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Author Topic: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?  (Read 21178 times)

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Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2009, 10:51:25 PM »
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

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Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2009, 08:50:37 AM »
Okay - since my fellow judges are dawdling and I'm going out for the day, I'm going to render my judgment first after all.

My vote goes to Xraffle.

To be honest, he had the easier argument to make, since no one really likes the final A.D. "Shemp" shorts, and most fans don't care for the Besser shorts and DeRita feature films.  I was initially leaning to Mar-Jean's argument, but after looking at the Filmography I changed my mind.  Yes, most of the Shemp shorts after his 1952 stroke use a lot of stock footage, but there are a couple of original shorts - Spooks! and Gypped in the Penthouse - which show that Shemp hadn't lost his touch, and that's confirmed by the new footage in the other shorts.  I believe that the use of stock footage in most of the shorts post-1952 had more to do with the studio economizing than anything else.

While I don't like the Besser shorts and DeRita films that much, I don't really fault Moe and Larry for doing whatever they could to continue.  They were true troopers who couldn't just give it up until life just finally forced them to stop.  (I'm an inherently lazy bastard - think Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances - so I have a hard time relating to that quality, but even I can still appreciate it in others.)  But if the Stooges should have called it quits at some point, I think it should have been after Shemp's death, not after his stroke.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2009, 10:32:27 AM »
Rob, a lazy bastard?  Geez, I wish I could be a lazy bastard like you and create a site like this!   ;D

Anyway, it's judgement time.  This is a very tough decision to make, because you guys both brought up good points.  I agree with Finebari that The Three Stooges films were a bit old-fashioned for the time, as short subjects were a dying form and artistically not the best thing the boys could've been doing.  That said, when given a good script, like Xraffle and Finebari both agree on, the boys were still capable of magic.  Even the stock footage shorts have some funny new footage at times. 

The clincher for me was that as a team, in spite of their limited surroundings, the boys could still work together at an artistic level in terms of making laughs.  Finebari used the argument of Shemp's health against this, and while he may look weak in a few moments (I've always thought WHAM BAM SLAM, personally), I never thought his health hindered him anywhere near as consistently as Curly's, and wasn't convinced otherwise in this debate.  The statement, "He should have been in a hospital, not in front of a camera," felt a bit too extreme to me, as no physical evidence was presented that making these shorts actually killed Shemp.  Maybe it was his diet that killed him, or maybe it was just his time, shorts or no shorts. 

Xraffle also mentioned a couple of examples of where the boys were still funny, like the first scene in HUSBANDS BEWARE or in BLUNDER BOYS, and i thought that helped.  Tough decision to make, but I'm going to have to give the nod to XRAFFLE. 

Good luck to both of you, and now Finebari has the opportunity to pull a Red Sox/Metaldams type comeback.

Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2009, 01:01:58 PM »
  The statement, "He should have been in a hospital, not in front of a camera," felt a bit too extreme to me, as no physical evidence was presented that making these shorts actually killed Shemp.  Maybe it was his diet that killed him, or maybe it was just his time, shorts or no shorts. 


Curly should have been in a hospital, not Shemp!  I was writing about Curly's health in that paragraph; I went back and read that again and it does sound a bit confusing. I do mention how Shemp was not as ill as Curly was.   
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Offline Justin T

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2009, 01:10:51 PM »
This debate was even more fun than the first, I think. I want to commend both X and Mar-Jean for
doing a great job with their arguments. I also liked how the questions sparked some good debate.

While I can agree with the thought that perhaps it would have been better for them to stop after Shemp
had the heart attack in 1952, but I have to agree with X pointing out that despite the heavier use of
stock footage in the final Shemp years of 52-56 that the Stooges still made some great and funny shorts
after 1952 and even in the shorts with alot of stock footage, some of the new material was just as good.
Also, Shemp was in alot better shape than Curly was, as Curly's delcine in health is obvious starting in
1945 while Shemp still had energy and spirit in the years leading up to his fatal heart attack.

So I also give my vote to XRAFFLE. Great job both of you.
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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2009, 02:23:35 PM »
Thank you, Judgie Wudgies, for picking me. The only one that didn't submit a vote was WhyIOughta and I'm still interested in hearing what participant he picked. Finebari3 did an excellent job with her debate and she did bring up some excellent points as to why the stooges should have stopped after Shemp's stroke. She was a worthy opponent.

And my condolences regarding your stepfather, Mar-Jean.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2009, 02:31:43 PM »
Curly should have been in a hospital, not Shemp!  I was writing about Curly's health in that paragraph; I went back and read that again and it does sound a bit confusing. I do mention how Shemp was not as ill as Curly was.   

I'm sorry about that Mar-Jean.  You're right, you were referring to Curly, and for that, I agree with you, or if not the hospital, at least slowing down a bit.  I still give the slight edge to Xraffle, but uh, paint me embarrassed.

Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #57 on: February 08, 2009, 05:34:59 PM »
Thank you, Judgie Wudgies, for picking me. The only one that didn't submit a vote was WhyIOughta and I'm still interested in hearing what participant he picked. Finebari3 did an excellent job with her debate and she did bring up some excellent points as to why the stooges should have stopped after Shemp's stroke. She was a worthy opponent.

And my condolences regarding your stepfather, Mar-Jean.

This certainly was not my best effort, but I figured 'what the hell'!  I didn't see anybody else stepping up and entering the debate!  [hello]  I will most certainly redeem myself! I have a BA in History, so I wrote a lot of essays in college!

Thank you very much. My mom is ready to get out and go back to work. For those of you who do not know the story, my mother was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas and had to have a hysterectomy. She came back from the hospital, and the next morning my dad was bringing her some toast in bed, and suffered a massive heart attack and fell down the stairs. My mom could do nothing. Needless to say, our Holidays were pretty bad.

A lot of things still have to be done around the house. You cannot imagine the stuff my dad accumulated; he had over 130 dress shirts alone!

Mar-Jean Zamperini
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Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #58 on: February 08, 2009, 07:19:48 PM »
Well to make it official....

By a score of either 4-0 or 3-1, xraffle, you sir are a Master Debater! :P

Your trophy, shaped like a cupped fist, should be arriving shortly. The "two fingers" trophy will be put back into storage until we have our first female winner. Rob will probably contact you about claiming your other prize, a one year subscription to the Three Stooges Journal. I am also going to extend an invite to you to participate as a judge in TMD III.

I would like to thank everyone involved: xraffle and MJ as well as our esteemed panel of judges. Remember I am currently taking submissions for TMD III, which will begin in March. Everyone but myself, Rob and xraffle is eligible to participate. See the "Announcement" thread for more details.

As an aside, I too am curious to see what the final judge has to say.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2009, 07:22:33 PM »
I am also going to extend an invite to you to participate as a judge in TMD III.

Yes, I would be glad to be a judge in the next debate.

I mainly participated in this debate just to give it a shot since no one else was submitting anything. It turned out to be a lot of fun. I hope many other members here would participate in TMD III. I'm not the best in writing essays, so if I was able to do this, then many other members here could do it as well. And besides, it's not all about winning, it's all about having fun.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #60 on: February 08, 2009, 07:55:29 PM »
This certainly was not my best effort, but I figured 'what the hell'!  I didn't see anybody else stepping up and entering the debate!  [hello]  I will most certainly redeem myself! I have a BA in History, so I wrote a lot of essays in college!

Thank you very much. My mom is ready to get out and go back to work. For those of you who do not know the story, my mother was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas and had to have a hysterectomy. She came back from the hospital, and the next morning my dad was bringing her some toast in bed, and suffered a massive heart attack and fell down the stairs. My mom could do nothing. Needless to say, our Holidays were pretty bad.

A lot of things still have to be done around the house. You cannot imagine the stuff my dad accumulated; he had over 130 dress shirts alone!



Mar-Jean, very sorry to hear about your Christmas.  Obviously, this is awful.  Hope your Mom is recovering well.

Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #61 on: February 08, 2009, 10:53:25 PM »
First, I’d like to say that I, too, enjoy reading and also participating in “The Master Debates,” and look forward to many more in the future.  Congratulations to both of the members that submitted arguments….

Discussing my vote…..First, I thought that “xraffle” DID have what golfers would consider “a tap-in,” taking the “must go ‘til ‘56” end of the raffle.  His original argument actually made strong points for not only HIS side of the debate, but Finebari3’s argument as well, in my humble opinion, when discussing the downhill slide, so to speak, of the “act.”   Re-using stock footage, re-usage of original acts, and the addition of what many may think was a horrible choice to join the act post-’56.  No doubt, when it came to the arguments of both debaters, they would make the point , at the VERY least, that the Stooges’ future appearances in short films should NEVER go beyond 1956….

So...MY question would be…… With this in mind, can Finebari3 take this given fact that both would agree upon, and create the winning argument that the Stooges should have cranked the end-all calendar BACK four years, and justify ending the Stooges career four years earlier than “xraffle” would suggest, having the Stooges call it quits in 1952?  That’s a tough window of opportunity to close, and it would take a masterful thesis to accomplish this feat.

In my humble opinion, Finebari3 did not make this argument.

Finebari, your submission strengthens xraffle’s argument, instead of weakening it.  You state that Shemp was Curly’s natural replacement (he was), which verifies his natural belonging to the act in most every stooge-a-holic’s mind.   The inclusion of Shemp Howard WAS “seamless,” as you state.  I’m sure xraffle wouldn’t argue that point with you. 

Finebari3 then (correctly) states that Shemp’s health began to show in some of his efforts after his 1952 stroke, and also brings up the fact that the Columbia shorts’ division was going thru some hard times as well, with a shortage of quality writing and some untimely budget dilemmas.  Unfortunately, even if you give credence to every one of these arguments submitted by Finebari3, there’s still one hurdle to get over — Should the act have ended in 1952, or does the submitted evidence of the following four years of Stooges’ shorts (1952-to-1956) suggest that ending the act in 1952 would be premature? 

From what I’ve seen with my own two eyes, Finebari3, I have to agree with xraffle — That four years of Stooges' work in short films we're trying to cut out might not be the best work ever made, but it's SOITENLY not the worst.  There are some classic moments that the boys put on film in that stretch, and I can't, in good conscience, suggest that these films should have never been made.  "The show must go on" is a long-time standard in the entertainment business, one I agree with. My vote goes to xraffle -- 1956 should have been the time that the act should have been retired.

Again, congratulations to both participants.  It was not only challenging to judge, but forced me (a pleasant task) to get out the 1953-to-1956 material that I had, and watch it for reference. 

Congratulations, xraffle -- You've done a fine job, and submitted a VERY convincing argument -- An argument that you might not have won, had this debate been held three weeksfrom now.  (grin)

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #62 on: February 08, 2009, 11:07:06 PM »
Wow! This debate was certainly interesting. Even though the votes came out 4-0, I still say Mar-Jean did a good job considering that she picked a tough argument. This debate certainly was fun and I'll be looking forward to TMD III.

Now Jim, I'll be waiting for that trophy. ;D

Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2009, 09:50:02 AM »
Wow! This debate was certainly interesting. Even though the votes came out 4-0, I still say Mar-Jean did a good job considering that she picked a tough argument. This debate certainly was fun and I'll be looking forward to TMD III.


Thanks a lot, X. You were certainly a worthy opponent! I really think I could have done a better job.

4-0....I got spanked badly!
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Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #64 on: February 09, 2009, 09:59:30 AM »
Thanks a lot, X. You were certainly a worthy opponent! I really think I could have done a better job.

4-0....I got spanked badly!
It is indeed a tough job defending the position that the 1952-56 shorts shouldn't have been made! I admit I leaned toward your position somewhat, because (1) my enjoyment of Stooge shorts, chronologically, takes its biggest dip at the point where all the recycled Shemp shorts start; and (2) I think it's unfair to Besser to say that the Stooges completely stopped being funny when he joined. Personally I'm glad we have at least the best few Besser shorts, but I frankly wouldn't have missed most of the Curly Joe-era stuff had it never existed.
"Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #65 on: February 09, 2009, 11:30:43 AM »
I think it's unfair to Besser to say that the Stooges completely stopped being funny when he joined. Personally I'm glad we have at least the best few Besser shorts, but I frankly wouldn't have missed most of the Curly Joe-era stuff had it never existed.

Since the debate is over, I can be completely honest here. ;D
After Shemp's death, I do feel that the stooges weren't as funny anymore. However, some of their stuff after 1956 were interesting and I'm glad the stooges did continue after that year. It gave them a chance to complete more shorts and actually star in some feature films. Some of their films like "Have Rocket, Will Travel" and "The Outlaws Is Coming" weren't all that bad and I had fun watching them the first time. The only DeRita film that I can't stand for some reason is "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules." While the DeRita flicks are not the kind of films that I like to watch over and over, they're interesting to watch on occasions. And going back to the last debate, I like DeRita better than Besser.

Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #66 on: February 09, 2009, 11:44:51 AM »
...going back to the last debate, I like DeRita better than Besser.
Well, yeah, I can tell.

I haven't seen all the DeRita features but I actually liked "Hercules" pretty well. I always thought the real stinker was "Snow White & the 3 Stooges."
"Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

Many would rather believe a lie because truth demands a response.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #67 on: February 09, 2009, 12:54:37 PM »
HERCULES has always been my favorite of the bunch, by far.  Not that it's great, but I can easily watch it, though childhood memories may have something to do with that.  I tried watching IN ORBIT during the first debate and found it impossible to watch more than half.

Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #68 on: February 09, 2009, 01:07:01 PM »
I can barely get through the majority of the Derita features, they are just so watered down and in some cases rather painful to watch. With that said, Hercules is the pick of the litter. I'd rather watch the Stooges at their best though, and that is with Larry and two brothers Howard.
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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #69 on: February 09, 2009, 01:47:43 PM »
Yeah, most people prefer the Hercules movie over the other DeRita films, but for some reason, I feel the opposite. Out of all the DeRita films, Hercules had the best plot, so that's probably why most people liked it. But with me, it had the least amount of laughs in it, which is why I don't care for it that much. My favorite is "Have Rocket, Will Travel" because it has the most slapstick in it and it did have a few funny moments. It's a shame that movie didn't make its way to DVD.

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #70 on: February 09, 2009, 03:45:45 PM »
Being the self-proclaimed authority of things Derita (credentials: losing to metaldams in Debate1), my VERY favorite Derita clip is the one shown at the beginning of "Kooks Tour". They removed the color for most of the sequence, and showed the best of the boys with Derita snippets, especially slapstick. The "old black and white" feel made it appear that Curly-Joe was with Moe and Larry for a loooonnnnggg time. Perhaps I'll record it and post it here for all to see.
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Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #71 on: February 09, 2009, 04:02:41 PM »
I would appreciate that posting, my friend...Also, I must say I love your handle / name on this board.  When one of my sons doesn't properly return one of our DVDs, the first thing they hear from me is, "Giff me dat fillum, or I KEEL YOU!"  :D

Also, i'd love to judge the next debate, if at all posible.  I truly enjoyed it.....

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #72 on: February 09, 2009, 05:49:15 PM »
My favorite is "Have Rocket, Will Travel" because it has the most slapstick in it and it did have a few funny moments. It's a shame that movie didn't make its way to DVD.

The best thing about HAVE ROCKET, WILL TRAVEL is the dialogue in the love scene.  It's been years since I've seen it, so I'll have to dig out my copy, but I remember the dialogue being so awful it was great.  Give me a little bit and I'll get to the dialogue.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #73 on: February 09, 2009, 06:10:12 PM »
Man: I can take you to your planets and your stars.....

Woman:  Oh, don't talk like that, please.

Man:  You're a woman of science, why whould you object when love uses the language of science?

Woman:  But I'm not interested in love!

Man:  We'll experiment, research.  When two bodies meet in space they attract each other...

Woman:  Let me go, please.

Man:  Do they think of jobs or projects or theories?  No they collide.

(They kiss)

Man:  That's like being in another universe, isn't it?

(They kiss again)


Makes a nice segue into the third Master Debates, eh?

Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2009, 07:25:07 AM »
II must say I love your handle / name on this board.  When one of my sons doesn't properly return one of our DVDs, the first thing they hear from me is, "Giff me dat fillum, or I KEEL YOU!"
I always thought that handle was interesting but I never knew what it meant. What "fill-em" is that quote from anyway? (My off-the-top guess would be Dunked In The Deep.)
"Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

Many would rather believe a lie because truth demands a response.