Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moe angry at Curly - learning table manners

"Half-Wits Holiday" (1947)

Here's a big inspiration for Ren and Stimpy. The silly man upsets the serious and stern man. This is a classic situation most people can identify with.

Note how the performance is much more important to the humor than the writing. I defy you to write this scene on paper and see if anyone laughs at it.

I love when low class people try to act high class.



David Germain said...

Hey, is this the last film with Curly in it inwhich you can actually see him developing a stroke near the end? It's truly a sad ending for one of the greatest comic geniuses of all time.

Paul B said...

hahahahahah!! it is incredible, has been a long time since I saw one of his chapters and still makes me laugh!! that doesn't happen with other shows, like those of 80's for example, I believe that the laugh that I released watching this clip of the three stooges demonstrates the difference between a good show and a bad show

Jesse Oliver said...

Half Wits Holiday is one of my favorite episodes of The Three Stooges!

The Onward & Upward episode of R & S just screams Three Stooges!

murrayb said...

thats sounds like fun:

The butler offers Curly and Moe a non-existent tray.
Moe half heartedly reaches, but Curly greedily scoops up a big handful. He plunks imaginary olives loudly down his gullet. Moe looks on in disgust and secret jealousy at the idiot’s willingness, slowly boiling to his signature scowl. Curly rhythmically and repeatedly scoops up more and more handfuls .The waiter looks on dumbstruck.

Moe: Hey, pig. Waddaya want to eat all those olives for?

Curly (defensive):I like em!
Moe grimaces.Curly tilts his head back to drop more olives down his throat, exposing his adam’s apple. Moe delivers a swift chop.

Curly: UGH! (gasping)
The waiter is shocked. Moe waits for Curly to wise up. as Curly recovers he notices..


He reaches for the non existent glass. Moe is perplexed.

Curly : (glug glug glug..sigh of relief)

Curly-looks to moe, confidentally: I almost choked on those olive pits!

Moe, seething: I otta choke you!

Moe jabs Curly’s nose.

Curly :OWH! Snorts –
They realize they are at a society dinner, regaining composure, they lean in confidentially.

Curly: This make-believe eatin’ stuff may be alright for you, but my stomach don’t think so.
Moe: leaning in, sotto: Pipe down..
He chomps down on Curly’s nose…_CRUUUNCH! Curly is submisive, the waiter returns…

I would read a three stooges book, but I'm weird.

Josh Lieberman said...

There's a comedy group that goes by the name of STELLA. they are considered by many a modern 3 stooges/ marx brothers.
They have a brand new style of comedy, which is hillarious, and they make awesome faces and exagerations, I use them as refrences a lot.

Jim Rockford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Rockford said...

I dont think there is any way someone could write something down on paper like that and have it come across with all the funny nuances,it would just be very basic and broad idea,the stooges would bring it to life with thier unique wacky style and dynamic slapstick delivery.N'yuk,Ny'uk and Woo Woo Woo were all Curly's inventions,not the product of a writer.the story premises were always simplistic,merely backdrops for the stooges to wreak their havoc.
to put something like slapstick comedy which by its very nature is a visual media into writing and have it come of funny would be next to impossible,it would be almost like trying to describe a color to someone who is blind ,its just something that needs to be seen.
its Moe,Curly and Larry's reactions and improvisations to the situations they are placed in that make the shorts hilarious.
Thats real talent for you,the Stooges are much closer to being a cartoon than many of the animated shows we have today such as "the Simpsons and "Family guy" which could for most intents and purposes be shot with actors and make the transition to live sitcoms with little change.
I always enjoyed Emil Sitkas wacky professor characters too.and Larrys off the wall bits,like in "disorder in the court" when he shoots a toupe and then lets out a Tarzan yell and beats his chest! very wacky,funny stuff.
It was a giant loss when Curly suffered his stroke,after that the stooges would never be the same.
Joe Besser doing his "little sissy" routine just didnt mesh with the stooges brand of roughhouse slapstick,I even read that he had made it clear he wasnt to be hit by Moe in the shows or he would quit.Joe deRita was even preferable to Besser.
supposedly too,there was concern by parents in the fifties when the original shorts found new audience on tv about the violent slapstick and eye poking being emulated by children,and the "new" stooges we drastically toned down. (where are the outraged parents now when we have crappy reality shows like fear factor having people eat raw bull penises to win cash?!)
I am just amazed at the level of talent we had in the golden era of Hollywood and how far we have sunken creativly as a society,we dont have any real slapstick comedy we are over 60 years later and there hasnt been a comedy team to rival the stooges.
they stole the show right out from under Ted Healy!

Kali Fontecchio said...

My favorite men in the whole wide world! Moe perfected "assholism" in these shorts. What a genius!

Anonymous said...

My favorite episode is when Shemp's late uncle left him a million dollars if he got married.

Pat McMicheal said...

I've loved the stooges for 40 wife still thinks I'm retarded...My 2 older brothers and I could reenact every episode when we were sad is that?
I definately recognized the stooge influence in YOUR work, John.

Jim Rockford said...

One of my favorite curly moments is when the stooges have become despondant over being unable to find work and have decided to kill themselves by jumping off the roof of a building.Curly infuriates Moe by pulling out and trying to eat a grinder before they jump!

Moe:Hey birdbrain whats the idea of eatin' a sandwich when gonna bump ourselves off?

Curly:I wanna digest right! N'yuk,N'yuk.

Marcelo Souza said...

Once I watched a great documentary about the three stooges when I learned that Moe was the brains behind the whole thing. Talent like that lands on earth in 50 years gaps or so. That was a guy though, that I think was as good as those great ones, Chris Farley, what a genious! what a loss!

Craig Harris said...

I've been thinking alot about the generic faces and "tude" drawings lately. At what point does it stop being generic "tude" and begin to be angry or tough? What are things to keep in mind while drawing that will help to get away from just drawing generic "happy" "sad" or "tude"? What should the artists focus on to pull away from the generic?

Is it something like Jackie Gleason when he gets mad? His eyebrows go up and his eyes bug out of his head. Norton is not just happy. He is more joyfully content with a doofy look on his face. His eyebrows are low and his eyelids relaxed and his smile is closed and goes from ear to ear straight across. Is this a good way to be thinking? What more do I need to be looking for or thinking about?


jlatino5 said...

I've been waiting for this post.

God bless those funny Jews.

Peter F. Bernard, Jr. said...

"Half Wit's Holiday" is a remake of "Hoi Polloi," which is far more energetic and funny because Curly wasn't sick yet. By "Half Wit's Holiday," they were looking for scenes Curly could do sitting down, while he had been one of the greatest physical comedians earlier on. But, yes, I agree, even a sick Curly is more animated than most modern animation.

Jesse Oliver said...

Did anyone notice a small dirty joke in that film? It was in the scene where the Stooges were reading. Heres the joke.

Larry: (Reading) Oh see the pretty cat, Does the pretty cat have chickens?

Man: Thats kittens, A cat does not have chickens!

Larry: Oh no?, Well I had a cat that got in the chicken house and that cat had chickens.

Then the Stooges start laughing.