Monday, December 28, 2009

Programming Note: Three Stooges Marathon This New Year's Eve

The Monkey's big brother, "steveparker1," also known in some circles as the father of Plain Chicken, has alerted me to a Three Stooges marathon broadcast in hi-def. For my American friends with cable television, this marathon is on AMC starting at 7 a.m. and running all day and all night, as the man says.

The Three Stooges first made their appearance on the big screen in 1930, in the Ted Healy short Soup To Nuts (although as a youngster, Moe Howard appeared in the 1909 short We Must Do Our Best), and since we're talking about 1930-31 for a few more days, it's entirely appropriate that I mention them here.

Now I admit the Three Stooges are not everyone's cup of tea. Even now, thirty-four years after the death of the last of the original troop, the Three Stooges remain a polarizing force in American culture, dividing movie fans into camps of ardent admirers and equally-committed haters, often (apparently) along gender lines. Whatever your feelings on the subject, however, I commend two Stooges shorts to you, You Nazty Spy and A Plumbing We Will Go. Both are as fundamental to an understanding of film language as Citizen Kane or the movies of Ingmar Bergman—with a lot more laughs to boot.

You Nazty Spy is often credited as Hollywood's first film spoof of Adolf Hitler, beating Charles Chaplin's The Great Dictator into theaters by nine months. A Plumbing We Will Go, featuring Curly Howard's unique approach to the repair of a leaky shower, serves both as a study of the limited value of good intentions as well as a vivid demonstration of the law of unintended consequences, and as such, should be required viewing for building contractors and politicians of every ideological stripe.

The latter airs, as far as I can tell, at 9:43 p.m. EST.

Both coincidentally are from 1940 and I will revisit them in the future, no doubt with a Special Katie Award in hand.

By the way, we're on a tight blogging schedule this week here at the Monkey. Tomorrow I'm posting the essay for best picture of 1930-31, Wednesday I give you a recap of 1930-31, Thursday promises a top ten list of sorts, and Friday (the New Year) will bring the Katie nominees for 1931-32. In the meantime, I also have to walk the dog, go to the cleaners and make dinner.

Better get busy.


Bellotoot said...

May we keep Curly, Larry and Moe in our hearts not just during the holiday season, but all the year through!

Anonymous said...

looking forward to your essay!
The stooges, haven't actually ever been a fan, they just seem to be sort of clumsy & Dorky comedy to me lol thats just me. I haven't seen any of their stuff in ages so I might have different feelings towards it... who knows
Great post.

Plain Chicken said...

we are planning on watching it! I love the ones with Curly.

Mythical Monkey said...

Hey, Steph! Good to hear from you!

Folks, my niece, Stephanie, who writes the acclaimed blog, Plain Chicken. I have cooked many of her recipes (well, the easy ones) and they are tasty.

Joseph Picone said...

Well with all due respect to this impressive group of literary giants, no film collection on the Three Stooges is complete without "Hoi Polloi" :)

Mythical Monkey said...

no film collection on the Three Stooges is complete without "Hoi Polloi" :)

See, Joe, this is why you're a professor and I'm just a lowly blogger.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Well now Myth you KNOW this makes me sad that Casa Who has no AMC! :-(

Howsomever, we DO now have a new chocolate pudding pie recipe, so life could be worse ... Thanks Stephanie! :-)

Mythical Monkey said...

we DO now have a new chocolate pudding pie recipe

Pies and pictures -- we're a full-service organization here at the Monkey!