‘In the beginning…’ examines the likely origins of comedy and asks: when was it born? The etymological roots of the word hint at obscure origins. Comedy can offer us reassurance. In Ancient Greece comic riot is predicted on ritual. Its distinguishing features include: outrageous mockery as a form of life-affirming purification; rebirths from death and the resurrection of new year from old; and licensed displays of indecency as a token of procreative energies. A consideration of beginnings can be developed by thinking about where as well as when comedy starts.