dell'arte in the Twentieth Century John Rublin first examines the orgins of this vital theatrical form and charts its recent revival through the work of companies like Tag, Theatre de Complicite and the … Zanni era un personaggio del teatro comico dell’antica Roma, divenuto poi maschera della Commedia dell'Arte. Era un servo contadino, sia furbo sia sciocco. There has been an enormous revival of interest in Commedia dell'arte. Zanni, plural zanni or zannis, stock servant character in the Italian improvisational theatre known as the commedia dell’arte. Zanni Stock Character Research and Sheet for Commedia dell'Carte Character Name: Zanni Zanni is both singular and plural, the Venetian diminutive of Giovanni. Zanni were valet buffoons , clowns, and knavish jacks-of-all-trades. All possessed common sense, intelligence, pride, and a love of practical jokes and intrigue. And it remians a central part of many drama school courses.