Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Look Who's Back" ... And Still Not Funny

Much ink has been spilled addressing the question of whether or not one could make mainstream comedy out of Adolf Hitler. 

Ernst Lubitsch made the 1942 Jack Benny / Carole Lombard comedy "To Be or Not to Be." It was set in Nazi-occupied Poland. For me it falls flat. 

Mel Brooks remade the film in 1983. I have not seen the remake. 

I've never seen any version of "The Producers," although I have watched "Springtime for Hitler" on youtube. Struck me as a very high price for a subpar cute comedy routine. 

The "Hitler finds out" youtube meme of "Downfall" parodies does make me laugh. A lot. You can see several here.

Netflix is marketing a new German TV series called "Look Who's Back." I watched scenes on youtube. They involved a cute young millennial trying to teach a grouchy Fuhrer how to use a computer and discovering that the name "Adolf Hitler" is already taken. 

Ha ha ha ha hardy har har. Makes blitzkrieg and genocide against Poland worth it.

If they depicted Hitler accurately, his evil would banish all humor. If they soften him to sell their joke, they violate truth.  

Otto, author of "Ripples of Sin," and the son of a Nazi, wrote this:

It's sad they don't understand it will never be okay to joke about this.

Not many jokes about massacres of American Indians. I think it's an attempt to slough off a bit of the horror so the next generation can go into "It was bad, but was it really that bad?" mode, and eventually it will be the same dialogue as the Japanese and the Italians do with their war records. Or the collaborators. That is deflecting as much association with what happened.

In some future I can see a show that has the viewpoint it was Poland's fault it all came about. But it will all be in good fun.

Re, the above meme. I did a Google image search of "Hitler not funny." I found many "funny memes" like "Jew mad? Because I did Nazi it coming." Hardy har har. Not. 

You can watch the scenes here


  1. Difficult to comment on this on the basis of seeing one or two clips out of context, but the immediate impression is that the obvious irony and pastiche does not exclude a certain suggestion of indulgence - as if the supposedly amusing culture clash was dependent on nothing more sinister than a rather demented grandfather having to deal with a world he doesn't quite recognize.

  2. There is, in fact, a book out that addresses the issue of the trivialization of Hitler in popular culture. It is aptly titled: HI HITLER!

    To see my review of this work, please click on my name in this specific posting.

  3. It must be funny in the first time - that is the deeper Concept of the movie! It is the most society critical movie i have seen for a very long time! At the end the laughter Sticks in your throat and you want to Shake your head in disbelieve! I am shocked and very thoughtfully now - after the movie and that is what the film makers wanted! I have to contradict: the laughter isn't only allowed rather absolutely necessary for the turn that shakes you after! You can't understand it just by watching some Youtube Clips! The DVD and the stream is with English Subs.... Yours T.��

    1. Tobi thanks. I really do need to see it. thank you for sharing your perspective.


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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