Charlie Chaplin

(1889–1977)

Charlie Chaplin

Anecdote 1...

The playwright Charles MacArthur had been brought to Hollywood to do a screenplay, but was finding it difficult to write visual jokes.

“What’s the problem?” asked Chaplin.

“How, for example, could I make a fat lady, walking down Fifth Avenue, slip on a banana peel and still get a laugh? It’s been done a million times,” said MacArthur. “What’s the best way to GET the laugh? Do I show first the banana peel, then the fat lady approaching, then she slips? Or do I show the fat lady first, then the banana peel, and THEN she slips?”

“Neither,” said Chaplin without a moment’s hesitation. “You show the fat lady approaching; then you show the banana peel; then you show the fat lady and the banana peel together; then she steps OVER the banana peel and disappears down a manhole.”

Quote-worthy...

A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

~Charlie Chaplin

Anecdote 2...

Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike competition in Monte Carlo. He came in third.

Biographical Note: 

Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin was a British-born film actor, who went with Fred Karno’s troupe to the United States in 1910. He became legendary as a downtrodden little man in baggy trousers and a bowler hat in such silent comedies as “The Gold Rush” (1924) and “City Lights” (1931). He spoke for the first time in “The Great Dictator” (1940), a film ridiculing Hitler. Knighted in 1976, he is considered to be the screen’s greatest comic.

More Information: 

Read a short biography (with photos) of Charlie Chaplin. →

Photo Info

The above photo is Chaplin as the Tramp in 1915, cinema’s “most universal icon.”