Rare audio of Charlie delivering the final speech from The Great Dictator at the third inaugural ball of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, January 19th, 1941

Halfway through the speech Charlie’s throat gets dry & begins to crack (probably from nerves) and he pauses and asks for water. In his autobiography, Charlie recalled that a glass could not be found, so water was brought to him in an envelope.1

Charlie & Mickey Rooney, who also performed, talk to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
 at the inaugural gala which was held the evening before  the swearing-in ceremony
 (which Charlie also attended). 

1 Contemporary newspaper articles (as well as the announcer in the clip) say that master of ceremonies, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., brought Charlie a “glass” of water.


  1. It can't be his own because his hands are in his pockets and the hand that should be sticking out would be his left. The one near his butt is a right hand. Sorry…..I also notice things.

  2. Funny. I was just wondering yesterday if CC had met Mickey Rooney or Judy Garland. I was thinking of the difference in their investment counselors. I was also bowled over yesterday by Judy singing the IRA Gershwin tune The Man That Got Away. Charlie didn't seem to mingle a lot with stars personally outside of special functions if they were contracted to other studios. Cept Paulette.

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