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Charlie Chaplin Loses Chaplin Look-Alike Contest
by Mario Cruz

Charlie Chaplin - click to enlarge Judging look-alike contests can be somewhat objective.  A good case in point dates all the way back to around 1915.  The nation was in the grips of a "Chaplintis" phenomenon and besides his numerous films, Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest became a popular form of entertainment.  

At these events, contestants would compete to see who could best imitate the "tramp" persona championed by Chaplin.  Ironically, few people, even a ardent fan, could recognize the real Chaplin without his familiar costume, makeup, and mustache.  

For example, a young actor / comedian named Bob Hope, won one of these contests in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to entertainment folklore, Chaplin himself once entered and lost one of these contests.  But rather than Monte Carlo or Switzerland, as legend has it, it was in San Francisco.  Also contrary to erroneous reports circulating the winner was not his brother, Syd, and Charlie Chaplin did not come in second or third, he did not even make the finals.

Chaplin was a good sport and had a has a good sense of humor.  He told a reporter at the time he wasn't upset at having lost, but he was "tempted to give lessons in the Chaplin walk, out of pity as well as in the desire to see the thing done correctly."

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