Comedy arose out of embers of Greek cultural imagination. Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology, represented an aspect of religion we would call fundamentalist or evangelical: highly emotional, noisy, singing, clapping, shouting, and dancing.
The men drank wine heavily during these events and the women went into ecstatic convulsions and were then known as maenads. They wore human masks, such as the one below. This was the true origin of the drama, which in time bifurcated into comic and tragic performances.