I’m pretty confident this wouldn’t fly today.
As part of the soundtrack to his 1983 movie “To Be or Not to Be,” Mel Brooks recorded (as Hitler!) a Fuhrer-themed rap song entitled “To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap).” I have a few thoughts, but, first, here it is in all its glory:
I’m uncertain about which of the following is the most amazing facet of this pop culture artifact:
1. The intro features dancers breathlessly singing “Sieg Heil” over and over.
2. Not only is Mel Brooks rapping as Hitler, but he’s rapping as Hitler while also using the patented “Mel Brooks black voice.”
3. This song made it all the way to number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100. Two spots short of being a Top Ten hit.
4. It’s actually a fairly-detailed and more-accurate-than-you-would-expect rundown of the history surrounding World War II in Europe.
5. It’s always sounded an awful lot to me like a slowed-down version of Carl Carlton’s “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” with just a touch of Taco’s version of Puttin’ on the Ritz.
6. The lyrics include the following lines: “We had an election. Well – kinda, sorta. And before you knew it – Hello, New Order!” and “I drank wine from the Rhine with the finest ladies / And we did it in the back of my black Mercedes.”
7. The lyrical version of the Hitler account ends, after a tease of suicide, not with death, but with a “one-way ticket to Argentina!”
I feel like there aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to convey my mixed feelings of confusion, astonishment, and admiration adequately.
Testimony to a time when we didn’t take ourselves too seriously, god how I miss it! When the joke was more important than being PC. Use everything, leave nothing.
There are people out there who know more about WWII than average person simply because of this song.
He really does hit all the big stuff.
Well, except for that Holocaust thing . . . but even Mel Brooks couldn’t pull that off. Maybe.