Everyone's Talking About the Hitler Teapot ... And It's Kind Of My Fault

When I tweeted about it last week, I certainly didn't expect to be waking up to the story all over the news and my tweet on the Today show.
Publish date:
May 29, 2013
reddit, advertisement, bad advertising, jc penney

Well, it's kind of J.C. Penney's fault.

They're the ones who promoted a Michael Graves-designed teapot that looked a lot like Hitler and put it on a giant billboard along the 405 S in LA. I just pointed out that it looked like Hitler.

But when I tweeted about it last week, I certainly didn't expect to be waking up to the story all over the news and my tweet on the Today show. At least I know I'm not the only one who thought it resembled Der Fuhrer.

I first saw it a little while back, driving down the 405 South. I caught it out of the corner of my eye, just as I passed it, and immediately thought, “What the...? Was that... did they make a teapot that looks like Hitler?”

I asked my girlfriend if she saw it, but: Nope. She hadn't seen it.

I must've imagined it. I mean, as a Jew, I'm used to seeing Anti-Semitism everywhere, but this was a bit much. How could a teapot look like Hitler? And who would put it on a giant billboard?

Turns out, J.C. Penney.

The next time I saw it, I was floored.

It was Hitler.

It was a teapot that looked just like Hitler. It was a Hitler teapot.

The curved handle that precisely resembled his hairline and the little knob in the middle that looked like his signature mustache formed a perfect cartoonish outline of his head. The rounded kettle gave him a chubby South Park-esque body and the reflection looked like he was wearing a little tie ... and the spout even made it look like he was “Sieg Heil'-ing cars as they passed by!

It was undeniable. The teapot on the giant J.C. Penny billboard was definitely Hitler.

After giggling uncontrollably for a while, I did what any rational person in this day and age would do: I immediately pulled over, whipped out my iPhone, and Tweeted a picture of it along with a snarky comment to J.C. Penney about how I didn't want their HITLER teapot.

I mean, seriously, how did NO ONE notice that they were advertising a teapot that looks like Hitler?! And it's plastered on a giant billboard in LA! No one in marketing saw this? Maybe it was just me.

It wasn't.

Thousands of people saw the resemblance, and I received an abundance of comments akin to, “I didn't see it at first, but then I did and WHOA!”

Thank you, Internet. I wasn't crazy. I wasn't alone. Now we can all laugh at the Hitler teapot together.

After Twitter freaked out over it on Friday, Reddit kept the fire going with new pics and an ongoing debate and now every news outlet seems to have an item about it, complete with the required puns like, “Furor over the Fuhrer.”

J.C. Penney has already taken down the billboard.

I'd feel bad about causing J.C. Penney so much grief over this hilarious marketing snafu, but it seems they have sold out of the Hitler teapot, making it a highly sought-after collector's item now.

So...you're welcome?

Maybe they'll send me one for Chanukah.