Watch SCHEMING SCHEMERS in the link above
Why by no means a comic masterpiece, SCHEMING SCHEMERS is hands down the best of the Palma efforts and perhaps the most interesting of all the Shemp recycles. Getting the Palma aspect out of the way, he's thankfully barely here. One shot of him covering himself with pipes. No Shemp noises, no lines, no physical comedy, and the world is better off for it. I'm sure even poor Joe Palma may have been relieved.
Another thing SCHEMING SCHEMERS makes me wonder is if Moe and Larry felt burdened by the name The THREE Stooges at this time. Look at The Bowery Boys. They went through so many different numbered combinations it's ridiculous. No number or names on their marquee, so they could morph as they please. With the name The Three Stooges, there had to be three guys. Obviously having Three Stooges worked well in the long run but Moe and Larry work the majority of their scenes without any version of Shemp here, stock footage or otherwise, and do a nice job. Surely, if just billed as The Stooges all these years, Moe and Larry could have continued just the two of them without having to find some other comedian to fit into an already well established formula.
Other than Moe and Larry doing well in the bathroom scenes together, the pie fight is OK, though the cheapness of the new footage contrasts with the old. Kenneth MacDonald has aged as well as Moe compared to the old footage, and that HALF-WITS HOLIDAY pie fight, which gets milked more than any other Stooge footage, gets milked again, no third Stooge present, just like the original. Creepy. Notice the dubbed Emil Sitka line about Symona needing to change her clothes. This is strictly so her sword of Damocles stock footage makes sense with her in a new outfit. Speaking of aging, the 1946 footage of Symona looks much younger than the 1949 footage, no doubt she was getting sick. I was alarmed at the difference. Also, SCHEMING SCHEMERS is the mutt of all Stooge shorts. A PLUMBING WE WILL GO, VAGABOND LOAFERS, HALF-WITS HOLIDAY and new footage is all used, 16 years in the making!
An OK film to watch without knowing any better, but this short ultimately has a few minutes of new laughs with stuff we've mostly seen before, as good as some of it is. One more recycle left, and FINALLY, we get to Besser.