The original and his imitation.
As one of the most universally recognizable people of all time, Charlie Chaplin
has been part of popular culture for over a hundred years now. Since he first appeared on screen in 1914, countless media references have been made to his "Little Tramp" character. Usually the shout-outs consist of one or more of these elements:
- Iconic Outfit: Bowler hat, tiny black moustache, baggy pants, big shoes, wooden cane.
- Silly Walk: A character will be seen twirling a cane and wiggling his nose. He will wobble around in a manner that seems to be a cross between a drunk and a penguin. Usually he will balance one one leg while holding on to his hat before taking a U-turn. Often combined with walking into the sunset.
- A parody of a famous Chaplin scene. Can be Eating Shoes (The Gold Rush), getting stuck between large factory wheels (Modern Times) or sitting next to a little child (The Kid) or a dog (A Dog's Life) on a doorstep.
Examples can be found in:
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- De Kiekeboes: In "Kies Kiekeboe" a clip from A Dog's Life is shown on TV. Konstantinopel seats himself next to his dog and says: "I like a Chaplin movie more than [watching a political advertisement]."
- In the film Benny & Joon, Johnny Depp's character, a silent film enthusiast and Cloud Cuckoolander, reenacts the 'bread roll dance' Chaplin does with his forks in The Gold Rush, among a few more of Chaplin's routines and mannerisms.
- Zombieland briefly features a zombie Chaplin cosplayer once the main characters reach Hollywood.
- The Professional: The little girl dresses up like him trying to make Léon guess who she is, but he fails to recognize any celebrity she portrays.
- Shanghai Knights: The titular characters meet a little boy in 19th century London who introduces himself as Charlie Chaplin. Near the end of the film he travels along with them to the United States and puts a fake Chaplinesque moustache under his nose.
- Mister Lonely: One of the lookalikes is dressed up like Chaplin.
- The wheel chair patient in Little Britain is watching TV in one sketch and mentions "he loves Charlie Chaplin", though in reality he's not watching one of Chaplin's movies, but archive footage of Adolf Hitler.
- In one episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ashley dresses up like Chaplin for a costumed ball.
- In the fourth Blackadder series, we learn that Edmund really, really hates Chaplin films, and of course, everyone else likes them. He sends Chaplin some hate mail, and the actor responds with a letter to General Melchett suggesting they have a big comedy film festival, with Edmund specifically requested for projectionist.
- On Sesame Street, Sonia Manzano created a series of inserts in which she appeared as Chaplin.
- As early as the 1910s and 1920s, novelty songs were written about Chaplin.
- Michael Jackson was a huge Chaplin fan and once dressed up like him for some publicity pictures.
- Felix In Hollywood: Felix the Cat meets Chaplin in Hollywood and strikes the same pose and walks like him, all while twirling a cane.
- Chaplin is seen in "Mickey's Gala Premier" and "Mickey's Polo Party".
- Mickey Mouse imitates Chaplin by dressing up like him in Mickey Plays Papa (1934).
- Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: One cartoon has Wile E. Coyote wobbling to the horizon, while twirling a cane.
- The Simpsons:
- One couch gag has Homer dressed as Chaplin, imitating Chaplin in the process.
- In "Oh Brother Where Art Thou", Herb Cohen sits around a campfire alongside other beggars. One of them is Chaplin eating a shoe.
- Grandpa imitates Chaplin's bread roll dance from The Gold Rush in "Lady Bouvier's Lover". He is then forced to quit on order of a laywer acting on behalf of Chaplin's estate.
- Chaplin is seen again in the slums of Springfield in the episode "The Day the Violence Died". In a deleted scene from that same episode, Homer wants beggar Chester Lampwick to eat a shoe for him.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In the episode "Emperor Joker!", one of the Joker's mooks is a huge, muscular version of Chaplin.
- Several Looney Tunes shorts have either caricatures of Chaplin or a character trying to imitate Chaplin (such as Daffy Duck in Hollywood Daffy).
- Hanna and Barbera have said that Chaplin was a big influence on the slapstick and mostly wordless comedy in Tom and Jerry. Jerry sometimes displays the same mannerisms as Chaplin.
- Chaplin makes a brief cameo in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Silent Treatment", where the girls get trapped in a silent movie. His appearance is perhaps modeled after his cameo in Felix In Hollywood.
- In the Futurama episode "The D'uh Vinci Code", Fry gets stuck between factory wheels, in homage to Chaplin in Modern Times.