Happy Cakeday Charlie Chaplin!

On this day in 1889, the popluar silent movie star and inventor of the Hitler Moustache, Charlie Chaplin was born in London, England.

Born into extreme poverty, Chaplin was twice sent to the Workhouse before the age of 9, enduring the typically appalling treatment meted out to poor children in the Victorian era.  Victorian England is notable for raising child abuse to the level of artform, sending children as young as five years of age into mines and up chimneys. Punishment for children routinely ended with the victim requiring medical treatment, and it was not uncommon for a child simply to die from the wounds inflicted by the stern disciplinarians of the era.

Somehow negotiating the near certain death that the Victorian world offered the youngster, Chaplin made it out of England alive and quickly graduated to international stardom. Ironically, Chaplin made his fortune playing ‘The Tramp’, a caricature of the poverty he had seen back in his native England.

Perhaps Chaplin’s most famous role was when he played the part of Hynkel, Dictator of Tomania, a thinly disguised parody of the massively popular dictator (at the time), Furher of NAZI Germany, and lover of German Shepherds, Adolf Hitler. This was rumored at the time to be Chaplin’s way of retaliating against Hitler, who Chaplin felt had stolen the whole ‘little moustache’ idea.

It’s likely that Hitler might have wanted to have a few words with Chaplin, had Germany won the war, so it was fortunate for the Little Tramp that Hitler ended up shooting himself in the head some time in 1945. Chaplin being Jewish most likely wouldn’t have gone down too well with Adolf either.

Chaplin was quoted as saying, “I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” At the time this was heartfelt and meaningful. Today, however, this sort of quote makes up 50% of the posts on social media, and now it just makes people grind their teeth.

Hitler stole Chaplin’s moustache idea. Chaplin responded by stealing Hitler’s Lunatic in an Army Uniform schtick.



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