Sir, I represent the estate of Charles Chaplin. I have a court order demanding an immediate halt to this unauthorized imitation. Boys? — Blue-Haired Lawyer, “Lady Bouvier’s Lover”
Yes, any Simpsons fan worth his sugar could identify Abe Simpson’s culinary choreography as an homage to the Little Tramp (especially when the other character walks in and says his name), but if you’re like me, you probably thought those were baked potatoes at the ends of his forks, didn’t ya?
Anyway, the iconic original comes midway through the 1925 film The Gold Rush, the plot of which I believe concerns some kind of stock car race. Let’s take a look:
Brilliant! But what most people don’t know is that Chaplin’s famous move was actually lifted from the tool chest of slapstick pioneer and alleged murderer Fatty Arbuckle. Here’s the original performance, from the 1917 short film The Rough House:
nobody would give a shit I would be remiss if I failed to include another memorable clown’s reproduction of the scene, in some ’90s movie I don’t even feel like typing out:
The point here is that there are a finite number of ideas out there and a lot of scripts. You take away our right to steal ideas, where are they gonna come from? Not all of us are born with that singular genius.