Fun and informative Three Stooges articles
The Three Stooges are famous for their fantastic use of three pattern dialogue. Here’s a real good one from 1940’s ‘No Census, No Feeling’. The set up: The Boys, as census takers, approach a pretty girl:
Moe: What’s your name
Larry: And your address
Curly: And what’s more important, what’s your phone number!
Press, Press, Pull is at the very far edge of a three pattern, as is Yes!, Yes!Yes!, No! which The Boys used several times in their shorts and movies.
Our ‘Three Pattern With A Twist’ is just a hook to get you here so we can talk about questions! Like…Do we get questions? Soitenly!
So now we’ll give you the answer to three questions. See a pattern here? Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!
Question (Q): Which short did Curly say ‘Oh Mammy Eggs and Hammy’?
Answer (A): This is from the short ‘All The World’s A Stooge’. This short, released in May 1941, saw Larry, Moe and Curly wreck havoc in the dentist’s office and at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Bullion, who wanted to adopt them as refugee children. That’s where Curly did his famous Jolson impression.
Q: What is the name of The Three Stooge theme song?
A: Actually, there are two theme songs: Listen to the Mockingbird and Three Blind Mice. Most fans are familiar with the Three Blind Mice theme as it is used extensively in the opening and closing credits of the shorts, albeit with a jazzy arrangement.
Q: Which short has the characters ‘Dewey, Cheatem & Howe’?
A: While long a part of Stooge lore, these attorneys at law are truly fictitious, at least in the world of The Three Stooges and their films. The famous poster with Larry, Moe and Curley as Dewey, Cheatem & Howe was created only as a publicity item as The Boys never portrayed these characters. Also, there is no office door in any short with the Dewey, Cheatem and Howe moniker. The closest reference was the character I. Cheatham in the 1945 short ‘Three Pests In A Mess’.
So now you have some answers to go along with some questions, which go together like, well…Eggs and Hammy! Oh Mammy!
Title: Horsing Around
Short Number: 180
Release Date: September 12, 1957
Running Time: 15:27
“There’s a horse at Santa Anita owes me a five dollar favor!”
Picking up where Hoofs and Goofs left off, The Stooges’ apartment is a little crowded. They are doing their best to raise the baby colt and search for sister Birdie’s mate, a circus horse named Schnapps. The Stooges read in the newspaper that Schnapps has been injured, and may have to be put down. Knowing this would crush their sister, they set out to the circus to save him.
At the circus, The Stooges split up. Moe and Larry distract the man (Emil Sitka) sent to destroy Schnapps by using a horse costume. Joe finds Schnapps and is able to reunite the two horses.
Horsing Around Cast & Crew
|Directed by||Jules White|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Felix Adler|
Tony the Wonder Horse
|Edited by||William A. Lyon|
Horsing Around Trivia
- The working titles were Just Horsing Around and Just Fooling Around
- Horsing Around features Moe and Larry’s more “gentlemanly” haircuts, first suggested by Joe Besser. However, these had to be used sparingly, as most of the shorts with Besser were remakes of earlier films, and new footage had to match with old.
- The same cabin is used for Guns a Poppin!
- Filming took place from November 19-21, 1956
Title: Punch Drunks
Short Number: 2
Release Date: July 13, 1934
Running Time: 17:29
“Every time I hear that Weasel tune, something POPS inside of me!”
In Punch Drunks, Moe is a struggling boxing manager having lunch with several associates who are angry at him for their low payment and threatening to quit on him. He notices that their shy waiter (Curly) goes into a violent fugue whenever he hears the song “Pop Goes the Weasel,” which is the case when he knocks out three associates and later his boss. Moe also takes notice of a fiddler (Larry) who happens to be playing the potent tune at the restaurant and quickly recruits the two unsuspecting cohorts and preps them for the boxing world. With Larry playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” at every boxing match, Curly becomes the number-one contender for the heavyweight championship.
All goes well until the night of the highly anticipated World Championship match with Killer Kilduff (Al Hill). Only a few moments into the first round, Kilduff plants a left hook at Curly, sending him into the crowd, landing on Larry and crushing his violin. Frantic, Larry scurries the streets, looking for anything that is playing “Pop Goes the Weasel,” while Curly is being battered by the boxer.
Larry manages to come across a politician’s campaign truck blaring the tune from its speakers and “race-drives” it to the arena, crashing through a side wall. Curly is just about ready to throw in the towel until he hears “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The wobbly boxer comes to his feet with renewed energy, and knocks out Kilduff in a matter of seconds, winning the fight. The song continues, however, and as they celebrate in the ring, Curly knocks out Larry and Moe and begins to advance on the camera as the short ends.
Punch Drunks Cast & Crew
|Directed by||Lou Breslow|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Moe Howard
Jack “Tiny” Lipson
|Edited by||Robert Carlisle|
Punch Drunks Trivia
- The script for Punch Drunks was written by The Stooges, credited as “Jerry Howard, Larry Fine and Moe Howard”
- The only short written entirely by The Three Stooges
- In 2002, Punch Drunks was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” the only Stooge film to achieve such an honor
- Larry, who actually plays the violin, plays a violinist in Punch Drunks
- Filming was completed May 2–5, 1934
- Punch Drunks was remade with Shemp Howard in 1945 as A Hit With a Miss
- A colorized version of this film was released in 2004 as part of the DVD collection Goofs on the Loose
Emil Sitka, whose numerous appearances with the Three Stooges earned him the nickname “the Fourth Stooge,” was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on December 22, 1914. He was the oldest of five children, born of Hungarian immigrant parents. His father, Emil Sitka, a coal miner, died of black lung disease when Sitka was 12 years old, and his mother, Helena Matula Sitka, was hospitalized, unable to take care of the children. His siblings were placed in foster homes, but Sitka went to live in a church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a Catholic priest for the next few years. At this time, he became an altar boy and made plans to enter the priesthood, and had his first acting opportunity in the church’s annual Passion Play. At the age of 16, he and one of his brothers traveled across the U.S.A., riding the rails hobo-style, looking for work. After a year, they returned to Pittsburgh, where Sitka found a job working in a factory. He stayed there until the great St. Patrick’s Day Pittsburgh Flood of 1936, after which he departed to pursue his dream of acting in Hollywood, California.
Sitka’s first Three Stooges’ film was Half-Wits Holiday. It was a reworking of their earlier Hoi Polloi. Both films were adaptations of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion (1913). The Three Stooges’ films dealt with the idea that two professors bet on the outcome of turning the Three Stooges into gentlemen—with predictable results. Sitka played Sappington, the upper-crust butler, who was an excellent foil for the Three Stooges—and the target of several pies as well. Sitka’s most famous scene was when he approached a woman with a cocktail and stated, “Your drink madam,” and was plastered with a pie. Without changing expression, he says, “Pardon me madam” and walks off. However, during the filming on May 6, 1946, Jerome “Curly” Howard suffered a devastating stroke, another after a series just before Beer Barrel Polecats was filmed. Curly died 6 years later.
Despite this bittersweet beginning, Sitka went on to appear in dozens of Three Stooges short films, as well as most of their feature films and the live-action segments for The New Three Stooges 1965 cartoon series. He worked in both short films and feature films with others as well, including Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Tony Curtis, Alan Hale, Walter Brennan, Dan Blocker, Joey Bishop, Bob Denver, and many others. However, Sitka is best remembered for his association with the Three Stooges, and with one line in particular which he repeated several times: “Hold hands, you lovebirds!” from Brideless Groom.
Emil Sitka Almost a Middle Stooge
In January 1970, Larry Fine suffered a stroke during the filming of Kook’s Tour. Plans were in the works for Sitka to replace him as the Middle Stooge in late 1970 and again in ’75, but nothing other than a few promotional pictures were ever made. Sitka was to play Larry’s brother, Harry. He later described him as being “conscientious to the point of ridiculousness.” Two feature film offers for the Stooges had been considered, but this proposed version of the group would never transpire, due to Moe falling ill and dying shortly after its conception. One of the film offers was Blazing Stewardesses, which would go on to feature the surviving members of the Ritz Brothers.
“Hold hands, you lovebirds”
In the 1947 Three Stooges short Brideless Groom, Shemp Howard must be married before 6:00 p.m. in order to inherit $500,000.00. After striking out, Shemp finally finds a girl willing to marry him, and they rush off to a justice of the peace (Sitka). As he starts the ceremony, initially telling the couple to “hold hands, you lovebirds”, the other girls that turned down Shemp’s proposal burst in, having heard of the inheritance. A free-for-all then ensues, with poor Sitka being struck again and again, attempting to start the ceremony, each time more disheveled and his “hold hands, you lovebirds” a bit weaker.
Because of the widespread distribution of this short (it is one of four Three Stooges shorts that slipped into public domain and was broadcast countless times on local television stations as a result—one station in Richmond, Virginia ran it almost every Sunday afternoon for years in the 1980s), this scene is the one that Sitka has become best known for.
Notably, a clip of this short is featured in Pulp Fiction, for which Sitka’s name even appears in the credits as “Hold Hands You Lovebirds.” He continued his association with the Stooges for the next 25 years, and in 1975, was offered the chance to finally join the trio.
Sitka continued with the acting career, more out of love for acting than the need for money (including a cameo as a supermarket customer in the 1989 horror film Intruder, in which he said his signature line), appearing in films as late as 1992. He was in demand at various Three Stooges conventions, and had numerous requests from Three Stooges fans to appear at their wedding to say “Hold hands, you lovebirds!”
He is buried at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park, Camarillo, CA. His gravestone is inscribed “Hold Hands, You Lovebirds.”
Half-Wits Holiday (1947)
Hold That Lion! (1947)
Brideless Groom (1947)
All Gummed Up (1947)
Pardon My Clutch (1948)
Who Done It? (1949)
Fuelin’ Around (1949)
Vagabond Loafers (1949)
Punchy Cowpunchers (1950)
Hugs and Mugs (1950)
Three Hams on Rye (1950)
Slaphappy Sleuths (1950)
Scrambled Brains (1951)
Merry Mavericks (1951)
The Tooth Will Out (1951)
Pest Man Wins (1951)
Listen, Judge (1952)
Gents in a Jam (1952)
Loose Loot (1953) (stock footage)
Bubble Trouble (1953)
Gypped in the Penthouse (1955) as Charlie
Stone Age Romeos (1955) as B. Bopper
The Spoilers (1955) as Miner (uncredited)
Husbands Beware (1956) as J.M. Benton – Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
For Crimin’ Out Loud (1956) as Councilman John Goodrich (archive footage)
Scheming Schemers (1956) as Mr. Walter Norfleet
The White Squaw (1956) as Texas Jim (uncredited)
Commotion on the Ocean (1956) as Smitty
Horsing Around (1957) as Circus Attendant
Outer Space Jitters (1957) as Professor Jones
Pies and Guys (1958) as Sappington
Flying Saucer Daffy (1958) as Mr. Barton—President of ‘Facts and Figures’ Magazine
The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962) as Shepherd / Refreshment Man
The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962) as Professor Danforth
The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963) as Butler at Men’s Club (uncredited)
The Outlaws Is Coming (1965) as Mr. Abernathy / Witch doctor / Cavalry colonel
With grace, a voice of an angel, brilliant comedic timing, and a great right hook, actress Christine McIntyre brought an elegance to the 36 Three Stooges film shorts in which she was featured during the course of her acting career. As Jon Solomon points out in his book The Complete Three Stooges, “McIntyre brought gracefully sly characterizations to the Stooge films in the late 1940’s. Like the best film comediennes of the 30’s and 40’s, she had a stunning visage, a shapely figure, and a wry wit. In addition, though, she had the magnificent singing voice immortalized in Micro-Phonies and Squareheads of the Round Table.”
A native of Nogales, Arizona, Christine McIntyre was one of five children. A classically trained singer, McIntyre received a Bachelor of Music degree at Chicago Musical College in 1933. It was here that she developed her operatic soprano voice, which would be put to good use in several Three Stooges films in the 1940s. McIntyre began singing in feature films at RKO Pictures and made her film debut in 1937’s Swing Fever. She then appeared in a series of B-westerns featuring the likes of Ray Corrigan and Buck Jones. She appeared with dark hair in these early roles, and also appeared occasionally in “mainstream” feature films (like 1939’s Blondie Takes a Vacation). She sang songs such as “The Blue Danube” and “Voices of Spring” in a Vienna-themed short Soundies musical film, and her performance was singled out as the best of the inaugural series. Her singing in this soundie may have given the Three Stooges the idea of using “Voices of Spring” in their short film Micro-Phonies.
It was in 1944 that Columbia Pictures producer Hugh McCollum signed Christine McIntyre to a decade-long contract. During her time at Columbia, she appeared in many short subjects starring Shemp Howard, Andy Clyde, Joe Besser, Bert Wheeler, and Hugh Herbert. The Herbert comedy Wife Decoy is actually a showcase for McIntyre, who is the principal character. In this film, she appears as a brunette who dyes her hair blonde. From then on in her screen appearances, she remained a blonde. In all of her Columbia comedies, she demonstrated a capable range, playing charming heroines, scheming villains, and flighty socialites equally well.
McIntyre’s association with the Three Stooges would become her most memorable. Her debut appearance with the team was in Idle Roomers, followed by a solo Shemp Howard short, Open Season For Saps. McIntyre’s singing voice was featured prominently in 1945’s Micro-Phonies, as she sang both “Voices of Spring” and “Lucia Sextet.” She would again sing “Lucia Sextet” three years later in Squareheads of the Round Table and it’s 1954 remake, Knutzy Knights.
McIntyre also won a feature-film contract with Monogram Pictures. After playing a newspaper publisher in News Hounds, a comedy with The Bowery Boys, she usually played opposite Monogram’s cowboy stars in low-budget Westerns. Her attractive features belied that she was close to 40 years of age at the time, much more mature than the conventional ingenue.
McIntyre married radio personality J. Donald Wilson in 1953. When her contract at Columbia expired in 1954, retired from show business, eventually developing a career in real estate. Columbia continued to use old footage of McIntyre through 1958, which is why she received billing in films made after her retirement.
Bill Cappello who met McIntyre in the 1980’s and published some of his memories on his website, shared some of Christine’s nice words about working with the Three Stooges. She referred to them as professionals in comedy. McIntyre continued, “They were serious about their work, sometimes they would play practical jokes on other people in between filming scenes. One of their favorites was Dudley Dickerson. They thought his reaction to being scared was very funny, and while he would rest in between scenes, one of them would dangle a rubber spider beside him and watch his reaction. Sometimes The Stooges would tell off-color jokes or even use vulgar language, but they always treated me like a lady.”
Some of our favorite Christine McIntyre moments
Three Pests in a Mess (January 19, 1945) credited as secretary. Del Lord wrote fine lines for her, including a fractured nursery rhyme, “I went to the cupboard to get my poor self a bone but when I went there, the cupboard was bare, not even a bottle was there!”
Micro-Phonies Alice with the golden voice (November 15, 1945) curly as Señorita Cucaracha written by Edward Bernds
Squareheads of the Roundtable, written by Bernds, showcases quick paced, troubadour-style slapstick, romance, verbal gags, plot developments, a multi-door chase scene, tools, and music. With the stepped-up pace of the short, the song lyrics or the slapstick advance the plot, as in Elaine’s (McIntyre’s) tuneful, “Flee, but flee, the Black Prince is looking iiiiinnn / IIIII will Rai-aise the shade, the lovely shade, when the coast is clear.”
Her performance as Miss Hopkins in Brideless Groom featured a knockabout scene in which she beats voice instructor Shemp Howard into submission.
Director Edward Bernds remembers: “In the story, Shemp had a few hours in which to get married if he wanted to inherit his uncle’s fortune. He called on Christine McIntyre, who mistook him for her cousin Basil and greeted him with hugs and kisses. Then the real cousin phoned and she accused Shemp of kissing her, as it were, under false pretenses. At this point, she was supposed to slap Shemp around. Lady that she was, Chris couldn’t do it right; she dabbed at him daintily, afraid of hurting him. After a couple of bad takes, Shemp pleaded with her. ‘Honey,’ he said, ‘if you want to do me a favor, cut loose and do it right. A lot of half-hearted slaps hurts more than one good one. Give it to me, Chris, and let’s get it over with.’ Chris got up her courage and on the next take, let Shemp have it. ‘It’ wound up as a whole series of slaps—the timing was beautiful; they rang out like pistol shots. Shemp was knocked into a chair, bounced up, met another ringing slap, fell down again, scrambled up, trying to explain, only to get another stinging slap. Then Chris delivered a haymaker—a right that knocked Shemp through the door. When the take was over, Shemp was groggy, really groggy. Chris put her arms around him and apologized tearfully. ‘It’s alright, honey,’ Shemp said painfully. ‘I said you should cut loose and you did. You sure as hell did!”
In Hot Scots, she played Lorna Doone. The film gifted us with the indelible pun uttered by Shemp, “Hi, Lorna, how ya’ doin’?
McIntyre turned up the slapstick with her physical humor in Studio Stoops. As Dolly Devore, she dangles Shemp out of a window as she and Moe struggle with a rope. She beats up the bad guys by slamming their hands in a door and smashing flower pots over their heads.
Scheming Schemers offers the last footage of the skillful comedienne.
Christine McIntyre is credited in 36 Three Stooges film shorts, 8 of them use stock footage.
Idle Roomers (1944)
No Dough Boys (1944)
Three Pests in a Mess (1945)
The Three Troubledoers (1946)
Three Little Pirates (1946)
Out West (1947)
Brideless Groom (1947)
All Gummed Up (1947)
Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
Tall, Dark and Gruesome (1948)
Squareheads of the Round Table (1948)
The Hot Scots (1948)
Crime on Their Hands (1948)
Who Done It? (1949)
Fuelin’ Around (1949)
Super Wolf (1949)
Vagabond Loafers (1949)
Punchy Cowpunchers (1950)
Hugs and Mugs (1950)
Dopey Dicks (1950)
Love at First Bite (1950)
Three Hams on Rye (1950)
Studio Stoops (1950)
Bubble Trouble (1953) (stock footage)
Pals and Gals (1954)
Knutzy Knights (1954)
Scotched in Scotland (1954)
Of Cash and Hash (1955)
Hot Ice (1955) (stock footage)
Husbands Beware (1956) (stock footage)
For Crimin’ Out Loud (1956) (stock footage)
Hot Stuff (1956) (stock footage)
Scheming Schemers (1956) (stock footage)
Fifi Blows Her Top (1958) (stock footage)
Stop! Look! and Laugh! (1960) (stock footage)
The Three Stooges Archive – ©C3 Entertainment, Inc.
The Complete Three Stooges by Jon Solomon
The Three Stooges is a registered trademark of C3 Entertainment, Inc.
The Three Stooges characters, names and all related indicia are trademarks of C3 Entertainment, Inc. ©2017
Born September 17, 1900, Jules White began working in motion pictures in the 1910s, as a child actor, for Pathé Studios. He appears in a small role as a Confederate soldier in the landmark silent feature The Birth of a Nation (1915). By the 1920s his brother Jack White had become a successful comedy producer at Educational Pictures, and Jules worked for him as a film editor. Jules became a director in 1926, specializing in comedies.
Jules White produced and/or directed more than 130 of the nearly 200 Three Stooges’ comedies in addition to directing such classic slapstick comedians as Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Charlie Chase and Chester Conklin. Almost 40% of White’s output stars The Three Stooges. His work earned him four Academy Award nominations.
White, who took over the short subjects department at Columbia Pictures in 1934, died at age 84. He had retired in 1958, the same year that the studio closed his department after the short subject, which was often sandwiched between two major film features, lost its appeal.
He referred to himself as “The Fourth Stooge,” claiming in a 1982 interview with The LA Times that he had earned the sobriquet because “it was easier to show them (Larry, Curly, and Moe) what to do than to write it down.”
Physical comedy was the norm for White’s short features. Some of his personal favorite gags were used repeatedly over the years: a comedian being arrested always protests, “I’m gonna get myself a cheap lawyer!” Or the star comedian accidentally collides with the villain and apologizes, “Sorry, mister, there was a man chasing me… you’re the man!” White’s most familiar gag is probably the one where an actor is stuck in the posterior by a sharp object, and then yells, “Help, help! I’m losing my mind!”
White came to Columbia from Paramount, where he was an assistant director, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he helped to create “The Barkies,” a series of one-reelers that featured talking dogs.