Date and place of birth: July 21, 1948, Genoa.
Current position: founder of Five Star Movement.
Previous: stand-up comic, corporate gadfly, blogger.
Education: diploma in accounting.
What you should know: the former comic took Italy's political scene by storm in 2013 when his Five Star Movement, a protest party, became the biggest opposition force in parliament. Known for his rants against the establishment, Grillo couldn't run for office because of a vehicular manslaughter conviction. But he has kept managing the movement that he founded in 2009. His blog became one of the most read by Italians: it is widely read for its criticism of the elite, whom he blames for Italy's problems. His aggressive style has always caused controversy, even as a comic. In 1986, he was banned from television after making a joke about the ruling Socialist Party.