Only a week and four days left until Thanksgiving. That means it’s getting to be time to baste those birds, mash those potatoes, and get that pair of pants with the wide waist ready for the extra pie slices.
Speaking of pants and keeping with our theme this month of Three Stooges shorts, today will be the minor dive into a Stooge short that is a real stitch. It not only features some great humor and slapstick from the boys (Curly having been replaced by Shemp at this point) but also features a great gag that had become famous for the team.
“Sing a Song of Six Pants” was both directed and produced by Jules White and features, in some cases, a classic Stooge scenario. The boys are hard-working tradesmen, sometimes house painters, other times salesmen. And in this case, tailors. When faced with the repossession of their equipment, they find themselves drawn into a crazy, little caper involving a bank robber, the combination to a safe, and getting the stuffing beat out of them before turning the tide.
As previously mentioned, this short takes place at the point in time Shemp had stepped up to become the third man after the passing of Curly. The ‘Shemp Howard Era’ followed a period from 1946-1955, in which the Stooges lost a bit of their charm and luster, but in the end still produced quality shorts with the addition of Shemp. His own solo career proved he could hack it in comedy and when allowed to improvise, Shemp produced some marvelous gags.
That aforementioned gag (from above) is one that has been used by the team up to this point, but is still a real kicker. That of one of the trio being placed on a hook of some sort and then being subjected to the humiliation of being spun around like a top. In Shemp’s case, that spinning also leads to him accidentally punching or kicking the assailant in the face until a knockout blow is struck.
It’s safe to that say that even though the replacing of Curly with Shemp had a minor downtick for the Stooges, it still helped propel them forward even further. Though the standard of comedy has since then lead to the infamous ‘Curly vs. Shemp’ debate, in the end, it still goes to show that no matter who made up the team, the Stooges were and are funny guys.
And as the days grow shorter and the nights colder and visions of turkey and stuffing and pie fill our eyes, let us all remember to give thanks for the things that matter most in life. Family, friends, certain joys of life. And for all who appreciate good humor and slapstick, let us especially give thanks for The Three Stooges.