Why is Hitler so Danged Funny?

I mean there’s a thread about the Hitler rant parodies which are a big YouTube hit. He’s portrayed in numerous cartoons, (Family Guy, South Park etc.) He’s the punchline in the latest political joke trend. “And you know who else supported public health care? Hitler!”

We don’t treat Stalin or Mao this way. We did Saddam for a little while but that seems to be fading.

I think it’s the goofy mustache personally…

Hitler spent a lot of time addressing mass rallies in a distinctive way, which was parodied by others, especially Charlie Chaplin. Stalin and Mao didn’t have the same habit.

I’ve always thought Mussolini was the better comic. That folding the arms schtick with the “Yeah, look at me, yeah, I said it” face is classic. Very underrated dictator.

Yup. Plus that “way” involved what appears to this non German speaker to be a lot of angry, fist-waving ranting, which for some reason proved to be very effective oratory to 1930s Germans, but to modern eyes at least looks like a self-caracature - very easy to make fun of.

Hitler humour mixes the humour in bringing down poor authority, of power, with the mocking of those who are different. With him there’s also the lack of offense; tell a joke about someone and chances are someone will be offended, perhaps even yourself, but with Hitler any offense is deserved. He’s also become the byword for personified evil, so he gets namechecked when the joke might easily be about any evil person. And he has distinctive looks and behaviour such that those can be easily made fun of, too.

I think it’s mostly because to us he’s a bit of a spaz. He looks like the kind of person who wouldn’t be able to take a joke and would throw a temper tantrum at the slightest provocation. Stalin, on the other hand, looks like the kind of person who would smile evenly at your joke, say “ah yes, how droll”…and then have your entire family slaughtered. Hitler’s antics are amusing. Stalin’s are scary.

I’ll add to this that to a non-German speaker spoken German sounds very guttural, angry and aggressive, even when it probably isn’t. This added to Hitler’s own personal fist waving style makes him very easy to parody.

It is also why Rammstein sounds cool to me. The lyrics sound very intense and aggressive, but for all I know the lead singer is simply discussing his favorite chocolate cake recipe!

He’s not all that funny.

Mel Blanc diid the best Hitler

Wow. That’s…wow.

Why is Hitler funny? Same reason he rose to be absolute master of an industrial power on the strength of his personality and public speaking: He was so charismatic, and so earnest. Even more so than Stalin or Mao.

I think this is probably the biggest part of it. It’s the same reason Napoleon’s so funny, too. Here you have these giants of the world, wielding immense power…and one’s short and the other has a combover and a funny little 'stache. The incongruity is what makes them goofy. I bet you if Hitler looked more like the Aryan ideal and carried himself with more gravitas, he’d be a good bit scarier.

I don’t get to say this very often about a Warner Bros cartoon, but I never saw that one before. Growing up during the Cold War might be why.

I believe you’ve just described the Grand Moff Tarkin.

“You may commence the destruction of Alderaan.”

Sugar cookies, actually.

(No I’m not making that up, there is indeed a Rammstein song that is just a cookie recipe)

A couple of years ago I met a German college student who was doing a year in the US. He told me he’d been rather surprised to see so many “humorous” references to Hitler in the US. He specifically mentioned some skit on TV (probably Saturday Night Live) about bad team mascots that included Hitler as a mascot. He thought this was all in really poor taste and couldn’t understand why Americans thought this sort of thing was funny, especially since we’d fought against Hitler.

I guess that’s the difference, though. When Americans or the British make fun of Hitler, we’re making fun of an enemy. But if modern German entertainment treated Hitler as a comic figure it might be perceived as minimizing the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust.

Hitler finds out there’s no Santa

Never heard that one despite having most of their discography. However, there is a Tool song in German called Die Eier von Satan which is a dessert recipe. They really made it sound like a Hitler speech, even with cheering.

Comedy works best when you work with extremes. Hitler doesn’t just represent “a horrible person.” He represents (to many folks) “the worst person ever.” So parodying him has the most effect.

It’s the same reason The Daily Show and Colbert have stopped mocking Bill O’Reilly and started focusing on Glenn Beck. :wink:

True, and yet, “Hogan’s Heroes” was a surprise hit in Germany a few years ago.