The zanni, most notably Arlecchino and Pedrolino, appear in every one of Flaminio Scala collection of scenarios, Il Teatro delle favole rappresentative. This collection, the first known to exist, dates to 1611 and shows the early importance of the zanni characters. The zanni are also present in every other major scenario collection, including the Locatelli, Correr, Biancolelli, and Adriani texts.
The zanni are also seen in every major collection of drawings and carvings of the commedia dell'arte. The Receuil Fossard in particular contains several carvings featuring nameless zanni as well as Harlequins. The collection at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris also contains several prints of various zanni.
The dramatic tradition of Europe is unmistakably stamped by the zanni. The zanni influence the writings of both Shakespeare and Molière. Nicoll claims that descendants of zanni characters are found in both Love's Labour's Lost and Twelfth Night, and Mel Gordon finds the stage business of Stephano and Trinculo in The Tempest to be reminiscent of the zanni. Molière uses both the zanni and zagne as inspirations for his comic servants, and Scapino even appears as the title character in Les fourberies de Scapin. Gordon further suggests that the ganassas of Spanish Carnaval festivities were named after the famous sixteenth-- century harlequin, Alberto Ganassa. The theater of Eastern Europe also owes a debt to the zanni, as both the commedia dell'arte and the zanni were leading forces in the development of the German, Polish, and Russian theater traditions.
Gordon Mel, ed. Lazzi: The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell'Arte. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1983.
Scala Flaminio. Scenarios of the Commedia dell'Arte: Flaminio Scala's Il teatro delle favole rappresentative. Trans. Henry Salerno. New York: New York UP, 1967.
Ducharte Pierre Louis. The Italian Comedy. Trans. Randolph Weaver. New York: Dover, 1966.
Nicoll Allardyce. Masks, Mimes, and Miracles. New York: Cooper Square, 1963.
Sand Maurice. The History of the Harlequinade. 2 vols. New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968.
Smith Winifred. The Commedia dell'Arte. New York: Benjamin Blom, 1964.