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Author Topic: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)  (Read 4504 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
« on: September 01, 2016, 06:58:52 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/174
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050520/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6l50e_6FWbQ

    Watch HOOFS AND GOOFS in the link above

          The Joe Besser era has finally cast itself upon us! Finally!  While this short itself, well, sucks, it is also hands down the most interesting short we have discussed in a while.  A new Stooge, new footage, new script, it's all.....new.

          OK, so what do we learn this week?  I don't know about you, but my lesson is this - established solo comedians with unique personas do not belong as third Stooges.  Yes, Curly and Shemp had unique personas too, but their unique personas were developed while working with Moe and Larry.  Besser?  He already had his act down pat, and he wasn't about to change to be a third Stooge.  He had solo Columbia shorts, he was Stinky, he had other roles and he created a memorable persona doing so.  This persona had a child like quality, and when literally being a child, like when he was Stinky, and annoying another man child in Lou Costello, the results are brilliant.  Stinky was a petulant semi-bully child who would cry to the adult (Bud Abbott) to get his way. A third Stooge should be childish, but also needs to be bullied by Moe, and that's what Besser refuses to do.  Moe needs a third Stooge to bully, to mangle, and without one, he is neutered. 

          Take the part in the bathroom where Besser gives Moe a tap and the "not so hard" routine.  A nice start, but that scene cried out for a Moe retaliation.  Sadly, the joke ends there.  Curly and Shemp would have had some brilliant drawn out reactions with Moe (think the pencil scene in MOVIE MANIACS as an example). Long drawn out Stooging is what we yearn for, and instead Besser is a solo act.

          Solo act, this film has a few of them.  Besser at the beginning especially is completely separate from Moe and Larry, Benny Rubin is his own schtick, with a hapless Moe at times acting as a straight man, and the horse is its own character.  The other characters, and the saving grace, are the few brief reactions of Moe and Larry interacting, giving us a small taste of Stooging from years gone by.

          HOOFS AND GOOFS is one of the weaker Besser entries, things mostly get better from here on out...I said mostly.  As obvious as it was the writers had no clue what to do with Joe as a third Stooge, at least this is interesting.  These next 16 weeks should be one heck of a ride.

    3/10




    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 07:15:22 PM »
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  • Kids, let this be a lesson to you to not write short subject scripts while under the influence of drugs, including the following: cocaine, heroin, LSD, or meth.

    I need a breather before I finish my review.

    Finishing... let's first mention the co-stars... Benny Rubin is at his best since TRICKY DICKS, and his "good night" after drinking the ether-laced milk is classic.  Harriette Tarler is also at her best, which means she still is giving a 0/10 performance, to be G-rated about it; she hadn't looks or talent.

    The Besser era is so horribly frustrating because Besser wouldn't take any hits.  I can get with the gentlemanly haircuts and lousy plots (there were enough Curly and Shemp bombs, too), but to not have the very things that made the Stooges great- eyepokes, sledgehammers to brains, and headbonks- is a travesty.

    We have horse epic number 1 here, and just think some aerogel-sniffing dipstick thought this was so awesome and hilarious that he wrote a sequel to it!  Lord have mercy on us all, what a looneybird!  I didn't know that people with subzero IQs existed.

    Ugh!  This makes me want to throw something!  It is neither Besser nor Stooges; it's... UGH!

    This short can... BURN IN HELLTM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2/10 [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 07:24:38 PM »
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  • Well, I've been begging for a Besser short the last few weeks--what's that old saying, be careful what you wish for. I remember back in the olden days of this board, the many various debates we posters had about Joe Besser. I've said this before--as a solo act, I found Besser enjoyable in a lot of his roles, and I've think we've all mentioned "Stinky" from the Abbott and Costello tv show.

    As a 3rd stooge--I have to say--his reticence to be on the end of much physical abuse does hamper the act. As Metal mentioned already, that bathroom scene where Joe bops Moe on the head & Moe does nothing but just stand there looking dopey, aarrgh.

    And to say the plot of this short is stupid would probably be an insult to the word stupid. Granted, many Three Stooges shorts had weird plots, but this takes the cake.

    If there's anything worth bumping this short up from a 1 rating, it's definitely Benny Rubin as the old German landlord. I've always enjoyed Benny in his various stooge parts & this may be the best. If there are any laughs to be had, Mr. Dinkelspiel provides most--if not all of them.

    3 out 10 pokes....
    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: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 08:36:00 PM »
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  • I seem to remember that near the end of his stint as a Stooge, Joe Besser was taking hits and pokes from Moe like a pro.

    Granted, it's been YEARS since I've subjected myself to any Joe shorts, but I thought in the flying saucer short, Moe gives him a smack and poke-fest.  Or is my memory cheating??

    For duty and humanity,
    JohnH aka QuinceHead

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 08:45:07 PM »
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  • I seem to remember that near the end of his stint as a Stooge, Joe Besser was taking hits and pokes from Moe like a pro.

    Granted, it's been YEARS since I've subjected myself to any Joe shorts, but I thought in the flying saucer short, Moe gives him a smack and poke-fest.  Or is my memory cheating??

    For duty and humanity,
    JohnH aka QuinceHead

    I think you may be right, but like with you, it's been years.  We'll get there soon enough, but in HOOFS AND GOOFS, definitely no.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 06:46:27 AM »
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  • Joe Besser certainly had a lot working against him as a Stooge – lame, often recycled scripts; low budgets; a production team that just didn’t care anymore; and, of course, having to follow in the footsteps of giants (Curly & Shemp). One could argue that, if these great disadvantages are taken into account, Joe could be considered on balance to be a decent Stooge.

    But HOOFS & GOOFS would not be the short one would use to make that case.

    The sense I get when watching Joe here is that the people in charge didn’t yet know what to do with him as a Stooge. Nor does he seem to quite know what to do as a Stooge himself. His performance here is easily one of the least comedic ever given by a Stooge in a Stooges short, especially a third Stooge. That’s not just to say his performance is unfunny; watching his part closely, I realize that it’s not even written as a very comedic one. Most of the few jokes he has aren’t pulled off especially well – not even the very Joe-ish “Don’t call me names!”

    Of course, the short is written less as a slapstick comedy than as a “cute” story – and a rather lame one; we’re almost in Curly-Joe era kiddie-Stooges territory here. Only the landlord gets to be consistently humorous. What little comedy remains is mostly provided by Moe and Larry (conspicuously playing more like a duo than like members of a trio). But even the mostly unfunny horse gets to provide more humor than Joe does (“Burp!” “I feel awwwwwwful!”).

    As with HEAVENLY DAZE, parts of the plot arguably only make sense as weird dream logic – particularly where Moe spontaneously leads Joe on a presumed wild goose chase, only to actually encounter the reincarnated Birdie at the exact time and place he pulled out of the air.

    There’s not a lot of slapstick in the short as a whole, and of course Joe doesn’t get much – just water dumped on him by Moe, and a bowl of food dumped on him by (human) Birdie. He also gets bitten on the arm by the horse, gets his face very briefly dunked in water, and hurts his hand hitting Moe (serves him right!).

    However one feels about the Besser era in general, there can be no question that things got better after this. Joe would eventually even take more abuse.

    PS: What is the author’s name on the cover of the book Joe reads?
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Percy Pomeroy

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 07:11:13 AM »
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  • My only recollection of this short was that Moe pushes an old guy down a flight of stairs, which would be extreme sadism even for the Stooges. However, I see now that Moe merely leads the blinded Dinklespiel out the door and Dinklespiel tumbles down without Moe laying a hand on him. Moe, experiencing out of character guilt afterwards, asks Dinklespiel if he is okay and gets a puzzlingly upbeat response from the veteran comedic actor.

    I chuckled when the boys weighed down Bertie's tail. I know that this is a recycled gag but I never tire of seeing it. It's classic Stooges. What appears to be a good idea gone very wrong. I love the sound effect when the brick strikes the boy's craniums.

    I smiled when Bertie calls Moe and Larry horse thieves when they are unhitching her from the wagon.

    Bertie has a sexy voice. Too sexy to be a sister to the looks challenged Stooges.  Wikipedia says that the voice is Harriette Tarler's, who also played the landlord's daughter.

    Joe Palma makes an appearance at the very end for Moe when Moe comes out in drag as Bertie. You can clearly see his face and he looks nothing like Moe.  I guess the studio was loyal to the guy or more likely, since he was probably already under contract, used him to save money.

    2/10. One point each for Dinklespiel's tumble and bricks to the head.

    Offline BeatleShemp

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #7 on: September 02, 2016, 01:32:31 PM »
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  • I always wondered how this short would have worked with Curly or Shemp in it. Joe is not a great fit for third Stooge, but I don't think the story is all that funny either. I think Moe and Larry had to shift their personas around for Joe, but what I enjoy the most of these Besser outings nonetheless, is that we get great Moe/Larry interaction. I think of the Besser shorts as like a roller coaster. This one is down at the bottom, the next short is midway up, and the third is at the peak before it goes downhill again.  There was some funny moments in this, and it's funny that Joe is a pro enough to at least have that casserole dumped on his head at the end. I give it a 4 out of 10.

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 10:47:32 AM »
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  • "Hoofs" for the horse, "Goofs" for the writers.  I guess I'm in the majority here as saying that the only good thing about this short is Benny Rubin's Mr. Dinkelspiel.  The end was pretty funny when Bertie dumped the salad on Joe, who said, "Aw, Bertie, no salt!"

    I didn't know that people with subzero IQs existed.

    There are people like that -- at least 538 of them in Washington, D.C., and over 200 in Harrisburg, and about 20 at Broad and Market Streets in Philadelphia, etc.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 11:34:02 AM »
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  • about 20 at Broad and Market Streets in Philadelphia, etc.

    I struggled to determine that this is city hall.  Don't forget the ones at 1 Citizens Bank Way.
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    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #10 on: September 04, 2016, 10:21:52 AM »
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  • I struggled to determine that this is city hall.  Don't forget the ones at 1 Citizens Bank Way.

    Correct on both counts!  I can't believe I forgot about the nameless, faceless, feckless ownership group and everyone else down to the so called Major Leaguers.  Maybe Bertie/Tony should kick them in the noggin and knock some sense into them.  (We can't include the Minor League group, as those teams are in the playoffs.)

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #11 on: September 04, 2016, 03:23:46 PM »
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  • Correct on both counts!  I can't believe I forgot about the nameless, faceless, feckless ownership group and everyone else down to the so called Major Leaguers.  Maybe Bertie/Tony should kick them in the noggin and knock some sense into them.  (We can't include the Minor League group, as those teams are in the playoffs.)

    It wasn't easy... searching Google Maps for "Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania" drops you in southeastern Maryland...
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    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #12 on: September 04, 2016, 05:23:16 PM »
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  • We have horse epic number 1 here, and just think some aerogel-sniffing dipstick thought this was so awesome and hilarious that he wrote a sequel to it!  Lord have mercy on us all, what a looneybird!  I didn't know that people with subzero IQs existed.
    And to think Felix Adler wrote HORSING AROUND... (Jack White aka Preston Black penned this one)

    Joe Palma makes an appearance at the very end for Moe when Moe comes out in drag as Bertie. You can clearly see his face and he looks nothing like Moe.  I guess the studio was loyal to the guy or more likely, since he was probably already under contract, used him to save money.
    'tis not Palma. He plays the drunk when they lead Birdie into the apartment (who tosses his bottle), but I'm afraid he is not doubling Moe. So... I guess the "curse" is broken?

    -------------

    I'm not too crazy about this one. I'm not necessarily sure Tarler is voicing Birdie here, despite what most sources say, though I can tolerate her voice here more than the whinier-sounding Birdie from HORSING AROUND.

    This is one of those "go-to" shorts that my stepbrother (who has autism) watches a lot. He's really gotten into our boys over the last few years, and I think for Joe shorts, it's this and OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL -- which holds a special place in my own heart for reasons I'll get to when we get there. He watches a lot of Curly (mostly the full shorts that are chopped up in STOP, LOOK AND LAUGH) and some Shemp (recently, he's gotten into the toupee withdrawal scene [and the biting battle beforehand] in THREE DARK HORSES).

    There are some okay moments here, such as "Moe" (or rather, his double) tripping over the chair with the pail of water. I've never been much for Benny Rubin in his Stooge appearances, but he's fine here -- though I can do with his visible spitting into the hanky when he gets the soup splashed in his face.

    I never actually "review" these things since I usually don't have much to say; I just like to throw in my observations and leave it at that, but I thought I'd say a few more words than usual.
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    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #13 on: September 05, 2016, 09:35:58 AM »
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  • I have to take the word of you better-informed viewers that Joe Besser was good in something. I only know him from Stooge shorts like this one that he so foully stank up. Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp may have been frequently immature in their behavior, but it was the immaturity of rowdy boys, not of whiny little sissies.

    The only observation that I have to add about this short is that it is amusing to see that when Tony, the Wonder Horse is in profile, somebody is always standing just forward of the hind legs, to maintain the illusion that "Birdie" is a mare.

    Bertie has a sexy voice. Too sexy to be a sister to the looks challenged Stooges.  Wikipedia says that the voice is Harriette Tarler's, who also played the landlord's daughter.

    I thought she sounded like Christine McIntyre. In any case, not a plausible she-Stooge voice.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #14 on: September 05, 2016, 10:43:19 AM »
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  • I have to take the word of you better-informed viewers that Joe Besser was good in something. I only know him from Stooge shorts like this one that he so foully stank up.

    http://moronika.com/forums/index.php/topic,5736.0.html

    Offline ThumpTheShoes

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #15 on: September 05, 2016, 07:47:01 PM »
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  • I'm not too crazy about this one. I'm not necessarily sure Tarler is voicing Birdie here, despite what most sources say, though I can tolerate her voice here more than the whinier-sounding Birdie from HORSING AROUND.

    I never believed it was Tarler who voiced Birdie in this short, either. Sounds more like Elsie Ames to me. No lisp or flat delivery like in the next horse picture. Tarler just doesn't have that kind of inflection or acting ability in her voice. I'd say she's easy on the eyes, though. Woo-woo-woo! Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!
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    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #16 on: September 05, 2016, 09:12:39 PM »
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  • Sounds more like Elsie Ames to me.

    Note nasally enough to be Elsie, though certainly whiny enough!
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    Offline luke795

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #17 on: September 06, 2016, 10:01:34 AM »
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  • I wonder why they added voices in the intro.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 03:19:37 PM »
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  • Has anyone noticed that the words "hoofs" and "goofs" don't rhyme?  And that the plural of hoof is hooves?

         I've given this some thought, and this push to make the stooges more gentlemanly, with combed hair and bland scripts, may have been a reaction to the ultra-bland TV comedies that were big at the time.  Try watching Father Knows Best or Hazel or especially Ozzie and Harriet.  The jokes are so insipid that it often seems like the laugh track is just sounding at random moments, not connected to any jokes at all, because there are not really any jokes.  And many of the Bessers open with ten-second teasers before the opening credits, which many of the TV shows from that era did as well.  This was the ultra-normal, ultra-conforming '50's, and someone might have thought that a stooges reboot ( that word wouldn't be invented for about forty years, I know ) with more mainstream stooges might be possible.  If so, it sure didn't work.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #19 on: September 14, 2016, 12:06:26 PM »
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  • And many of the Bessers open with ten-second teasers before the opening credits
    Where do you see this?
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #20 on: September 14, 2016, 12:40:35 PM »
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  • I remember it from my childhood, I think.  I haven't watched the Bessers since then.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #21 on: September 14, 2016, 12:57:26 PM »
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  • Maybe it was something done by networks showing the shorts on TV? It's not found in the shorts as we can see them now.
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #22 on: September 14, 2016, 01:16:43 PM »
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  • Could be.  It's been forever since I've seen one.  I do remember one specifically, sort of a "the worm turns" scene where Besser is furious and breaks the fourth wall to say something before attacking someone, maybe Moe and Larry, maybe not.  And it's definitely NOT the bit where Besser faces the camera and silently mouths " I hate him ", referring to Moe.  That's a different short, and was not a teaser as far as I remember.  If it was done by the local station ( the Bessers were never on network TV that I know of ) it seems like a lot of work for not much, and the stations were more inclined to cut stuff, to squeeze in more commercials, than to add footage.

    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #23 on: September 19, 2016, 10:40:33 PM »
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  • Rubin definitely carries this short.  Moe plays it well as a straight man.  I give it a 3.
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    Offline Curly Van Dyke

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    Re: Hoofs and Goofs (1957)
    « Reply #24 on: November 21, 2016, 02:06:48 PM »
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  • Joe really gets it in Flying Saucer Daffy and winds up with Bek Nelson and Diana Darrin.
    RUFF RUFF!!!!!!