People see Chaplin as a genius who appeared overnight. But the work began when he was just a kid. He loved to perform. His training was his difficult life, and the discipline of performing consistently as part of the The Eight Lancashire Lads and then as a Vaudeville performer. His first moment on stage was as a five year old, and his first film contract was in 1913 -- so he had nineteen years of learning his art, of practising his trade. These days we want to be discovered the minute we make a YouTube video; but back then, you learned. And you struggled.
He knew everything about performing, and about comedy. And when you watch his films, you realize he knew more about life, and love, than pretty much all of us.
The world is different now. We anticipate "Scream 4" and "Fast & Furious 5", and we carefully make and market films as products for specific audiences.
Chaplin represents a different idea. And 122 years after his birth, we're still waiting for someone else like him.
And if I'm honest, I hope we'll never find them.