Where did Charlie Chaplin get his tramp costume and Who came up with the idea?

Chaplin’s trademark, the derby cocked on his head, thick swatch of a moustache, and gargantuan shoes, was the result of Mack Sennett’s request that he “get into a comedy make-up” for Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914).

With a little ingenuity, he concocted the outfit in a dressing room while Fatty Arbuckle and Chester Conklin played pinochle.

Fatty kindly contributed his father-in-law’s derby and his own pants, of generous proportions. Cocklin provided the little cutaway and Ford Sterling the size-14 shoes, which were so big Chaplin had to wear each on the wrong foot to keep them on.

He devised the moustache from a bit of crepe hair belonging to Mack Swain. The only thing the tramp himself owned was the whangee cane.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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