The band was formed in 1988 by school friends in Saint Petersburg around founder members Михаил "Горшок" Горшенев (Mikhail "Jug" Gorshenev), Александр Балунов (Alexandr Balunov) and Александр Щиголев (Alexander Shchigoliev). Singer Андрей "Князь" Князев (Andrei "Knyaz" Kniazev) joined the band in 1990 and guitarist Яков Цвиркунов (Yakov Tsvirkunov) in 1997. The band's name, which means The King and the Jester, was adopted in 1992, its previous name was Контора (Bureau).
Korol' i Shut is the first Russian band that refers to tales figures like trolls, dwarves and vampires, as well as contains many figures from Slavic mythology.
The band recorded for the first time in 1991 in a semi-professional studio. It was programmed on the radio soon after and began to tour in Saint Petersburg's clubs. From 1993, it started touring also in Moscow. Korol' i Shut toured over Israel and United States in 2003.
The band's lead singer Михаил "Горшок" Горшенев died of heart failure at the night from 18 to 19 July 2013. After a farewell tour during the fall and winter of 2013, Korol i Shut officially broke up in January 2014. Surviving members have founded a new band - Северный Флот.