Charlie Chaplin Loses Chaplin Look-Alike
by Mario Cruz
||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
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."