Nearly all writers on the subject propose that this refers to Henry Fielding (1707-54), a London magistrate, playwright, and novelist, best known for his novel Tom Jones. Since his literary works contain a considerable measure of wit, why did Gilbert imply there was something contradictory about Fielding's humor? Dunn (100), Hardwick (149) and Prestige (245) opine that Gilbert was making a pun on the term "fielding" as used in the game of cricket, and which is not considered much fun. (It is roughly equivalent to playing in the outfield in baseball.) Turnbull, for his part, thinks Gilbert simply wanted a word to rhyme with Victory (294).

The humour of Fielding -- which sounds contradictory
Act I