[Cinema Sunday] “An Ache in Every Stake” – Culinary Chaos

Cinema Sunday - An Ache in Every Stake feature

Moe: [singing] We baked you a birthday cake… Larry: If you get a tummy ache… Curly: And you moan and groan and woe… Moe, Larry, Curly: Don’t forget we told you so! Happy birthday!
Thanksgiving week is here at last. Holiday preparations are well under way. And so to somewhat honor a time of togetherness, giving thanks and food, here is something extra to give thanks for. A very sweet Three Stooges short from 1941, where our charming nyuck-nyuck knuckleheads find themselves in a situation of gaseous proportions.

Directed by Del Lord, this reviewer found this Curly-era classic piece to be full of great humor. From ice man incidents to baking bonanzas. And all with Del Lord at the helm. Del is a man long familiar to Stooge fans as the director of some of their best shorts including Uncivil Warriors, 3 Little Beers, and A Plumbing We Will Go.

That recurring theme that pops up is the Stooges as ordinary working men, getting themselves into all manner of hot water. Here, they are ice men, and suddenly find themselves up to their elbows in the kitchens of a wealthy man’s house. From there, it’s a sharp downward spiral into chaos as they have to take on the roles of the entire kitchen staff to prepare a meal for the man’s birthday, including an elaborate cake.

There’s a new fun gag in this short, one that this Stooge fan was unaware of. That of the “dangers” of ice to the boys. Particularly Curly, because at the start of the short, the Stooges are napping in the cool comfort of the ice wagon. Curly awakes to find his poor dome is encased in ice. This starts a pattern of more than 10 incidents of Curly getting thumped or conked in the head by Moe or other persons throughout. Just goes to show, Curly knew how to take his lumps.

And so with Thanksgiving, that fabulous day of feasting and turkey and togetherness nearly here, we hope that everyone will enjoy this little trip down memory lane to another fun-filled chaos fest with the beloved 3 Stooges.