Once again, one last shout out to YouTube's 69789Darius, without whom this little quest of mine just wouldn't of... have been possible. God bless you sir (must be a sir, right? What chick's gonna post a Stooge clip on YouTube?) and may you be in business for a thousand years.
Well, now that it's all over, and I can get back to my normal sleeping habits, at least for a little while... the question remains. Out of the 190 Stooge shorts, The Movie Hooligan, which one is your favorite? Ain't that always the way? Aficionados are always asked to narrow their choices, shy people are asked to play the field more... either that, or it's what one thing you'd take to a desert island. For the most part, the average person, if they think about the Stooges at all, think it's just an amorphous mass of eye pokes and funny haircuts. I noticed that, on the IMDb, most of the Stooge shorts remained unreviewed... at least until now. Some guy... I think his name was "Moldy Hungarian"? But for the most part, just the more well-known Stooge shorts got actual reviews.
So is it worth watching every single Stooge short, indeed? Really? Seriously? Since I've done it, I'm contractually obligated to think so, but I'll agree it does get a bit redundant at times. On the other hand, there's a reason they've endured for as long as they have. They, too, got tired of being Stooges all the time, and they got the best screenwriters they could, including Buster Keaton screenwriter Clyde Bruckman. Their scripts were varied and busy and of all genres, even though they stole a lot, mainly from the Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy.
But I'll try to answer the question anyhow. I was going to see which short is the most popular on YouTube, but YouTube's too unwieldly a beast to tame that way. On sheer numbers of hits, I Can Hardly Wait seems to be the most popular, at 569,560 hits as of right this instant, with A Gem of a Jam at a distant second with 431,056 as we speak. Then of course, there's Micro-Phonies which seems to be everyone's favorite, probably for the same reason Some Like It Hot and Tootsie are everyone's favorite feature-length comedies. Sure, Phonies has some nice violent moments in it, but somehow it was never my favorite. But these are all Curly shorts, and personally my favourite is Dutiful but Dumb. Maybe it's temporary, maybe I'm just crazy, maybe it's not healthy to admit that Dutiful is your favorite, but there's something about the Stooges thriving in a totalitarian state that does it for me. There's a reason why Duck Soup is a classic, folks! Groucho's got his own country, not just a university or a hospital or a cruise ship or a weekend party at a fancy mansion.
So that's my favorite Curly short. As for Shemp, he's got a good body of work as well, but Loose Loot is probably the best for me, or maybe it's just too safe of a choice. Of the Besser shorts... ugh. Let's just say Outer Space Jitters and leave it at that.
But what about the flip side of the coin? Were there any that you absolutely hated? Well, now that I've skimmed my reviews of all of them recently, I kept a note of those. The Curly short Cookoo Cavaliers I didn't care for, mostly because of the violence against the women in it. Then there's the Shemp short A Snitch in Time where they have delightfully wacky accidents with power tools. Maybe it's my middle school shop class kicking in, but power tool accidents are not funny in my book. As for the Besser shorts, well, I hated Triple Crossed the most. But really, I'm in no great hurry to relive any of Joe Besser's shorts. Wrong replacement Stooge, but arguably at the right time.
Well, there you have it, folks. I've done all the damage I could. God bless you and your enduring legacy, Stooges. As for me, it's on to the next challenge, which right now is just keeping on top of the Popeye and Tom and Jerry cartoons.