Saturday, March 16, 2013

World Tour (1931-32) Revisited: Vienna, March 16th, 1931

I arrived [in Vienna] to another big demonstration. Each crowd seems to get bigger and more demonstrative, God bless them! This time I am carried shoulder high out of the railroad station. It is impossible to retain one's personality in this fashion. One looks foolish and concerned.

As we progress I am thrown more out of balance, but am eventually dumped into a touring car, with my secretary and Kono being pushed in after me. And so we sally forth, waving and honking our way out of the crowds....
Upon arriving at the hotel I am ushered into a palatial apartment. It is the royal suite. The rooms are large and lofty, painted white and decorated in rococo style. It is extremely impressive but you get tired of it after a few days. ("A Comedian Sees The World," Oct. 1933)
Later that evening Charlie left the hotel to take a nocturnal stroll by himself, something he always enjoyed doing when he arrived in a new city. But he was immediately recognized and a throng of fans began to follow him. He quickly hopped into a taxicab and escaped to Prater, a popular amusement park, where he found refuge on a ferris wheel.


  1. I cannot imagine this level of fame! It's insanity. Reminds me of the story about when Pickford and Fairbanks went overseas on their honeymoon and were nearly trampled.

    1. Long before the Beatles and Elvis, there was Charlie.
      No one except royalty had ever dealt with crowds like this before. While these gatherings always flattered him, he was ambivalent about his fame. There were times, understandably, that he just wanted to be left alone.

  2. I can't blame him. These are scary large crowds.