…and they were better at it too.
So Kanye West’s opened his mouth. Again.
The successful yet controversial rapper said this weekend that people look at him like he’s Hitler. That’s right.
While the honorable Mr. West enjoys being so innovative and cutting edge, he would be disappointed to find out that the whole Hitler comparison thing has been happening since the early days of the Nazi rise to power.
The difference? The other comparisons were funny.
Now I’m not saying that every Hitler comparison should be funny, it shouldn’t. But for Godwin’s sake Kanye, stop being such an egotistical douche.
So for future reference, if you ever want to compare yourself to Adolf Hitler, you should at least attempt to do it like this:
1. The Great Dictator – Charlie Chaplin
As I wrote earlier, Hitler references and comparisons date back to the early days of the Third Reich.
One the the best Hitler references were made by the great Charlie Chaplin, in his 1940 film The Great Dictator.
The film, which came out just shortly before the US joined the war (2 months before Pearl Harbor), tells the story of a Jewish barber who resembles Adenoid Hynkel, the “phooey” (Führer) of Tomainia, a fictional nation that resembles Germany.
The film includes many memorable scenes, like this one of Hynkel (Chaplin) dancing with a balloon globe in his office, set to Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin Overture. Enjoy.
2. Seinfeld – Mr. Pitt’s Speech
The popular 1990s sitcom was known for its fearless references to historical events (the assassination of Kennedy, the Schindler’s List make-out scene, and more), yet in my opinion the best reference to the Nazis came from Elaine’s boss, Mr. Pitt.
In the season 6 episode “The Gymnast,” Mr. Pitt, who has been troubled by not being able to see a spaceship popping out of a Magic Eye 3D image (remember those?), is in charge of a merger between the bottled water companies Poland Creek and Morgan Springs.
After Elaine accidentally smears ink on Pitt’s upper lip, he gives a merger speech about taking over Poland (Creek), and the resemblance to Hitler is uncanny.
3. South Park – Eric Cartman
The famous big-boned fourth grader of the hilarious Comedy Central hit show is a well known anti-Semite. Cartman referenced Adolf Hitler many times, and he even dressed up as Hitler for Halloween in season 1′s episode Pink Eye (which was banned from being aired on Israel’s channel 2, though it was later showed on Israeli cable).
In this season 8 episode titled “Passion of the Jew,” Cartman takes advantage of the popularity of Mel Gibson’s film Passion of the Christ to rally the masses against the Jews (especially the only Jew in South Park, Kyle). He starts a goose-step march down the streets of the peaceful Colorado town, yelling in German “Es ist Zeit für Rache!” — translation: ‘It’s time for revenge!” — to which the people reply “Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten” (“We must exterminate the Jews”).
4. Rat Race – Jon Lovitz as Hitler
In the popular 2001 movie Rat Race, which I saw once in the theaters and 15 times on TBS, one of the contestants in the long ride to Las Vegas and the $2 million prize is Jon Lovitz and his very Jewish family.
A hilarious-yet-unfortunate chain of events causes Lovitz to steal Hitler’s car and eventually create one of the best Hitler impressions in recent years (because everything is funnier when performed by Jon Lovitz):
5. Lo Lifney HaYeladim (Not in front of the kids) – an Israeli sketch comedy show
In Israel, Nazi references are treated very delicately. It is a country where people still cringe when they hear Wagner, yet some Nazi references in a comic setting are beginning to be considered more mainstream.
This scene from the sketch comedy show Not in front of the Kids (sorry, no subtitles) is about a first date, where the woman (Yehudit) keeps thinking that the man reminds her of someone until an accident involving chocolate helps her realize who he looks like:
6. Cats Who Look Like Hitler
And, finally, you can’t talk about Hitler comparisons without referencing the popular website catswholooklikehitler.com, where people submits photos of their cats who happen to look like, umm, Adolph Hitler.
The website includes the genius description:
“Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he’s going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like ‘Sieg Miaow’? If so, this is the website for you.”
This photo is of the cat Snowball. I dare you not to get goosebumps when you see his photo: