Charlie Chaplin's autograph is the most sought after in comedy...
Despite their popularity, few comedians are sought after as signers.
That’s because comedians do not resonate in the same way as actors or musicians. A song or a drama can bring you to tears.
But when was the last time you cried during a stand-up set?
Charlie Chaplin is one name that resolutely bucks that trend.
Good signed photographs have sold for well over $6,000.
Let’s explore why that might be...
When it comes to star power, Charlie Chaplin is in a league of his own.
His expressive brand of slapstick is the gold standard.
Charlie Chaplin in The Kid - one of his best loved movies (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
While contemporaries like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd surpassed him in the scale and daring of their stunts, Chaplin’s skill lay in telling a story with real heart.
You come away from The Kid moved by the relationship between father and son. Modern Times is a hilarious and thought-provoking meditation on the the machine age. And The Great Dictator remains one of the most biting satires ever made.
Chaplin put everything into his productions.
It's why people are still drawn to his work.
And it's no coincidence he always played the underdog...
Stories are what separate average autographs from great ones.
And Chaplin’s story is jaw-dropping.
Born into abject poverty in Victorian London, he spent time in the workhouse and the pauper’s school.
His parents were performers and Chaplin started appearing on stage from the age of 5.
In 1910 he got a place on a US vaudeville tour (Stan Laurel was on this same tour). In 1912, the New York Motion Picture Company poached him for Keystone Studios. Within a couple of years Chaplin was the biggest star on the planet.
No one could have called it.
It’s one of the best rags to riches stories of all time.
If an icon is someone you can recognise from silhouette alone, then Chaplin may be the most instantly recognisable figure of all time.
He began sporting his baggy coat, bowler hat and cane combo in 1914.
The Tramp is one of the best loved characters in movie history (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
He came up with the costume quite by accident on the set of Mabel's Strange Predicament, his third movie. Chaplin later explained: “I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large...
“...the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born.”
Today you’ll find statues of the Tramp in practically every country in the world.
It's no wonder, then, that Chaplin’s autograph stands head and shoulders above the rest.