To play the fool

Also found in: Idioms, Wikipedia.
to act the buffoon; to act a foolish part.
- 1 Sam. xxvi. 21.

See also: Fool

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
As Garrick, whom I regard in tragedy to be the greatest genius the world hath ever produced, sometimes condescends to play the fool; so did Scipio the Great, and Laelius the Wise, according to Horace, many years ago; nay, Cicero reports them to have been "incredibly childish." These, it is true, played the fool, like my friend Garrick, in jest only; but several eminent characters have, in numberless instances of their lives, played the fool egregiously in earnest; so far as to render it a matter of some doubt whether their wisdom or folly was predominant; or whether they were better intitled to the applause or censure, the admiration or contempt, the love or hatred, of mankind.
"If you, sir, choose to make a buffoon of yourself," he said sharply, with a slight trembling of the lower jaw, "I can't prevent your doing so; but I warn you that if you dare to play the fool in my presence, I will teach you to behave yourself."
You have lost your temper now, and are beginning to play the fool! Certain circumstances, however, I may explain to you later.
Vanian, dressed in black and still looking remarkably good for a 61-year-old, prowled the stage and worked the crowd throughout but the star of the show was Sensible, who may like to play the fool but actually plays magnificent Gibson guitar.
He'd been due to play the Fool to fellow Yorkshireman Brian Glover's monarch, but when Glover passed away, the Fool became the King.
By PAUL KEANE EAMONN FITZMAURICE is happy to play the fool - confident that his Kerry team will play it cool.
As fans of TTN will testify, Barrowman is not afraid to play the fool, whether it's sending up Tom Cruise in Top Gun or donning make up to play a hapless air steward, and hopeless fast food worker.
My dream acting role would be to play the Fool in King Lear, my favourite play.
Times I have been lied to, times when I had to endure the betrayal of false friends, times when I gave my heart to someone I thought I could trust, only to play the fool and have it broken.
I will continue to play the fool and work with the risk element as it stands, rather than go back to betting 'in theory' and knowing my money has gone as early as the second or third hurdle.
JOSE REINA is determined not to play the fool against Manchester United at Anfield tomorrow .
But Almereyda is not afraid to play the fool in attempting to tease from his subject some definitive statement about the relationship of his photographs to the real world or his emotional response to music (Eggleston is a mean man at the keyboard).