Molière (real name Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622 – 1673) was a 17th century French theatre writer, director, and actor, and is considered to be a significant figure and master of satire and farce. His works generally satirized all layers of French society and focused on ridiculous figures, undone by vanity, greed, or ignorance, and the farcical complications and miscommunications which surround them. Some of his best known plays include The Imaginary Invalid, Tartuffe, The Mischievous Machinations of Scapin, and The Doctor in Spite of Himself.
- In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Moliere is among the Schoolroom Busts in Scrooge's old schoolhouse, alongside William Shakespeare, Aristotle, and Dante.
- In Sesame Street Episode 1141, an Old West sketch featured Adam T. Glaser, absent-minded jack of all trades, including baker, mailman, and fireman. He wears a different hat according to which function he's fulfilling at the moment. One of the earliest examples of this motif, which has become a stock comic device, can be traced to Molière's 1668 play The Miser, in which Maitre Jacques, a servant, functions as both cook and coachman, and insists on changing his hats before giving a reply in either capacity.
Molière's plays, like those of Shakespeare, are still widely performed, from regional theater to Broadway. Many actors who have appeared in Muppet/Creature Shop productions have performed Molière.
- Linda Bove played a servant in the National Theatre of the Deaf's version of Sganarelle (Broadway, 1970)
- Kristin Chenoweth played Hyacinth in Scapin (Off-Broadway, 1997)
- Peter Friedman played the commander in Don Juan (Broadway, 1972)
- John Glover played Pierrot in Don Juan (Broadway, 1972) and the title role in a modernized version of Tartuffe (Broadway, 1996)
- Bill Irwin played the title role in Scapin (Off Broadway, 1997)
- Charles Kimbrough played Orgon in Tartuffe (Off-Broadway, 1999)
- Kevin Kline played Leandre in Scapin (Broadway, 1973)
- T. R. Knight played Damis in Tartuffe (Broadway, 2003)
- Will Lee played Harpagon in The Miser (Broadway, 1936)
- John Bedford Lloyd played Cléante in Tartuffe (Broadway, 2003)
- Diana Rigg played Célimène in The Misanthrope (Broadway, 1977)
- Michel Robin played Colin in George Dandin (Broadway, 1968)
- Marilyn Sokol played Matherine in Don Juan (Broadway, 1972)
- Jean Stapleton played Philamante in The Learned Ladies (Broadway, 1991)
- Hattie Winston played Zerbinetta in Scapino, a variant on Scapin (Broadway, 1974)
- David Wohl played Mr. Dimanche in Don Juan (Off-Broadway, 2003)
- John Wood played Tartuffe (Broadway, 1977)