Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Charlie Chaplin Contest

Did you know that Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest around 1915 - and lost?

According to snopes, this is absolutely true. The contest took place in a theater in San Francisco. Many Chaplin contests were held in the early part of the 20th century but the contestants were judged on how close they came to imitating Chaplin's Little Tramp character, especially his cane-swinging walk. Since Chaplin wore a baggy costume, a false mustache and hat as the Little Tramp, the everyday Chaplin was hard to recognize and so was able to enter the contest.

The photo at the top left shows a 1922 Chaplin contest, and is from Webshots. The little film clip is also from the 1920s and shows Chaplin judging a contest and showing the participants how to do the Little Tramp walk.


Georgina said...

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I love that video. The research you do really is a gift to all of us lucky readers! - G

Tori Lennox said...

I knew that! But I only found out about it fairly recently. :)

Bill said...

I must look into the particulars of that contest. People have been hoping for a better version of me for years.

Lidian said...

Georgina - Thank you - I enjoy finding this stuff too! :)

Tori - I never knew about it until this morning, and yet have read several bios of Chaplin (guess I need to reread them!)

Bill - That sounds like fun for all :)

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...


I had no idea that Charlie Chaplin's walk was the Moonwalk of its day!