There are several anecdotes relating to the renowned Chinese poet Su Dongpo 苏東坡 (1036-1101), and jesters. Su wore a kind of hat which was named after him. During the Xining reign period (1068–1077) of Song Shenzong 宋神宗, some jesters acted out a skit in which they were boasting about how well they wrote.
The jester Ding Xianxian 丁仙現 (Immortal Revelation), wearing a Su Dongpo style hat, dismissed their efforts, ‘You lot can’t even begin to write as well as I do!’ The other jesters all asked why not. ‘Two heads are better than one, can’t you see I’ve got a Su Dongpo on mine!’ The emperor was amused.
Ding Xianxian was known for being a boldly outspoken jester, part of the truth-teller tradition among court fools. On one occasion he even bested a top minister.
Source: Jinan xiansheng shiyou tanji 濟南先生師友談記, by Li Zhi 李廌 (1059-1109), Siku Quanshu 四庫全書 (Shanghai: Guji Chubanshe, 1987), vol. 863, pp. 172b-73a. The hat was called `Zizhan style’ 子瞻樣, using Su’s given name.
Image credit: Portrait of Su Shi 蘇軾, in Album of Both Odes on the Red Cliff 赤壁二賦冊, Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322), baimiao (a fine-line method in monochrome ink); courtesy National Palace Museum.