zany (n.) Look up zany at
comic performer, 1580s, from French zani, from Italian zani, zanni "a zany, clown," originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni "John;" thus equivalent to English Jack. A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.
zany (adj.) Look up zany at
1610s, from zany (n.). Related: Zanily; zaniness.