"I was never crazy about Hitler. If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win. That's what they do so well: they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can't win. You show how crazy they are."
In short: Adolf Hitler
is treated as a joke instead of a monster.
No, this doesn't intend to excuse anything done under his regime. The point is that instead of being treated as some kind of boogeyman or evil incarnate, he's treated as something stupid, for reasons stated in the above quote. And considering Hitler's noted ego in Real Life
, this does even more to demean him than nearly any other portrayal.
This was essentially the default portrayal of Hitler in most Allied media during the Second World War
. The revelation of the Holocaust put paid to the idea of Hitler as a nationalistic buffoon. It got a resurgence in recent years.
of Those Wacky Nazis
(with actual emphasis on the "wacky").
- Many issues of the original run of Captain America treated Hitler this way. In one story, Captain America and his boy sidekick Bucky battle Hitler and Goebbels. Both senior Nazis squabble over who will get to fight the child hero rather than Cap himself...and then Bucky beats them both up before the heroes just leave the two behind despite the wartime setting. Of course, this is obviously a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, since the real Hitler hadn't been defeated and deposed.
- Several ''Captain Marvel stories of the 1940s also had Hitler as an almost childlike villain, including one where he is defeated temporarily when exposed to an "honesty ray" that forces him to tell the truth for 24 hours.
- Hitler was often portrayed as an egotistical loudmouth and a buffoonish villain during the Silver Age of comics books in Marvel Comics' Nick Fury and His Howling Commandos comic.
- Hellboy: In the "Young Hellboy" strips, Hellboy is assigned to guard Hitler in hell, where he's subjected to various demeaning punishments.
- Adolf, die Nazisau ("Adolf, the Nazi Pig") by German writer/cartoonist Walter Moers tells the story of Hitler, who survived in the sewers of Berlin, reemerging in the 90s and trying to cope with modern life. Needless to say, numerous lines are crossed, repeatedly. There is also a music video based on the same work, found here (somewhat NSFW due to bare Hitler butt).
Live Action Television
- Mel Brooks is very big on this, having a number of other skits and scenes about this.
- The Producers is based largely on this, by having a play about him try to be flop (which is why the trope Springtime for Hitler is named so), and hiring a hippie to play Hitler in the film version, and then having a Camp Gay director play him in the stage version.
- In Little Nicky, Hitler's punishment in hell is to be forced to dress as a French Maid and repeatedly get an Ass Shove with a pineapple.
- The Devil with Hitler has the Devil screwing around with Hitler, setting him up for all kinds of pratfalls.
- The Great Dictator is Chaplin's lampoon of German and Italian fascism, with the serial numbers filed off.
- The Three Stooges had some shorts where they spoofed Hitler and Nazism in general. Most notable is "High As A Kite" where Curly sat down on a photo of Hitler where it got stuck and the Nazi's heiled Curly's bottom.
- Highway to Hell. Adolf Hitler (Gilbert Gottfried) is one of the inhabitants of Hell. He's played in Gottfried's standard over-the-top manner, very similar to the character of Iago in Disney's Aladdin.
- The German film Mein Führer, featuring the comedian/singer/songwriter Helge Schneider in the title role lives this trope. In an interview director Dany Levy said that he wanted to "knock the Nazis off their throne of vicious admiration".
- The Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hitler", where the fuhrer gets locked in a storage cupboard early in the episode, and is still there when it ends.
- The Whitest Kids U Know did a skit called "Triumph of the Ill" which featured Hitler rapping.
- The failed sitcom Heil Honey, I'm Home! attempted this.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus episode 12. Adolf Hitler survived World War 2 and is living in Britain under the name "Hilter". He tries (badly) to pretend to be British but tends to lose his temper and act in a stupid and crazed manner (he hasn't slept since 1945).
- Spitting Image featured an elderly Hitler living in Downing Street and advising Margaret Thatcher (although she apparently didn't know it was him as he used the name "Herr Wilcox").
- Dads Army refers to this on occasion. The theme tune, Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mister Hitler?, is a pastiche of wartime songs that treated Hitler as a joke.
- Soap: In a throwaway gag it's revealed that Hitler is alive and well working as a waiter in a cafe in Ecuador.
- Mike and the Bots' reaction to the infamous "Hitler Building" scene from Invasion of the Neptune Men.
(upon seeing the building) WHAT?!
Tom: They blew up the Hitler Building! Now where are the children going to go to see Hitler memorabilia?!
Crow: All the Hitler rides and games! The Hitler salt and pepper shakers!
Mike: That great restaurant The Bunker...gone!
- In Hogan's Heroes, Carter impersonates Hitler several times to dupe Colonel Klink.
- Der Fuehrer's Face, a Spike Jones tune ridiculing Nazi ideology and Hitler in particular, later the basis for an animated short.
- Several sets of unofficial lyrics to the Colonel Bogey March include references to Hitler's rumored testicular problems.