Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The New Three Stooges: Slapstick Revived, But Not Their Yiddish


Moe and Curly Howard (Horwitz) and Larry Fine (Feinberg) didn't portray their Three Stooges characters as being Jewish, but they didn't hide their ethnicity. The just released film, The Three Stooges, by the Farrelly brothers, has lost all traces of Jewish origin, and maybe we're all better off for that.

Here's the trailer of the new film, in which none of the Stooges are played by Jewish actors, and needless to say, there are no Yiddish expressions tossed around. We found some of the original Stooges films on YouTube. Below the trailer is the complete 18 minute movie Mutts to You, in which Larry, Moe, and Curly get involved with a dog wash, a baby kidnapping, and politically incorrect ethnic representations.

If you have the patience to get to the 15 minute mark in the film, you'll see Larry, disguised as a worker in a Chinese laundry, respond in Yiddish to the question of a stereotyped Irish cop. The cop asks him "And what part of China are you from, may I ask?" Larry replies "Ich bin a China Bocher fun Slobodka Gubernia. Hock mir nit a chainik, and I don't mean efsher."

J. Hoberman has an article in the current online issue of Tablet called Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest that further explores the Jewish character of the old Stooges and what he calls their deracination in the new film.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Mutts to You (1938)