Episode 19 - Top 5 (or is it 8?) Downfall Parodies

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This time we take a look at an internet meme. 2004 saw the premiere of a German drama film about the last days of Hitler called Downfall. Half way through the movie there's a scene in which Hitler learns that the war is lost and unleashes an angry tirade on his generals. It didn't take long for the internet to take the scene and turn it into comedy by adding fake, inappropriate subtitles. These are called Downfall Parodies and there are literally thousands of them on youtube, many of them are absolutely hilarious. A touch offensive, perhaps, but hilarious nonetheless.

Now considering that the original film has a quite serious tone it may seem like comedic subtitles wouldn't work with it, not to mention that spoofing a scene from a film with such serious subject matter may seem a bit inappropriate. Yet these parodies work exactly because of the absurdity that Hitler would say what the subtitles claim that he said in the scene, compounded with the over-the-top rant delivered by the Fuhrer in that scene. Fact is, the scene just lends itself to parody so naturally it's little wonder it not only ended up parodied, it became a meme with countless variants and quite literally thousands of them can be found online. There are so many of these parody videos in fact that the parodies themselves were brilliantly parodied in the awesome indie film called Iron Sky (yes, the movie about the space Nazis from the Moon).

Some people find these parody videos offensive (hence this entry on our website), others find them infantile. Yet others however appreciate them. Most notably, Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of Downfall himself loves these videos. We fully agree with him and find these parodies absolutely hilarious. After all, if Charlie Chaplin was allowed to make fun of the biggest dictator of the 20th century, why shouldn't the internet generation?

So without further ado, here are our picks for the top 5 Hitler rant videos spoofing the infamous scene from Downfall.

Number 5. Hitler finds out that Santa Claus is not real, and has a message for parents who lie to their children.

Now we know what a PSA was like in the Third Reich.

Number 4. Two entries earn a joint spot at number 4 (which is our excuse for not being able to count to six) in the form of a pair of videos that show how difficult it is for the Fuhrer to accommodate to the digital age. First, he gets his Xbox live account banned, evidencing that he should have had the brains to play PC games instead.

Then he gets his facebook account deleted. Maybe someone complained that he was using a name that was not allowed on facebook?

Number 3. We apologize for this one. Not because it's offensive, we would never apologize for that, obviously. No, we apologize because it's toilet humor. However, for toilet humor, it's pretty damn epic, as Hitler makes a scene when someone on his staff farts at their meeting in the underground bunker.

Leave it to the Nazis to forget to install an air conditioner.

Number 2. This one is an absolute epic. In 2010, Downfall's German distributor Constantin Film initiated a removal of Downfall parodies from youtube. This was completely nonsensical as these parody videos are protected by fair use, yet youtube did remove several of them. Naturally this led to the creation of even more Downfall parodies, such as this gem which spoofs the very fact that several videos were unjustly removed.

Fortunately youtube has since realized that removing the parodies was a mistake and new ones keep popping up online to this day, much to our viewing pleasure.

Number 1. What could possibly top the ingenious comedy of the previous entry on this list? Why, Hitler finding out that Chuck Norris is coming to get him, of course! 'Nuff said!

If you've still not had enough, we also have two honorable mentions which are a fair amount more offensive than the average Downfall parody. These are for hardcore fans of offensive humor only, so beware.

The first is one in which Hitler is furious upon learning that the Nazis have been killing jews all along (yes, it's going where you think it's going).

The second one is Hitler's reaction to the death of Michael Jackson just days before the King of Pop was supposed to perform at the Fuhrer's birthday party (this is also going where you think it's going).

And if you still can't get enough, just do a search on youtube and browse the thousands of Downfall Parodies, and enjoy! This was just the tip of the iceberg.

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