Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Three Stooges--Men in Black

Men in Black is the only Stooge short to be nominate for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject-Comedy.  It is only their third short.  How is that for peaking early?

The Stooges are meical students who have been allowed to graduate because they have been in the senior class too long.  They can remain anonymous as long as they devote themselves to “duty and humanity.”  The short is a series of gags in which the stooges make mistakes treating patients while growing more annoyed at the intercom’s constant paging of “Dr. Howard! Dr. Fine! Dr. Howard!” culminating in them sewing up tools inside their supervisor after surgery and shooting the intercom with pistols.

Men in Black features the premiere of several recurring stooge gags.  First, the habit of swinging a glass door behind them, shattering it.  Second, requesting items like liquids or tools authoritatively by a nonsensical name.  Finally, the huddle in which they plan their next move.  These will happen throughout the entire 24 year run of shorts.

I think Men in Black is hilarious in many places, but do not understand the high praise for it.  There are a dozen more shorts I can think of right off hand more deserved of accolades.  The most inspired bit is the stooges returning to a storage closet before answering every call for a new method of transportation.  They use a three man cycle, a horse, and finally go carts.  It is so weird, you cannot help but laugh.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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