Halloween has come and gone. Ghosts have laid to rest once more and vampires crept back into their coffins for a long sleep. Thanksgiving month is here at last, a time for counting blessings and being with loved ones.
This month, Cinema Sunday will doing a series that is totally different and in a direction not normal to our standard stuff.
This month will be devoted to a comedy trio whose works of physical humor have been delighting audiences for generations. And no, I’m not talking about The Marx Brothers. I’m talking about a group who have carried their fame and humor into the 21st century. Those nyuck nyuck knuckleheads, the one and only…Three Stooges.
To kick off a month of Stooges, today’s musing will be about one of their most famous of shorts, ‘Disorder in the Court.’
Directed by Preston Black (real name Jack White), this delightful bit of slapstick is an obvious pun on the judicial phrase “order in the court.” With producer Jules White at the helm (no relation to Jack), it is the 15th of the Stooges shorts, and the first one to have Curly receive top billing over Moe or Larry. Plus, this one has a title card with the proper stage spelling of his name C-U-R-L-Y.
The Stooges have over the years had a wide variety of their classic physical humor and gags in their shorts. From the ever-famous eye-gouge to the head knocks, bops, and gut thumps. Plus ear grabs, nose bites, and hair yanks.
But this is one short (as far as memory serves) where music plays a major part in the story and the actual progression of the narrative.
Many a person knows this short. The Stooges are in court to provide witness so their friend Gail Tempest does not go to jail or the chair for the murder of one Kirk Robin. After the actual examination gets nowhere (thanks to Curly and his amusing vernacular and mannerisms), the boys pick up their instruments and proceed (with Gail’s help) to reenact the night of the murder in question.
While not much can be said about the boys’ performance, other than it is their usual comedic standard of excellence, this reviewer would like to pay brief attention to one man in particular. He plays the defense attorney in this short, but over the course of the early years of the Stooges career, he co-starred in over 35 Three Stooges shorts. That man is Bud Jamison. Bud is well-known for playing a variety of bit parts for various comedy directors over the years. But his best parts (in this person’s opinion) were when he teamed up with the boys for a variety of hijinks and hilarities that still split sides to this day.
It may very well be said that there have been many fine comedians and comedy groups over the years. From Charlie Chaplin to the Marx Brothers, to modern performers like Gabriel Iglesias and Dane Cook. But stacked end-to-end, the output of shorts and later features that the Stooges put out, could challenge many of these comedians’ track records. So make a point this month, if you need a good laugh, to watch some Three Stooges. It will be worth the watch.