THE RUNNING GAGS OF THE STOOGES–PT.1

The Three Stooges made 190 two-reel comedies between 1934 and 1959. With numbers like that they were forced to find routines they could recycle and reuse over time. Indeed the word ‘recycle’ figures heavily into the filmmaking world of the Stooges. Plots were constantly recycled (detectives, haunted houses, fixing things and screwing them up, Arthurian knights, forced weddings, babysitting etc.) as was footage–many of the later Stooge films consist roughly of half new footage and half stock footage from earlier outings. And the same with routines–a number of gags are like old friends who appear when most needed. Now a YouTuber named Porfle Popnecker has made an edited down study of one such routine. It’s the one where they drink strong liquor and experience violent result–loud rising, horn noises, steam and smoke, seats twirling and the like. They’re something touching about the time that people take studying Stooge-iana and breaking it down like this–it says something about the way the Stooges are ingrained in our consciousnesses (or perhaps about how bored some of us are). There are a few more of these Stooge-Studies waiting to be examined but we’ll start with the above. By the way, would you buy a bourbon called ‘Old Homicide’? I certainly would (if I drank Bourbon).

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