Joseph Shepherd Munden (1758-1832) was one of the best comedians of his day, particularly in elderly parts. After a number of years touring he made his London debut in Susannah Centlivve's The Busy Body, the subject of the portrait, at Covent Garden on 2 December 1790. The picture shows Munden as Sir Francis Gripe chinking a bag of coins and exclaiming "Well, Sir George, ha! ha! ha! take the last sound of your guineas, ha! ha! ha!"
Samuel de Wilde also exhibited portraits of Munden 'in the character of Verden' at the Royal Academy in 1799 and 'as Crack in the 'Turnpike Gate' in 1809. There is a watercolour of 1818 showing him as Autolycus in Shakespeare Winter's Tale in the Garrick Club