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)