Soitenly
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Quiz Whizz (1958)  (Read 2163 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline metaldams

  • Global Moderator
  • Egghead
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,121
  • Gender: Male
  • Sugar Daddy in waiting
    • View Profile
Quiz Whizz (1958)
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:43:48 PM »
  • Publish
  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/182
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052108/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VwpNpOHyrDE

    Watch QUIZ WHIZZ in the link above

          QUIZ WHIZZ is generally one of the more popular...well, less hated Besser shorts.  I think the main reason is that Joe Besser gets force fed cigars.  I'll comment on that later, but to me, this short is just OK.  I think the problem is that it is so unbelievable the boys have to dress as children.  Unless if I'm missing something, what is the reason?  How is this helping them after they've been gypped?  Why am I over analyzing this?  Anyway, I don't expect grade A character and plot development, but here, it's as if they barely tried.  Just dress the boys up as children, I guess.

           To me, the best stuff is at the beginning, especially with Moe going postal.  Man, is he yelling like crazy, really losing his temper at Joe, even firing a gun at him!  The barbecues having pits part to me contains a Moe interaction with Joe and Larry which to this point is the most traditional Stooge slapstick of the Besser era.  Moe takes turns bonking Joe and Larry, reacts with both, and even does the failed hair pulling routine on a bald Besser the way he did with Curly in the glory days.  Nice to see.

           The supporting cast.. eh.  Look, they're not terrible, but they're not great either.  I'd much rather see Bud Jamison than say, Milton Frome, or Christine McIntyre than Greta Thyssen.  Really, the talent level is not what it used to be.  I think what it boils down to is the old stuff, you had links to silent comedy with cast, good stuff.  Here, it's more linked to Jerry Lewis.  I just simply don't hold Jerry Lewis close to my heart like I do silent comedy.

          As for Besser with cigars, some of you may love it, but to me, a wasted opportunity.  Here, you have the man who gained comic immortality dressing like a child for the Stinky character.  Instead of writing him in as an unconvincing child to the bad guys, how about having him convince the bad guys he's a child by acting more Stinky like?  Like I said, wasted opportunity.

          I can think of worse ways to spend 15 minutes, but this is not exactly a classic.

    6/10

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

    • Bunionhead
    • ******
    • Posts: 2,244
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 07:56:51 PM »
  • Publish
  • Well--as far as the Besser era goes--this is like finding a gold nugget among a pile of turds; especially considering the 4 shorts that preceded it. Naturally, Quiz Whizz doesn't compare to even a good Curly or Shemp--but like I said, for Besser standards, this is pretty good.

    Storywise, if you were to analyze the plot of any stooge short, you would go what the fuck? But--as I've said before--plot generally means nothing in the stooge universe. At any rate, there are some nice stooge exchanges in this one and even Joe is present for a few of them (do barbecues have pits).

    Milton Frome is one of those supporting players I find to be terrible--and he'll even be worse coming up in Pies and Guys--but the rest of the cast I have no problem with.

    A welcome relief from the dreck that came before it....

    6 out of 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 Percy Pomeroy

    • Beetlebrain
    • **
    • Posts: 77
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #2 on: October 28, 2016, 06:45:46 AM »
  • Publish
  • The link above no longer works. I can't find this one anywhere online.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

    • Puddinhead
    • ***
    • Posts: 309
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #3 on: October 28, 2016, 07:11:27 AM »
  • Publish
  • While I was aware of the Stooges by the time I was about 10 (early 1970s), my earliest definite memory of actually seeing Stooges shorts comes from about 1980. I was at a friend's house with a bunch of other friends, and two Stooges shorts played on TV. I didn't watch them closely and ended up only remembering small parts of them.

    In later years, having become interested in Stooges history, I wanted to identify these shorts. I found that the first one would have been either SING A SONG OF SIX PANTS or RIP, SEW AND STITCH. I thought the second one was a Curly short, so I looked for it in that era. To my surprise it turned out to be QUIZ WHIZZ, a Joe short.

    QUIZ WHIZZ kicks off the second half of the Besser era. All the shorts from this point on were released after the Stooges had already been unceremoniously fired from Columbia.

    The second half of the era has as many ups and downs in quality as the first half did. I consider QUIZ to be a definite "up"; this is easily one of the best Bessers. Joe has a part that's suited for him and he does a good job.

    The first half of the short is the best part:
    - Moe describing the "missing" Joe on the phone while looking at him ("5 foot 5 by 5 foot 5! Color of hair? Skin!").
    - "Consolidated Fujiyama California Smog Bags… filled with smog!" (What are those supposed to be, anyway?)
    - "That was sold last week." (Moe bites coffee cup.)
    - "Did he introduce you to Pocahontas?" "Somebody told ya."
    - "Incidentally, do barbecue have pits?"
    - Moe tries to grab the others by their hair, but Joe doesn't have any to grab.

    Many Stooges shorts have first halves with lots of mayhem that brings laughs but doesn't advance the plot. It is to this short's credit that the first half is still funny and has a lot going on, but the story never stops moving along.

    The second half isn't quite as good, although it does hearken back to the crime-related stories of the Shemp era. The ending, with the check "divided" between them (and with "income tax" taken out) is a classic of Stoogian logic. But, as has been pointed out, the whole idea of the Stooges playing "kids" to be adopted is a big, whopping non sequitur; how was that supposed to address the issue of their stolen money?

    In QUIZ Joe gets nearly as much abuse as Larry. He gets double-slapped (with Larry), bonked on the forehead, grabbed by the nose, and kicked in the rear (all by Moe). He also crashes into the blinds (with the others) and gets fed cigars by Mr. Montgomery.

    Ah, yes, the infamous cigar-eating scene. Not to fault Joe's performance on this part, but I personally don't consider it a comedic highlight of the short. Joe does a good job with the facial expressions, etc., but I imagine that one of the others would have done even better; I could picture Larry, especially, going to town with this part. Note, though, how subtly Joe's fondness for cigars is established near the beginning, so that his excitement over finding one later makes sense.

    Miscellaneous thoughts:
    - Why is Larry wearing a "gentleman" hairstyle while Moe isn't?
    - There's one rather strange exchange between Moe and Joe near the beginning: "Why didn’t you tell us you were home?!" "I’m no snitch." Moe shouldn't have to ask since he saw Joe come in, and Joe's response doesn't really make sense either.
    - Joe’s "root-doot-doo" as the boys skip into the room is an improvement over his similar vocalizing in MUSCLE.
    - I find it interesting that it’s "childish" Joe whose very adult vice (cigars) threatens to blow the Stooges' (nonexistent) cover.
    - It doesn't make sense for Greta Thyssen to say "Oh, that's a kids' game" when she's pretending she thinks the boys are kids.
    - Greta's squeals after getting the cake in the face don't match her movements, and go on too long.
    - I think this is the first Stooges short where Joe's last name is said and/or shown.
    "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 Paul Pain

    • Moronika's resident meteorologist
    • Moderator
    • Knothead
    • ******
    • Posts: 1,191
    • Gender: Male
    • The heartthrob of millions!
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #4 on: October 28, 2016, 07:32:17 AM »
  • Publish
  • Bizarre short.  Great first half.  Putrid second half.  Shorts like this make me hate Milton Frome and Gene Roth, who are over and above horrible in this  Harold Brauer gets his token Besser short that made he and Sitka appear with all four sets of Stooges.  Greta Thyssen sucks in every role she gets.  As far as Stooge villains are concerned, these are the most sinister and are, to be frank, creepy.

    The tobacco routine is WAY better in CAUGHT ON THE BOUNCE.  This is an old Besser vaudeville routine, much like like the drill routine was his (and you'll see ways his is better and worse than the Stooges' later).  This version was just sadistic and cruel and unfunny, so much so I literally throw up at the thought of it.

    The first half had the makings of an all-time classic... and then toilet disasters.  The best part of the 2nd half was Greta getting some abuse.

    Lots of wasted opportunities here.  I wish they could have set Gene Roth on fire in a short; he deserved it.  I'm starting to have high amounts of iron in my blood from the supporting casts in these.

    5/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline metaldams

    • Global Moderator
    • Egghead
    • ******
    • Posts: 6,121
    • Gender: Male
    • Sugar Daddy in waiting
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #5 on: October 28, 2016, 12:42:45 PM »
  • Publish


  • Greta Thyssen, I believe was a former Miss Denmark.  I don't think she landed acting gigs through stage training.  What was it with the 50's and the huge boob/tiny waist look?  Vampira was like that too.

    Offline Percy Pomeroy

    • Beetlebrain
    • **
    • Posts: 77
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 09:35:58 PM »
  • Publish

  •       As for Besser with cigars, some of you may love it, but to me, a wasted opportunity.  Here, you have the man who gained comic immortality dressing like a child for the Stinky character.  Instead of writing him in as an unconvincing child to the bad guys, how about having him convince the bad guys he's a child by acting more Stinky like?  Like I said, wasted opportunity.

         

    Even better, go a totally different way and have the Stinky character foisted upon Moe and Larry and have them interacting with the oversized brat. All sorts of comedic possibilities. He may be a long lost relative that they have to adopt in order to claim an inheritance. There has been at least one other short where the Stooges played characters with no prior knowledge of each other.

    Offline Percy Pomeroy

    • Beetlebrain
    • **
    • Posts: 77
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 09:57:53 PM »
  • Publish
  • Bizarre short.  Great first half.  Putrid second half.  Shorts like this make me hate Milton Frome and Gene Roth, who are over and above horrible in this  Harold Brauer gets his token Besser short that made he and Sitka appear with all four sets of Stooges.  Greta Thyssen sucks in every role she gets.  As far as Stooge villains are concerned, these are the most sinister and are, to be frank, creepy.

    The tobacco routine is WAY better in CAUGHT ON THE BOUNCE.  This is an old Besser vaudeville routine, much like like the drill routine was his (and you'll see ways his is better and worse than the Stooges' later).  This version was just sadistic and cruel and unfunny, so much so I literally throw up at the thought of it.

    I hate the cigar eating gag too for the same reasons. That this gag was in Besser's vaudeville repertoire might be revealing about the quality of his act. I remember watching this one as a kid and thinking that the dude stuffing that cigar down Joe's mouth was a real cruel bastard.

    Offline Paul Pain

    • Moronika's resident meteorologist
    • Moderator
    • Knothead
    • ******
    • Posts: 1,191
    • Gender: Male
    • The heartthrob of millions!
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #8 on: October 29, 2016, 04:41:14 AM »
  • Publish
  • I hate the cigar eating gag too for the same reasons. That this gag was in Besser's vaudeville repertoire might be revealing about the quality of his act. I remember watching this one as a kid and thinking that the dude stuffing that cigar down Joe's mouth was a real cruel bastard.

    I think this is, as another poster once said a few weeks ago, a case of Jules White being a savage.  CAUGHT ON THE BOUNCE does the tobacco stuff to perfection, but that was 1952...
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

    • Bunionhead
    • ******
    • Posts: 2,244
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #9 on: October 29, 2016, 06:55:36 AM »
  • Publish
  • So, I guess we have differing opinions about the cigars gag--there are those who like seeing Joe get tortured and those who think it crossed the good lines of sadism (if that makes any sense). Count me as one of the former...

     :D
    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 Lefty

    • Birdbrain
    • ****
    • Posts: 708
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #10 on: October 29, 2016, 10:43:06 AM »
  • Publish
  • I don't know why the title is "Quiz Whizz" instead of "Quiz Whiz," unless that was already a copyrighted phrase.  That said, it's all right for a Joe show, other than the cigar bit.  He should have worn a green wig to go with his white face so he could call himself the "Joe-Kerr."   :o 

    Anyway, I cannot cast asparagus on Milton Frome, because he was a native of Philadelphia.  Yesterday he was on Telexitos, the Spanish channel that airs Batman weekdays at 2:00 p.m. -- dubbed and closed-captioned in Spanish, with the "Shame" episodes from Season 2, as "Laughing Leo" the used-car salesman.

    "Consolidated Fujiyama California Smog Bags … filled with smog!"  I don't know what they are supposed to be either, but when one opens a bag, does the smog leave it?
     

    Offline Paul Pain

    • Moronika's resident meteorologist
    • Moderator
    • Knothead
    • ******
    • Posts: 1,191
    • Gender: Male
    • The heartthrob of millions!
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #11 on: October 30, 2016, 06:34:20 PM »
  • Publish
  • I find it interesting that the Besser haters are the ones who like the cigar-eating stuff.  Sadistic much? ;) [pie]
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

    • Numbskull
    • ****
    • Posts: 780
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #12 on: October 31, 2016, 09:10:15 PM »
  • Publish
  • Yeah, the cigar-eating is as funny as the dry-heaves, which it inspires,  and Metal's idea of having Besser go full-Stinky is a great idea, there's something you can write a great short around,  not that it seems to have occurred to anybody back then, where were you in 1957, Metal ?
         Gene Roth and Milton Frome were not comedians, they were utility actors who came in and read the lines and did the bits assigned to them, with no knowledge of how to actually make people laugh.  Vernon Dent, Bud Jamison, Dick Curtis, Emil, THOSE guys were film comedians, they knew how to get laughs in the movies.  Why Emil was not hired for any possible role ( i.e. masculine ) in this era is beyond me, we all know that he would had added something, anything, positive to any and all of these, now through the Curly-Joe era  ( he was really good in Orbit, as I'm sure we will discuss ).

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

    • Birdbrain
    • ****
    • Posts: 525
    • Gender: Male
    • "Pleese! You zit!"
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 03:29:02 AM »
  • Publish
  • A moment that seems to me particularly notable in this short is Greta Thyssen's amazing human-statue act when she is holding a hand of cards while Gene Roth talks on the telephone. The moment when she finally moves her eyes is almost as disconcerting as when the mummy played by Ted Lorch comes to life in We Want Our Mummy. By "amazing" I mean not that it is amazing that she is able to maintain such stone-like immobility but that it is amazing the short would be made with her doing such a weird and unmotivated thing. Are we supposed to think initially that she is a beautiful dummy rather than a human being?

    Offline Kopfy2013

    • Puddinhead
    • ***
    • Posts: 308
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #14 on: November 14, 2016, 11:13:26 PM »
  • Publish
  • So Greta is still alive?

    The cigar eating goes on too long. That is my problem with it.

    There is more interplay as was mentioned...  terrible acting by the crooks at the end.

    I give it a 3.
    Niagara Falls

    Offline Curly Van Dyke

    • Grapehead
    • *
    • Posts: 40
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #15 on: November 18, 2016, 01:07:38 PM »
  • Publish
  • One of the better Besser episodes. I like the opening missing person report. Joe takes a bit more
    punishment here and isn't as whiny as usually.
    Roth and Prince and Broad are pretty lame villains but I never get tired of ogling the lovely Greta.
    I'm not a Besser fan,like him better with Jim Hawthorne,but this one is good for a few chuckles.

    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

    • Bonehead
    • **
    • Posts: 123
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #16 on: November 17, 2017, 09:52:52 PM »
  • Publish
  • The best Joe Besser stooge short IMO, for some reason this short has more of a 1950's Shemp feel to it than your typical Joe Besser short, plus this short has a plot that involves crooks which is something you rarely got to see during the Joe Besser era, plus Besser takes a decent amount of punishment in this one, for those who don't like Joe Besser all that much should check out this short, I consider this short to be on par with the average Curly/Shemp stooge short, I agree with many that Milton Frome's performance was weak although he would be horrible in "Pies And Guys", that was the only downside to this short.

    Overall I give this short an 8 out of 10

    Offline Tony Bensley

    • Puddinhead
    • ***
    • Posts: 315
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 02:19:56 PM »
  • Publish
  • For me, QUIZ WHIZZ was just OK.  The main bit that didn't work in my opinion, was with Joe getting sick eating the Cigar.  Mostly, I found it just dragged on too long without any payoff.

    Apart from that, the supporting players were basically there, and not much more.  The recently passed on Greta Thyssen was no Christine McIntyre in this short, and she wasn't helped by her voice being looped with no lip movement after the cake was shoved in her face.  Ms. Thyssen was eye candy, to be sure!

    That said, Joe, Larry and Moe seemed to interact well in this short, and Joe does get knocked around like the other two.  I was also able to accept their being dressed as babies in the context of this story, though I generally agree that men in their 50s/60s dressed like babies is usually just plain weird.  For me, it just seemed to work in this instance, despite the previously mentioned inconsistencies.

    QUIZ WHIZZ doesn't quite hit the jackpot, but I give it 6 out of 10, or 9 out of 15 grand, which I'll pay with Consolidated Fujiyama California Smog Bags stock options!  ;D

    CHEERS!  [3stooges]

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

    • Numbskull
    • ****
    • Posts: 780
      • View Profile
    Re: Quiz Whizz (1958)
    « Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 06:27:20 PM »
  • Publish
  • Joe eating the cigar ever so slowly and ever so nauseatingly was no slower nor no more nauseating than the rest of this bomb.