The Conan/Leno video is only the latest in what is now nearly 150 versions of the Downfall Hitler tirade with new comedic subtitles. Whenever a new controversy comes up, you can count on the Hitler video appearing soon after. But what does the German director of Downfall think of all of this? Vulture got Oliver Hirschbiegel on the phone to get his reaction on the internet meme created from his famous bunker scene.
"Someone sends me the links every time there's a new one," says the director, on the phone from Vienna. "I think I've seen about 145 of them! Of course, I have to put the sound down when I watch. Many times the lines are so funny, I laugh out loud, and I’m laughing about the scene that I staged myself! You couldn't get a better compliment as a director." Some of Hirschbiegel's favorites are the one where Hitler hears of Michael Jackson's death, and one in which the Fuhrer can't get Billy Elliot tickets.
As for the idea of such a serious scene being used for laughs, Hirschbiegel thinks it actually fits with the theme of the movie. "The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality," he says. "I think it's only fair if now it's taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like." He adds, "If only I got royalties for it, then I'd be even happier."