Okay, once more about the Germans, and then I'll move on.
My great and good friend and former colleague, CFRB Toronto morning man John Moore - who's one of the brightest and funniest people I know - has a fundamental rule for comedy: it doesn't necessarily have to be funny as long as it sounds funny. Contextual absurdity falls neatly into that comedic theory, and that's why Hitler is funny.
Let's be clear on a few things: World War Two was not funny. The Holocaust was not funny. The Nuremberg Trials were not funny (although the ill-fitting civilian clothes worn by several high-ranking Nazis reduced them to a grimly laughable parody of their former strutting selves.) But the sheer enormity of the events themselves makes them fodder for absurdist humour.
The chief proponent of the "Hitler is funny" theory isn't an insensitive goy or a misguided neo-Nazi, but a Jewish combat veteran of World War Two. Nazis figure prominently in several of Mel Brooks' films - most notably The Producers, which won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1968. (If you've only seen the remake with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, do yourself a favor and find a copy of the original with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. If you haven't seen either, start with the original.) Any movie built around the premise of a Broadway musical called "Springtime for Hitler" penned by a fictional German helmet-wearing playwright whose best friends are pigeons has to proceed on the assumption that there's humour to be found in the foibles of der Fuhrer and his Nazi minions. And Brooks finds it in spades.
The same comedic principle applies to the slew of spoofs involving the 2004 German language-film "Untergang," one of which is found on the blog entry below this one. Of course, it's all in the writing, and some of the Untergang spoofs are funnier than others. But the absurd notion of history's most notorious mass murderer in a psychotic rage because the US beat Team Canada at the Olympics or someone hacked into his Xbox Live account or he can't get an advance copy of Modern Warfare 2 is a solid basis for the kind of fundamental irony that underpins any successful attempt at intelligent humour.
The man himself wasn't funny, and his brutal legacy is certainly no laughing matter, but taken out of context and with the proper application of the comedic craft, it doesn't get any funnier than Hitler.
And if you still have trouble accepting that notion, just ask these cats.