On this Day:
On April 16, 2017, a world record 662 Charlie Chaplin lookalikes assembled in Switzerland.
To celebrate their first anniversary, one of Switzerland’s most popular museums pulled off quite an amazing stunt. The Chaplin’s World Museum sold a limited number of tickets for a special event on April 16, the date marking Charlie Chaplin’s birth in 1889.
And guess what? Inspired by the iconic silent film character, 662 lookalikes dressed in traditional “Tramp” fashion showed up in Corsier-sur-Vevey on Easter Sunday! Baggy pants, “melon” hats and walking sticks were all over the place as Charlie Chaplin fans of all ages enjoyed the grounds of the filmmaker’s former estate.
In the end, the 662 Charlie Chaplin lookalikes all met up on the lawn behind the mansion. From the sky, their formation was a gigantic star shape which would lead to a world record. Never before have so many Charlie Chaplin lookalikes congregated in one spot!
This is a “must see” museum in Switzerland: It is part Madame Tussauds, part selfie heaven and part a trip down Memory Lane.
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, the Tramp, and is considered one of the film industry’s most important figures. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Chaplin’s childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship. His father was absent and his mother struggled financially – he was sent to a workhouse twice before age nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19, he was signed to the Fred Karno company, which took him to America. He was scouted for the film industry and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon developed the Tramp persona and attracted a large fan base. He directed his own films and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the world’s best-known figures.
In 1919, Chaplin co-founded distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length film was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He initially refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. His first sound film was The Great Dictator (1940), which satirized Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, and some members of the press and public were scandalized by his involvement in a paternity suit and marriages to much younger women. An FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland. He abandoned the Tramp in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), A King in New York (1957), and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).
Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterized by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp’s struggles against adversity. Many contain social and political themes, as well as autobiographical elements. He received an Honorary Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century” in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work. He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked on lists of the greatest films (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin were booked to perform at a benefit.
Naturally since they were both silent performers, their acts relied purely on physical humor. The night of the performance they were backstage comparing notes and discovered they had planned to do almost the same bits: man stuck in box; man pulling rope; man walking against the wind; etc.
I guess it just goes to show, great mimes think alike.
Second, a Song:
Euronews states: “Around the clock, our team of 500 journalists of more than 30 different nationalities gathers news with impartial perspective, beyond the headlines content and voices from across Europe and the world. Our YouTube channel has all this and more, bringing you selected and original content from the world’s most trusted news source. Our mission is to empower people to form their own opinion. We trust in people’s intelligence and ability to make up their own mind and seek to provide our audience with the greatest diversity of viewpoints through journalism that is unapologetically impartial. We don’t trade in bias and outrage, we focus on facts, ideas, and solutions. We believe all views matter. Euronews was born out of a will to create a strong independent European news channel in 1993. As the only international news media with a European perspective, Euronews is where the world turns to hear what Europe has to say.”
Courtesy of Euronews and YouTube.com, here is a video of the assembly of the world record Charlie Chaplin lookalikes.
Euronews states: “They all came in their dark suits with baggy trousers, bowler hats and walking sticks, and of course the trademark moustache … they came in their hundreds all dressed as Charlie Chaplin’s character “The Tramp”.
There were no fewer than “662 tramps”; in fact – which it’s claimed is a world record in terms of the number of dressed-up Chaplins ever assembled.
The venue for Sunday’s gathering was the British comic’s former estate in Switzerland.” Here is Euronews’ video on the Charlie Chaplin lookalikes. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin
Subscribe: The Smile delivered to your Inbox: https://bit.ly/3JniFkq
Follow The Smile on Facebook: https://bit.ly/3KmYenI
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2022 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky