Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sweet Stooge of Youth
Well, some of these Stooge shorts are more memorable than others. Now, according to the infallible IMDb, Choo Choo is considered one of the worst Stooges. Which is absolutely correct, of course, but you gotta understand. Every bad film is unique in its own peculiar way. If you're at all like me (scary thought, I know), the first time you see Cuckoo, you can't help but think to yourself "...what the hell is this?" Even the Stooges find themselves bound and gagged by restraints of rigid conventions, of which they struggle to free themselves from. In this case, through contemporary literary references ... at least, contemporary for their time. And you gotta hand it to the Stooges: they almost beat Tennessee Williams at his own game, if you think about it. Why, what could be a more tawdry subject than using vibrating electrical devices to enhance sensations? Only Shemp doesn't realize what's happening to him, so it's okay.
Boy! Wikipedia's down on this one too! Give me some decent trivia, for God's sake! For instance, I thought I read someplace or heard from someone that they were originally going to call this A Streetcar Named Schmow, but stiffer heads at Columbia demurred to Warner Bros. Warner Bros. produced A Streetcar Named Desire, but I suppose that even if Columbia themselves produced A Streetcar Named Desire, they would reject the Stooges' title. In any event, I can see why Larry would think of this as one of his favourites, given the positively ripping impression of Stanley Kowalski that he does. Wotta pig! Then again, I thought Scrambled Brains was his favorite. Dayamn! Now my brains are getting scrambled!
But let's re-examine the superfans' perspective... and ridicule it some more. See, if Cuckoo is one of the worst Stooge shorts ever made, what does that make the Joe Besser 16, for example? I guess they fall into that anonymous middle ground of shorts that should just be forgotten to death.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan