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Author Topic: Idiots De Luxe (1945)  (Read 4463 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Idiots De Luxe (1945)
« on: December 05, 2014, 10:34:41 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/85
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037812/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1



          I want to briefly touch upon something that I'll talk about much more next week, Curly's health and its effect on his performance.  I have heard some people over the years refer to this as the first sick Curly short.  I disagree, saying it begins next short.  Now look, I don't know Curly's health history, the man may have been sick for a few years before this, but it does not extremely effect his performance until the shorts that come after.  I think Curly does a fine job here and like I say in other threads, he may not be WE WANT OUR MUMMY I'll take a couple of lumps of amphetamine in my coffee Curly, but he's still funny.  Next week I plan to go a little detailed into how we get to the Curly of the final dozen shorts, so don't expect one of my I don't have much to say about this short posts next week....or this week. 

          Now, that out of the way, I really like this short.  Like I've also said about a past short or two, it's one of those shorts where I always forget how good it is until I see it.  This is an intelligently written short.  It has a nice little framing device with the courtroom and one of Moe's all time great performances.  Moe as the nervous wreck patient being driven to madness by Larry and Curly is a lot of fun to watch.  I love the hand shakes, the manic facial expressions, and the overall desperation in his voice as he seeks rest and relaxation.  Being driven mad by the sound of a cat walking across the floor, which is obviously not much noise, is hysterical.

          This is also one of those shorts where Larry gets a lot of time, and I always laugh at him the way he admits to Moe he's a coward.  His interactions with Curly during the outdoor scenes are fun, it's great seeing those two work together.  There's also prominent use of a bear in this one, so you know it's a Jules White short.  Love the gag where the bear is eating the food on the plate by the window and Moe thinks Curly and Larry are stealing food from him.  Just enough to rattle poor Moe's nerves some more, even more so than those moving cat paws.  Also, honey and ketchup on bread?  Noodles for breakfast?  I gotta dine with the Stooges, even though some of that stuff ain't Paleo/Primal. Oh, and the ending where judge Vernon Dent (great as usual), lets Moe free and then Moe proceeds to attack Larry and Curly with an ax is one of the more satisfying endings in Stoogedom.  So many of these things end way too suddenly, but not here. The framing device really works.

          Really a great short overall, and a must see for Moe fans.  Again, one of his all-time best Moe-ments.  This short would be made years later with Joe Besser, but lets save that brand of horror for much later, as next week, we get to witness a much more serious horror in the decline of Curly.  Looking forward to discussing it in an academic sense, but emotionally, damn it sucks.

    10/10

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 04:05:00 AM »
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  • IDIOTS DELUXE really does place a lot of the spotlight on Moe.  Larry and Curly are depended upon to supply humor as a duo, while Moe does his humor solo; this concept was recycled later this year in the infamous ROCKIN' IN THE ROCKIES, but with Moe as a straightman, which was disastrous.  I haven't seen this one in a while, but I remember it vividly all this time later.

    Moe takes a lot of a abuse in this one, and he takes it well as his nerves slowly get worse and worse.  He would later show such increasing irritability in TRICKY DICKS.  In fact, if you pay close attention, pretty much every concept of this short gets recycled.
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014, 06:21:38 AM »
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  • The issue of Curly and his health--well, I always thought there was a slight lull in Curly's energy for this one. Not enough to say he was "sick", but enough to think that the big decline was coming & by next week I'm sure we'll be getting into that in much more sad detail.

    But here, I would say Curly is still in top form--although Larry definitely for the first time in a long while gets more to do, as well as Moe--something we will see a lot more of in the coming weeks.

    Idiots was a short I was very high on as a kid and a teen rediscovering the stooges--I'm not quite as high on it now, but it's still a great short. Moe as the nervous wreck with all his shaking & temperamental fits is great to watch--and, of course, the bear is a cute costar & that scene of the bear (or rather a guy in a bear suit) driving the car is one of the all-time great visuals.

    And I would be remiss if I didn't mention "Poor Moe; Oh whoa is Moe...."

    Overall, I rate it an 8 out of 10...


     
    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 10:08:52 AM »
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  • I'm one who has written that this is the first short where you can pick up on changes in Curly, but I also admit it's not very much: it's his voice that's in and out between his old comedy voice and the Sick Curly voice.  Physically, he seems fine and energetic.
         One thing I don't like about this one is that Larry and Curly are bruised, battered and bandaged in court.  This is to me the first in an increasing trend where stooge violence goes from just bouncing off the recipients to where it leaves grotesque injuries.  More lifelike, probably, at least in this one.  Funny? No.
         Though that's my only complaint.  I like this one on the whole.

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 10:14:48 AM »
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  • While I wouldn't put this short in my Top Ten list (even if I could remember those that qualify), it's pretty decent.  There is plenty of material for all three boys, as Vernon Dent is the only other main character (human version).  Definitely Moe is the show-stealer here, and even though he is the villain as it were, it's hard to root against him.  That operation for crushed grape seeds must have strengthened his stomach in order for him to desire noodles for breakfast, eggs sunny-side down (and don't turn him over), plus honey and ketchup on bread because he had no bologna and whipped cream.  And I've always wondered if there have ever been any real "Two-Man Quartets" in the music field.

    Offline hiramhorwitz

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #5 on: December 06, 2014, 04:01:44 PM »
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  •       Really a great short overall, and a must see for Moe fans.  Again, one of his all-time best Moe-ments. 
    I am very fond of this short and remember this as being one of the first shorts I saw on WPIX television in the early 1960s, when I was a young kid.

    In November 1973, I snapped a picture of Moe as he left the Harwan Theatre in Mt. Ephraim, NJ -- and for whatever reason, that picture has always reminded me of Moe saying, "oh, my nerves," from Idiots Deluxe.  Although Moe appeared quite youthful on the Harwan Theatre stage that day, the snapshot captured Moe looking ragged, uncertain, and stiff, much like the character portrayed in ID.  Here's the photo.  Would you agree?

     

    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 08:08:46 PM »
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  • I am very fond of this short and remember this as being one of the first shorts I saw on WPIX television in the early 1960s, when I was a young kid.

    In November 1973, I snapped a picture of Moe as he left the Harwan Theatre in Mt. Ephraim, NJ -- and for whatever reason, that picture has always reminded me of Moe saying, "oh, my nerves," from Idiots Deluxe.  Although Moe appeared quite youthful on the Harwan Theatre stage that day, the snapshot captured Moe looking ragged, uncertain, and stiff, much like the character portrayed in ID.  Here's the photo.  Would you agree?

    Hiram, I agree!  It sounds like Moe was a real trouper onstage.  My guess is that the energy of appearing rejuvenated him, and then your photo caught him in the letdown phase.

    Good photo - - thanks!

     

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 09:40:46 PM »
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  • I have been away from this site and out of the habit of progressing through the Stooge shorts for a while, though by coincidence ("That's a coincidence!") I was recently watching, with selective fast-forwarding, Guns a-Poppin', the late remake or scavenging of this short with the Stooge Who Shall Not Be Named. After that dismal exercise, it restored my spirits somewhat to return to the original.

    To me the distinctive element of this short that does the most to make it worthwhile is the bear. It's a funny thing about bears: they are huge, powerful predators that can disembowel you with one swipe of a paw, but at the same time, viewed from safety, they are extremely cute animals; and, of course, black bears are in general not particularly aggressive toward human beings (though I would not want to have one wander into my cabin while I was in it). I love seeing the bear eat the food and the honey on the windowsill and lumber out of the cabin and, later, out of the crashed car, and I laugh at the fake bear (man in a bear costume) that swats Moe, and later Curly and Larry, on the head ("There's no bear around here!" (WHAP!) "Ow! You're right! There is a bear around here!"), and eventually drives off in the car, signalling a left turn (!), as well as at the stiff dummy bear that gets conked on the head by a rock carelessly thrown by Larry.

    I have never much fancied Moe's portrayal of a man suffering a nervous breakdown; or perhaps I should say that I don't think much of the idea, since I don't know what Moe Howard could have done differently with the premise. The portrayal just doesn't seem credible to me even in comic terms, or perhaps especially in comic terms. I can accept the irritability (e.g., yelling at the cat for "stomping around" as it passes soundlessly across the carpet), but the vulnerability to noise and violence can't be squared with the noisy and violent aggression that is his character's chief mode of dealing with his fellow Stooges. He has to switch off the "nervous breakdown" every time he deals out punishments, and then switch it back on with "Oh, my nerves!" I suppose some will say that that is part of the humor of it, but to me it's not funny.

    Even before I read any of the comments here, I was struck, as I watched the short, by Curly's signs of physical decline. He can't keep up the energy required for his "character" voice and slips into a normal register early in the short when he speaks of "commuting with nature" (I don't know if that malapropism was written into the script or if Jerome Howard just garbled it) and his movements in that scene are stiff and weak. Similar falterings can be observed later too.

    I concur with Metaldams that the framing device of the courtroom scene with Vernon Dent, and the whole "story arc" with the use of the ax, is well done. [Edited to add:] And I agree with Big Chief Apumtagribonitz that the bandages on the heads of Larry and Curly in the final scene do not sort well with the premises of Stooge humor, which require that no amount of physical punishment can inflict actual damage.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 10:02:46 PM »
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  • Doctor!

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #9 on: December 07, 2014, 07:14:54 AM »
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  • Dr. Hugo, welcome back!  You add a lot, so these discussionss, good already, should even better now.  Sweet!  You were missed.

    Big Chief and Dr. Hugo, concerning the idea of Curly and Larry being bandaged up and broken in the courtroom, I'm not bothered by it because you'd have to assume whatever physical damage was done getting them to that state was done off the screen.  I can't recall a gag in the short making Curly and Larry like that instantaneously.  Now this idea is a problem to me in HALF-SHOT SHOOTERS, but the difference there is you blatantly see the arm being broken and see them being made deaf with that awful gag where he sticks their head underwater and fires the gun.  Then they even make jokes of their deafness.  I don't know, I guess the courtroom doesn't pass my threshold of tolerance. 

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #10 on: December 07, 2014, 07:19:00 AM »
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  • In November 1973, I snapped a picture of Moe as he left the Harwan Theatre in Mt. Ephraim, NJ -- and for whatever reason, that picture has always reminded me of Moe saying, "oh, my nerves," from Idiots Deluxe.  Although Moe appeared quite youthful on the Harwan Theatre stage that day, the snapshot captured Moe looking ragged, uncertain, and stiff, much like the character portrayed in ID.  Here's the photo.  Would you agree?

     

    Was this just a random shot you took or did you actually converse with him and remember him being in a bad mood?

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 08:25:11 AM »
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  • Addendum: No piece of music ever gets used just once in the Stooge shorts: the music played by the Two-Man Quartet is the accompaniment to "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," which the Stooges sing in Yes, We Have No Bonanza (1939)--although, as is pointed out in the "Stooge Goofs" section, Curly's trombone slide seems to work in reverse: out for high notes and in for low notes.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 08:41:52 AM »
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  • Hmmm, the debate about what crosses the line from cartoonish violence to cruel violence goes on. Of course, I'm one of those nutty people who loves Half-Shot Shooters, so seeing Curly and Larry bandaged and bruised in the courtroom never bothered me.

    There probably would be no setup for the story if Curly & Larry didn't have some kind of lasting pain inflicted on them & as Metal astutely pointed out, whatever punishment the boys received to inflict such wounds happens offscreen--so it's up to us the viewer to imagine what Moe might have done to the other two (I'll moida you)...

    In any event, it all makes for good discussion & probably won't be as depressing as the discussion that's coming in the next several weeks....



    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline QuinceHead

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #13 on: December 07, 2014, 09:36:27 AM »
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  • Welcome back, Dr. Hugo!  You have been missed -- but my aim is improving...  [pie]

    For duty and humanity,
    JohnH aka QuinceHead

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #14 on: December 07, 2014, 10:08:53 AM »
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  • Thanks, Big Chief, Metaldams, and QuinceHead. By the way, my avatar photo has been removed and the site is not letting me upload a new one or add one by linking. Can anyone tell me why this is?

    A further comment about the bandaged Larry and Curly in the courtroom: I don't regard their appearance as unfunny or disturbing in the way that the sadistic sergeant's treatment of the Stooges in HALF-SHOT SHOOTERS is (I guess I should bow to the convention of writing the titles of Stooge shorts in capital letters--it is easier than entering italics, after all). I just think that it is inconsistent with the prevailing premises of their humor. On the other hand, it occurred to me that it is hardly any less absurd that Larry and Curly should press criminal charges against Moe for his attacks on them: they've been putting up with the abuse for years already; why should they suddenly call in the law now? If they're going to be appearing in court to press a complaint against Moe, then they have to show signs of harm.

    Come to think of it, to preserve the idea that Stooge violence causes no lasting harm, we could plausibly suppose that the bandages are just for show and that there are no actual wounds under them!

    Offline hiramhorwitz

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #15 on: December 07, 2014, 11:04:20 AM »
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  • Was this just a random shot you took or did you actually converse with him and remember him being in a bad mood?

    Sorry for misleading you -- Moe wasn't in a bad mood at all -- he was actually very gracious and warm.  It's just that particular photo that makes him look under the weather and stiff, which is why it reminds me of his role in ID.  (Moe looks perfectly fine in every other photograph of him I took that day).   

    I did get to converse with Moe during the encounter, and had him sign an article I had written for the high school newspaper.  Larry Fine had already signed the article, via USPS.  Funny thing about Moe's signature on the article -- when he first signed his name, he wrote it the way he often signed legal documents -- with a slightly different "M" and the conventional "e" as opposed to the one that looks like a sigma.  Then he realized what he did, uttered the term "uh-oh," and then wrote his normal autograph on top of the "legal" autograph (so that the original signature was obscured).  Then just to confirm that was his correct signature, he signed it a second time directly below, and told me he was sorry that the first signature was "scribbled."

         

    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #16 on: December 07, 2014, 12:00:09 PM »
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  • Did anyone notice that Moe and Larry aren't the only ones to reprise their roles in new footage in Guns A Poppin'? Johnny Kascier also appears as a courtroom spectator in both!

    Also: interesting forum post here:
    Quote
    My uncle was Moe's stunt double. He is the guy in the bear suit driving the car, or when Moe is strapped to a propellor.
    I take it the propeller refers to Dizzy Pilots? Wonder who Carlo's uncle is?
    "With oranges, it's much harder..."

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #17 on: December 07, 2014, 12:23:21 PM »
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  • Also: interesting forum post here

    Some poignant comments over there on the subject of young people (the children of the posters or the friends of their children) who have never seen the Three Stooges, and the ones who have:

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    I raised all my kids on the stooges.
    Sure better than watching Miley Cyrus.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #18 on: December 07, 2014, 12:34:28 PM »
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  • The Stooges being in bandages doesn't bother me because it establishes the plot.  We are expected to believe that Moe went beyond ordinary eye pokes and head bonks, and the rest of the short is the story behind it.

    On that note, welcome back Dr. Hugo!  I have long missed your well-written posts!
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    Offline Larrys#1

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #19 on: December 09, 2014, 04:47:03 PM »
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  • I somewhat disagree that Curly's failing health doesn't show here. His voice and speech seem normal, even better than in BOOBY DUPES, but his energy is certainly lower than it normally is. In fact, I think he shows more energy in THREE LITTLE PIRATES than he does here. And I notice that Larry is given more room to shine here and I wonder if this has something to do with Curly's health. Now that, I don't know and I will refrain from jumping to conclusions there. But one thing I know for sure, his health surely takes one heck of a dive in the next episode which I will talk more next week.

    This is a good episode. Moe is now a nervous wreck rather than the bossy, mean guy that he usually is. He does boss the stooges around, but it's done as a result of his nerves and he pulls it off nicely. It's nice to see Moe do something different for a change. My favorite part would be where Curly and Larry eat at the table and the bear starts to eat the food and Moe accuses them of eating everything and forces them to cook for him. And how do you think Moe likes his eggs? Sunnyside down, but don't turn them over!! To be honest, I tell that to people when they ask me that and they look at me like I got four heads. Those people I tell this to never heard of the stooges, so it's funny seeing the expression on their faces.

    The bear hunting scene was also a funny scene. And I do like the ending very much. The judge makes his verdict and finds Moe not guilty, yet Moe takes the ax and starts running after Larry and Curly. A nice chaotic and funny way to end the short.

    Not their best work, but still a very enjoyable one to watch.

    8.5/10


    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #20 on: December 13, 2014, 06:30:22 PM »
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  • A good short. Funny. Good story. I have no issues with the scratches on Larry and Curly. It advances the plot. It shows why they are in court.

    To me there is no noticeable deterioration on Curlys part. Maybe in a scene or two he's a little stiff or his voice weak.

    I love the coward line, The two-man Quartet, the cat walking on the carpet.

    I give this short an eight.
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    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: Idiots De Luxe (1945)
    « Reply #21 on: November 21, 2017, 02:20:41 AM »
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  • Great episode and the last Stooge short before Curly started suffering a string of minor strokes, Moe is definitely the star of the short and really enjoyed seeing him as a sick man who's nerves are shot, he somewhat reminds me of Shemp in this role, Larry and Curly also do a good job as Moe's moronic but well meaning partners in crime (a formula we'll be seeing more often during the Shemp era), Curly seems to be a little bit of energy in this episode but his performance here is pure gold than many of the upcoming Stooge shorts (especially the upcoming short "If A Body Meets A Body").

    My favorite scenes are the bear driving off in the Stooges car and wrecking it, Moe trying to eyepoke Curly but Curly blocks him with a gun, Curly & Larry being blamed for eating Moe's food when it was the bear eating it and the two man quartet

    This is one episode that seems to be funnier with each viewing.

    Not quite a classic but definitely a great episode, I give "Idiots Deluxe" a 9/10