THE RUNNING GAGS OF THE STOOGES–Pt. 3

The Youtube artist known as Profle Popnecker continues to brighten my morning with his edited down demo-reels of the Three Stooges and their recurring gags. This time it’s the one where the live bird sneaks into the cavity of the roasted turkey and hijinks ensue. The moment when the bird starts walking used to freak me out as a kid watching this stuff on Channel 52 (from Corona, California–more on that bizarre and fondly remembered indie TV station another time). It’s still kind of freaky only now I tend to focus more on the meta of the whole moment–what was it like on the set when the prop guy rigged the walking dead turkey and the boys went into their routine? Was it complicated, requiring multiple takes? Or did the reuse of the gag mean it was something they had down cold and could throw together without much warning? Indeed, it would appear that the writers of the Stooge scripts–Elwood Ullman, Ed Bernds, Clyde Bruckman, Felix Adler–knew of the storehouse of routines and props and slotted them into the scripts for convenience sake. It was convenient for the prop department since they already had the rigged bird, convenient for the director and the Stooges since they knew the routine and convenient for the writer since he didn’t have to come up with any new ideas and could knock off early and go to Lucy’s El Adobe for a couple of Martinis.

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