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Tagline: The greatest clowns on the screen in their funniest fun hit ever!

Pizza: Old Sicily

Preshow: None

Knuckleheads Moe, Larry and Curly go up against dummies 
Knucklehead Smiff, Jerry Mahoney and their maker Paul Winchell in 

It’s creepy. Ventriloquist Winchell wakes up in the same bed with his dummy Jerry Mahoney. What’s worse is that Winchell plays Mahoney’s dad. What’s worse than worse is the dummy moves by itself, without Winchell’s help. Creepy x 1000 with a side order of Ick.

STOP! LOOK! AND LAUGH! (1960) is a compilation movie using clips from 1937-1947 shorts by The Three Stooges, along with new wraparounds featuring Paul Winchell and his dummies. The movie was put together by producer Harry Romm without the Stooge’s knowledge, and a lawsuit was filed. Proving the case that money is the great equalizer, the suit was dropped when Columbia Pictures decided to go in with Romm and release the film as partners.

The real question here is, do you need to see this movie? The answer is no. What you should do is either rent or buy the Sony DVDs. The entire Stooge collection has never looked so great. And not only that, you don’t have to watch snippets; you get the entire short. That said, we still laughed a lot because, well, it’s the Stooges.

The Stooges material soars while the Winchell stuff is stale and unimaginative. Of course, if I were 6 years old, I might say otherwise. The attempts to link these new wraparounds with the shorts fail miserably. Every time. Like when Winchell calls to see if his car is ready, and tells the mechanic, “You know, the one I borrowed from my army friend?” Which “explains” why the next shot has Moe working on an army car. The crux of these skits is Mahoney’s attempts to avoid going to school. In one, he tries to fool Winchell by making him think it’s still nighttime by painting the windows black. Later, he fakes the measles. In another segment, Winchell gets exasperated by truly dumb dummy Knucklehead Smiff.

marquis chimps
The Stooges and the Winchell wraparounds aren’t the only things in the movie. I don’t know why (Short on time? They thought it was funny?) but there’s also an unrelated segment featuring the Marquis Chimps. Still not sure how I feel about these acting chimps, who perform the entire Cinderella story, along with the voice talents of the great June Foray (Lucifer the cat in Disney’s CINDERELLA, as well as Rocky the Flying Squirrel) and Alan Reed (Fred Flintstone!).

nesselrode pie
Actually, there were two good things about the wraparounds. One is a cameo from WPIX’s Officer Joe Bolton, who used to run the Stooges shorts on his afternoon kids show in the NYC area. The other? Well, there’s a part where Winchell visits Knucklehead in a coffee shop. The pie menu on the wall mentions nesselrode pie. Nesselrode pie? What the hell is that? It made me curious, so I looked it up. Popular in the 40s and 50s in the NY region (the wraparounds were shot in NYC around 1959), it’s sort of a cream pie version of a fruitcake, more popular around Christmastime. Recipe here. I’m going to attempt to make a few nesselrode pies. And then, at the next RMC, we can toss them at each other and say “Why, I oughtta…!”

Here’s the rundown:

From HOW HIGH IS HIGH. The Stooges are riveters, up 90something stories. Lots of fun with hot bolts and a bucket of grease (I love that the only thing on the girder is a bucket of grease). You also have to love any Stooges short that has the innocent party saying, “Where are those three new men?”

From VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY. Here, the boys are gas station employees. How Mobil okayed the Stooges to use their gas station always makes me wonder. This is also the one where Curly is frozen, and they tie him to a rotisserie log to thaw him out. Man, I love the Stooges.


From SOCK-A-BYE BABY. Someone leaves a baby on the Stooges’ doorstep (also the plot of the 2012 THE THREE STOOGES movie). Someone? Who would do this?? Sorry! No spoilers here!

From HIGHER THAN A KITE. One of my favorite gags has Moe on a creeper (that skateboard-y thing you lay on when you fix underneath a car), and when Larry steps on the gas, the tire spins, sending Moe zooming into the wall. (If you need more, his head gets jammed in a large iron cylinder).


From WHAT’S THE MATADOR? A real bull is substituted (by accident) with the Moe/Larry comedy show bull. And Curly doesn’t know. Yet.

From CALLING ALL CURS. At 8 minutes, this is the longest clip (the others average about 4 minutes). The Stooges as…three doctors! What can go wrong? And yes! That dinner scene where all the dogs are at the dining room table with bibs…


From GOOFS AND SADDLES. The Stooges in the Old West, as Buffalo Billious, Wild Bill Hiccup and Just Plain Bill.

From MICRO-PHONIES. Curly’s in drag as he must pretend to be a soprano singer. His faces (and Moe’s and Larry’s when they also pretend to sing) are killer funny.


From A PLUMBING WE WILL GO. You guessed it…they’re plumbers. This one’s extremely funny. Also funny, as I type this, two plumbers are here replacing the toilet. Uh oh.

From HALF-WITS HOLIDAY. The boys do their best (and worst) to hobnob with the upper crust in order to win a bet (We don’t know the bet part since, again, these are culled snippets). But yes, it’s funny, and yes, STOP! LOOK! AND LAUGH! saved the pie fight for last.


Here's the theme song to STOP! LOOK! AND LAUGH!  http://bit.ly/1aSWdtX

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