Title: They Stooge To Conga
Short Number: 67
Release Date: January 1, 1943
Running Time: 15:32
“Okay, why can’t a chicken lay a loaf of bread?” “She ain’t got the crust!”
(Moe and Curly)
In They Stooge To Conga, The Stooges are fix-it men who are employed to fix the doorbell in a house that belongs to a nest of German and Japanese spies. Moe, Larry and Curly proceed to destroy the walls of the house looking for the problem before moving outside. Curly is then sent up to fix the wires atop a telephone pole. While “fixing” the lines, Curly slides his chair towards the window of the spies’ main control room and crash through the window inside. He discovers their sabotage plans and he, with Moe and Larry manage to sabotage the saboteurs and get the final drop on the spies.
The Three Stooges and The World War II Effort
To better put They Stooge to Conga and other Stooge shorts of its time into perspective, this is the first Stooge film to focus specifically on the US war effort. They Stooge To Conga moves beyond the mere parodies of Nazi ‘papa-ganda’ in You Nazty Spy! and appeasement conferences in I’ll Never Heil Again. The Stooges play Stateside patriots in a politically sweet revenge comedy.
While the film short contains violent acts, we should remember that 1942-1943 were particularly demoralizing war years. Pearl Harbor produced 2,403 American casualties, and it was not until the Pacific battle of Midway in June 1942; Allied victories in North Africa in the fall of 1942; and the German surrender at Stalingrad in February 1943 that an Allied victory looked likely. Compared with the prospect of global subjugation by aggressive, evil tyrants, what was a harmless spike in the eye of a civilian Stooge?
Another key war comedy includes Boobs in Arms. The first ‘Army Comedy’ under The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 passed by the United States Congress on September 16, 1940.
Cast & Crew
|Directed by||Del Lord|
|Produced by||Del Lord
|Written by||Monte Collins
They Stooge To Conga Trivia
- A young Lloyd Bridges appears as “Telephone Customer #2” in one of his last uncredited roles.
- This shows the first time Curly says the word, “sabatoogie”. A mispronounced word of “sabotage”.
- They Stooge to Conga has been consistently ranked as the most violent Stooge film of the Curly Howard era (1934–1947). DVD Talk critic Stuart Galbraith IV writes that, in its brief 15½ minutes, the film “offers several startling moments, none more gleefully sadistic as when Curly, scaling an electrical pole, within a few seconds manages to puncture the top of Moe’s head, an eye, and an ear with a climbing spike, all with cringe-inducing ‘ker-CHUNK’ sound effects.” Moe also gets pulled through lath and plaster, with a real wooden pillar unintentionally landing on his neck. Curly gets his share of abuse, via electrocution, falling off a telephone pole, severe nose twisting, and getting singed via an acetylene torch.
Three Stooges Myth
- It is a myth that due to its violent content, TV stations do not air this short. A story that has been told enough times that it has passed into accepted Stooge-mythology, and unfortunately reported as fact in at least one book. While a few local stations may have withheld it for violence issues from time-to-time over the past 50+ years, that has never been an established practice. CONGA’s absence from Sony’s national-market syndication package since 1999 (along with 59 other shorts) was a business-related decision; local market syndication packages have access to it and continue to air it, e.g., Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, others.\
They Stooge To Conga Notable Violent Gags
- When the trio first enters the house, Moe and Larry try to enter the house simultaneously. They are wedged in the doorway and get thrust out when Curly comes up from behind with the point of an anvil as a gouge.
- When Curly is pulling a wire out of a wall he pulls out a ringing phone. He answers it and says “This line is busy” and throws it away hitting Moe in the head. Moe throws it back in retaliation, hitting Curly in the head, satisfying Moe and startling Curly.
- When Moe is pulled through the wall by Larry and Curly, an actual 2×4 made of solid wood crashed onto Moe’s neck.
- When Moe twists Curly’s nose with a tool, he uses a grinding wheel to file it back into shape.
- As Moe and Larry assist Curly up a telephone pole, Curly accidentally impales Moe in his scalp, eye, and ear with a climbing spike on the bottom of his shoe.
- When Curly is halfway up the telephone pole, Moe burns him with a flame torch to get him all the way up.
- After Curly drops a wrench, it lands on Moe’s head, bouncing into Larry’s hand. Moe uses the wrench on Larry’s nose while hitting him in the throat.
Shocking Three Stooges routines
- Curly shocks himself when he tries to straighten a wire. He shocks himself again when he goes to test the connection.
- When Curly gets zapped via several telephone pole wires, he loses his grip and falls to the sidewalk, landing on Moe and Larry below.
- While Curly is “charged like a battery,” Moe places a light bulb in Curly’s ear, which lights up. To short him out, Larry places a screwdriver in Curly’s opposite ear, bursting the light bulb.
- As Curly is sliding on electrical wires, he gets a shock, which pushes him through an open window.
- As the Nazi spies’ cook (Dudley Dickerson) is talking on the phone, the phone explodes in his face due to Curly’s manipulating the electrical wires. The startled cook then backs away from the phone, right into an open waffle iron. The iron closes on the cook’s buttocks, leading the cook to think he is being attacked by someone.
- When Moe takes a hammer, he hits Larry from behind, then thrusts it into Curly’s mouth. Curly, in turn, bonks Moe with his own hammer 20 times in rapid succession.
- They Stooge to Conga was filmed from May 6 to 9, 1942.
- The film title is a parody of the 18th-century play by Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer.
- The First Three Stooges to credit an Art Director.
This scene in They Stooge to Conga where Curly pulls wires out of the wall is as brilliantly classic as seeing him stuff a turkey in An Ache in Every Stake, or fight with a clam in Dutiful But Dumb. Especially the moment where he turns directly to the camera and says “another one.”