The film also debunks a legend Chaplin created about himself, Roberts said. The former vaudeville headliner said he created the mustached “Tramp” character on the fly _ with awkward fitting clothes, a cane and a hat _ just before making “Mabel’s Strange Predicament.”
“This is nonsense,” Roberts said, arguing that Chaplin produced “A Thief Catcher” almost simultaneously with a natural flow into the same character. “Even though he’s dressed as a cop, the rest of the character is still there _ the mustache, the walk, the mannerism. … This is a character he’d been doing for quite a while.”
Other comedians claimed to have used the character before Chaplin. But that hardly matters now.
Slapsticon Comedy Film Festival: http://www.slapsticon.org/