"A Pie In Every Face" (1947) The episode opens with The Stooges selling "Dopey Dan's Daily Double" (stock footage from "Even As I.O.U." When the cop chases them, they duck inside a house. That's when we notice that "Curly," who's only shown from behind, is actually Vernon Dent with a bald wig (He refused to shave his head for the role!). Inside the house, a swanky party is happening. In the next scene, Moe instructs the boys to disguise in some tuxedos they found in the hall closet. The rest of the short is every inch of pie-fight stock footage the Stooges ever filmed.
This short didn't work in so many ways. They thought they could wait until Curly got better, but were contractually obligated to keep making films. After this was made, that idea was shelved and Moe called his brother Shemp to fill in. The short was released to only a handful of theaters and was panned as the worst film ever to come from Columbia, ever. In fact, it was so bad, that several theaters refused to screen their next film, "Fright Night."
Ya know, I could almost picture a mess like this actually happening after Curly had his stroke! Imagine how long they had to wait until they could replace him! Ironically, I remember reading that after Curly's severe stroke, Columbia wanted to replace him with a rotund character with the same height and shape, but Moe, completely baffled that they would want to hire a stranger in his act, said no and got Shemp to fill in. Good job, archiezappa! Okay, here's mine:THREE MEN IN A TUB (1947)
– After the disaster that was A PIE IN EVERY FACE, Moe called in Shemp to replace Curly. This was the first actual short with Shemp Howard as the third Stooge, not FRIGHT NIGHT. The storyline: The boys go to Las Vegas to try to win some money to purchase a huge bathtub to put in their bathroom to impress their dissatisfied wives. This story had potential for good gags and for the boys to create havoc in many scenes. But there were so many things wrong with this short that it is impossible to list them all. For one, since this is the first film Shemp made with Moe and Larry, we see Shemp imitating Curly way too much here. The script originally called for Curly as a Stooge but the filming of this was rushed and had to meet a deadline and the suits at Columbia didn’t have time to modify the script so as to put in Shemp’s own personality. So they resorted to having him recite Curly’s original roles line by line, which was very unsettling for the audience. He does plenty of things that Curly would usually do, including, but not limited to, slapping his face numerous times, grunting in a high-pitched voice, humming like Curly, and he even n’yuks once or twice here too! Also, the director of this short, Del Lord’s slump reaches a whole new low here, with a lot of goofs, errors, and plotholes being scattered around, so many that even a casual moviegoer could probably point at least a few of them after only one viewing. This was only shown in a few select theaters during the time of its release, and only after a day or so, it was never shown or heard of again. Disappointed with the first effort with Shemp, and after many squawks from movie viewers for this short, Columbia higher-ups decided to destroy this reel.