Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bogart Addresses FDR's Empty Chair -- 1944

In 1944, at the height of World War II, both the Republican and Democratic Parties held their national conventions in Chicago.    It was at the Republican convention on June 29th that an inebriated Humphrey Bogart took to the stage and told off-color jokes about Wallace Beery, Joan Crawford, Peter Lorre and Ingrid Bergman.   He directed his punchlines at the empty wheelchair of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom Bogart insisted was sitting there but preferred to remain invisible since Nazi spies were lurking everywhere.   In fact, FDR would not arrive in Chicago for the Democratic convention until late the next month.   

This was a strange and unexpected performance, especially since Bogart had been and would continue to be a lifelong Democrat. 

So, as they say, there's nothing new in Hollywood, except the same old stuff.  


  1. Bogart is his typical smooth self in that photo. I have a friend who has that sort of demeanor about himself. People like that tend to make people laugh more when they tell a joke because it is very unexpected.