“Charlie Takes The Air: The Screen Comedian Describes His First Experiences”
By Elsie Codd
Photos and text from Picture Show, March 27th, 1920:
One of the most delightful things about Charlie Chaplin is his quality of unexpectedness. You never know beforehand what he’s going to say or do next. Sometime ago, for instance, he made his first trip in an aeroplane. Now, on such occasions it is generally considered the correct thing amongst celebrities of the Chaplin order to comment in glowing terms upon “the wonderful sense of freedom,” ” the thrill of high adventure,” and kindred sensations.
When asked how he had enjoyed himself, Chaplin promptly answered, “Not at all.” Moreover, he candidly admitted that he was terrified out of his wits, and only stuck to his resolution to see the job through because he has always been interested in trying a fresh experience.
“I remember the thing that worried me most,” he said, when describing the affair, “was all the padding in those clothes they helped me into. I didn’t mind so much the idea of being killed outright, as falling to earth with the usual dull, sickening thud, and surviving the experience. You see, I harboured the suspicion back of my mind that the garments which made me feel like a human pincushion were ingeniously designed for this very purpose.” Then the cheerful nonchalance of my pilot got on my nerves. It was just as though he know he’d got me in his power, and intended to make me realise that he was going to do jolly well what he pleased with me.”
“‘Like to loop the loop, Charlie?’ he’d ask carelessly, just by the way, you know. And because I felt he knew I was scared stiff, I gave him a sickly smile, murmured a feeble ‘Ye-es,’ set my teeth, and–thought of those padded clothes. But when, contrary to all my expectations, we landed safely, I mentally registered the vow ‘Never again!'”
But Charlie, being an unexpected sort of person, has changed his mind. The accompanying “snaps” show him starting for San Diego for another trip, and, judging by the dazzling display of Chaplin dentistry, he wasn’t worrying much about those padded clothes.