Beppe Grillo

Beppe Grillo
Beppe Grillo 3.jpg
Leader of the Five Star Movement
In office
4 October 2009 – 23 September 2017
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byLuigi Di Maio
Personal details
Giuseppe Piero Grillo

(1948-07-21) 21 July 1948 (age 70)
Genoa, Italy
Political partyFive Star Movement
Parvin Tadjik (m. 1996)
SignatureOfficial website

Giuseppe Piero "Beppe" Grillo (Italian: [ˈbɛppe ˈɡrillo]; born 21 July 1948) is an Italian comedian, actor, blogger and political activist. He has been involved in politics since 2009 as the co-founder (together with Gianroberto Casaleggio) of the Italian Five Star Movement political party.

Early life and career

Grillo was born in Genoa, Liguria, on 21 July 1948.[1] He studied as an accountant but did not finish university.[2] After high school, he became a comedian by chance, improvising a monologue in an audition. Two weeks later, he was discovered by Italian television presenter Pippo Baudo. Grillo participated in the variety show Secondo Voi from 1977 to 1978. In 1979, he participated in Luna Park by Enzo Trapani, and in the variety show Fantastico.[3][4]

In the 1980s he appeared in the shows Te la do io l'America (1982, four episodes) and Te lo do io il Brasile (1984, six episodes), in which he narrated his experiences of visits to the United States and Brazil. This led to his appearance as the protagonist of another show, developed especially for him, called Grillometro (Grillometer). In 1986, he appeared in a series[5] of prize-winning advertisements for a brand of yoghurt.[citation needed]

Beppe Grillo (on the right) with Pippo Baudo during the 1980s

Soon afterwards, his performances began to include political satire that offended some Italian politicians. In 1986 during the Saturday night television show Fantastico 7, he attacked the Italian Socialist Party and its leader Bettino Craxi, then Italy's Prime Minister, on the occasion of his visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC).[6][7] As a consequence, Grillo was effectively banished from publicly owned television.[8]

Exile from television

Since the early 1990s Grillo's appearances on television have become rare; according to Mark Franchetti, politicians are offended by his jokes.[9] When one of his shows was allowed to be broadcast live by RAI in 1993, it obtained a record share of 15 million viewers.[10] Grillo often accuses the public broadcaster RAI is "public financing for the parties" that abuse it for their own propagandist needs.[11]

Grillo also took aim at the Italian Socialist Party, which directly led to him having less television appearance after the mid 80's.[12] Grillo also criticized Biagio Agnes, then the director of the STET, for dishonest business practices.[13] By the early 90's, Grillo was known for his anti-establishment comedy as well as the denunciation of public policies.[13] While it did give him attention and the beginning of his political base, it also directly led him to the lack of television appearances.

Despite this exile, excerpts from Grillo's Five Star Movement political rallies are often broadcast on television, especially on political debate talk shows. On 19 May 2014, Grillo returned to Italian public television, RAI to participate in the popular late-night political debate talk show Porta a Porta as part of his campaign for the 2014 European Parliament election. The program attracted three million viewers.[14] As of August 2015, Grillo performs on stage in Italy and abroad.[15] His themes include energy use, political and corporate corruption, finance, freedom of speech, child labour, globalization and technology.[16]

Blog and web enthusiasm

Looking for another outlet, Grillo eventually turned to the internet. This started when Grillo met a manager of a small internet firm named Gianroberto Casaleggio.[17] He expanded his influence to a larger audience with his website once the site was launched in January 2005.[18] The internet was seen as an alternative source for media which ran contrary to the mainstream media. Hence, Grillo was able to gain many followers who became disillusioned with mainstream Italian media.[19] Over time, it also became seen as the "headquarters" of the Five Star Movement and the main hub of its activity, rather than a physical location. A year after its launch, it became recognized by the Time magazine as one of the most influential websites to date.[18] Despite the website's success, there have been a number of other websites used to ramp up support for Grillo. One such site by the name of was used to organize rallies and campaigns[20] making Grillo's progress even more apparent. The website was also used to discuss the political stances of Grillo as well as any other politically affiliated topic referring to Grillo.

Grillo maintains a blog in Italian, English, and Japanese that is updated daily. According to Technorati, the blog ranks among the 10 most visited in the world. In 2008, The Guardian included Grillo's blog among the world's most influential.[21] He often receives letters from prominent figures such as Antonio Di Pietro (former Italian Minister of Infrastructures), Fausto Bertinotti (former President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies), Renzo Piano, and Nobel Prize Winners including Dario Fo, Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Dalai Lama and Muhammad Yunus.[22] As Grillo became more and more involved in Italian politics, the use of his blog to convey a political message was accompanied by a strong emphasis on the role of the Web as the harbinger of new possibilities for direct democracy and for a fairer society, making Grillo one of the leading popularisers of digital utopianism in Italy.[12] As of mid December 2017, the English and Japanese versions of the blog seem as permanently defunct. The last entry in the English section is from November 2015, and in Japanese from October 2011. The Italian version, however, continues to be updated daily.

Other Languages
العربية: بيبي غريللو
aragonés: Beppe Grillo
asturianu: Beppe Grillo
беларуская: Бэпэ Грыла
български: Бепе Грило
català: Beppe Grillo
čeština: Beppe Grillo
Deutsch: Beppe Grillo
Ελληνικά: Μπέπε Γκρίλο
español: Beppe Grillo
Esperanto: Beppe Grillo
euskara: Beppe Grillo
فارسی: بپه گریلو
français: Beppe Grillo
한국어: 베페 그릴로
հայերեն: Բեպպե Գրիլլո
Bahasa Indonesia: Beppe Grillo
Interlingue: Beppe Grillo
italiano: Beppe Grillo
עברית: בפה גרילו
Ligure: Beppe Grillo
lumbaart: Beppe Grillo
magyar: Beppe Grillo
Nederlands: Beppe Grillo
occitan: Beppe Grillo
Piemontèis: Beppe Grillo
polski: Beppe Grillo
português: Beppe Grillo
română: Beppe Grillo
русский: Беппе Грилло
sicilianu: Beppi Grillo
Simple English: Beppe Grillo
svenska: Beppe Grillo
українська: Беппе Грілло
vèneto: Beppe Grillo
Tiếng Việt: Beppe Grillo