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Author Topic: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?  (Read 848 times)

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Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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I personally find most of the Besser era Stooge shorts to be an upgrade and a huge breath of fresh air to most of the later Shemp/fake Shemp era Stooge shorts because it was great seeing most of the Besser era shorts with all new footage and them doing something different, I've always liked the Besser shorts more than most of the later Shemp/fake Shemp era shorts.

Offline Paul Pain

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Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 05:30:49 PM »
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  • Some of the Besser era shorts were indeed an upgrade from previous years... but most of us see them as still below par.
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    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 11:05:25 PM »
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  • I'll gladly take the majority of the Joe Besser shorts over the majority of the mid 1950's Shemp shorts.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 07:22:53 AM »
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  • I certainly liked reviewing the Besser shorts better than the Shemp recycle jobs.  At least there was new material to view and it wasn't the same old thing every week.  As a group, the Besser shorts are only an upgrade in the sense those Shemp recycles exist in a world where the original Shemp shorts exist and therefore serve little purpose.  If those Shemp recycles were original films, they'd blow the Besser era away.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 09:19:32 AM »
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  • I’ll admit that some of the Besser shorts are better than some of the later Shemp recycles (notably OIL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, A MERRY MIX-UP, and QUIZ WHIZZ). However, as bad as many of the recycles can be, usually I just find them more forgettable than anything else. Some of the Besser era shorts can be traumatizing in how bad they are. While I don’t think Besser fit in well with the Stooges, I won’t necessarily blame him for how bad some of these films could be. Remember that these were being written by people who had become accustomed to only writing about 5 minutes of new material, most of which was just recycled routines anyway. While most of the later Shemp originals were still pretty good, I highly doubt even Shemp could have made the horse epics any good.

    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 01:16:22 PM »
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  • I’ll admit that some of the Besser shorts are better than some of the later Shemp recycles (notably OIL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, A MERRY MIX-UP, and QUIZ WHIZZ). However, as bad as many of the recycles can be, usually I just find them more forgettable than anything else. Some of the Besser era shorts can be traumatizing in how bad they are. While I don’t think Besser fit in well with the Stooges, I won’t necessarily blame him for how bad some of these films could be. Remember that these were being written by people who had become accustomed to only writing about 5 minutes of new material, most of which was just recycled routines anyway. While most of the later Shemp originals were still pretty good, I highly doubt even Shemp could have made the horse epics any good.

    I agree the horse episodes with Joe Besser weren't very good, "Hoofs And Goofs" was bad but "Horsing Around" was horrible! I did like the space themed episodes.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 01:13:24 AM »
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  • Some of the Bessers are decent--maybe even one that's genuinely "good." But--aside from that--I think I'll still take a Shemp recycle over a Besser show any day of the week. Some of those Besser discussions were pretty good, though. Interesting might be the best word for it....
    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 CurlyFan1934

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 01:44:42 PM »
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  • I personally find most of the Besser era Stooge shorts to be an upgrade and a huge breath of fresh air to most of the later Shemp/fake Shemp era Stooge shorts because it was great seeing most of the Besser era shorts with all new footage and them doing something different, I've always liked the Besser shorts more than most of the later Shemp/fake Shemp era shorts.
    I think that the even the fake Shemp era Stooge shorts are better than the Joe Besser ones. Even in pop culture, it is widely regarded that the Joe Besser short films were a mistake. I will have to agree with the person who said that the space ones are good because at least those ones were being creative. I kind of have to disagree with you on your point that they were doing different things with the Joe Besser shorts because probably a good half of them were just remakes of Curly and Shemp shorts but not as funny. At least with the Shemp recycles, there was a funny guy in the role of the third Stooge. Joe Besser was a fine comedian, but he was just not one that should have been in the role of the third Stooge.

    Offline stoogerascalfan62

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 01:41:06 PM »
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  • A few Joe shorts I can take in small doses. Others such as "Triple Crossed" I avoid like the plague.

    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 08:40:00 PM »
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  • A few Joe shorts I can take in small doses. Others such as "Triple Crossed" I avoid like the plague.

    I hate "Triple Crossed" with a passion, I've never liked "He Cooked His Goose" all that much either but "Triple Crossed" was a trillion times worse, the only short I can think of that is worse than "Triple Crossed" is "Horsing Around".

    Offline archiezappa

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 07:26:49 PM »
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  • The reason that Joe Besser episodes are better is the fact that they had to film entirely new episodes for the most part. With Shemp, they just kept recycling stuff over and over again. I think if the film "Hold That Lion" was ever lost, we could recreate it from all the episodes that reused that footage.

    Offline Mark The Shark

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 06:04:49 PM »
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  • I’ll admit that some of the Besser shorts are better than some of the later Shemp recycles (notably OIL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, A MERRY MIX-UP, and QUIZ WHIZZ). However, as bad as many of the recycles can be, usually I just find them more forgettable than anything else. Some of the Besser era shorts can be traumatizing in how bad they are. While I don’t think Besser fit in well with the Stooges, I won’t necessarily blame him for how bad some of these films could be. Remember that these were being written by people who had become accustomed to only writing about 5 minutes of new material, most of which was just recycled routines anyway. While most of the later Shemp originals were still pretty good, I highly doubt even Shemp could have made the horse epics any good.

    An interesting thought that had never occurred to me until I read your post: If Shemp had not died in 1955, aside from the likelihood that at least one of the "fake Shemps" might otherwise have been a completely original film...

    Obviously we'll never know, but I wonder if the Stooges would have done more or less the same final 16 shorts, only with Shemp instead of Joe Besser. And how would that have worked? I'm thinking they might not have remade the fairly recent "Corny Casanovas" and "He Cooked His Goose," unless there would have been significantly more newer material in them.

    Joe Besser was Joe Besser. He was no Shemp or Curly. But as "lesser" as the Besser films can be, they have their moments. Larry defying Moe in "Hoofs And Goofs" ("Ask me nice!") is a great moment, as is the crowbar-up-the-nose bit in "Muscle Up."




    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 07:17:48 PM »
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  • But as "lesser" as the Besser films can be, they have their moments.

    I see what you did there. ;D

    If Shemp had lived, I imagine they still would have continued to do mainly remakes from the early 1950's, since that would have saved Columbia the most money. I think the only reason they did originals with Besser at all was because they needed time to find shorts with footage of Larry and Moe by themselves to put in with new footage of them with Besser.

    To clarify my comment on Shemp not being able to make the horse films any good, while I obviously think Shemp was a very talented comedian, unless your name is Alan Young, it's hard to make a talking horse funny, since talking animals are so common in animation that it's already a huge part of the film industry. Adding in the fact that Shemp was more restricted in his comedy by White as well as the fact that the writers were too accustomed to working on the remakes, it would have been hard for Shemp to make some of the worst Besser originals any good, assuming they would have made any of these with him as part of the group.

    Now, the question I've always wondered is this: if Shemp had survived to be part of the comeback...

    1. Would audiences be accepting of him, especially considering how popular Curly was with general audiences, and if they did...
    2. Would Shemp have made the feature films better with some clever ad libs and verbal humor?

    Offline Mark The Shark

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 07:49:02 PM »
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  • I think Shemp certainly would have added to the later features if he was still around to be part of them. But I guess they did all right. Just like with Joe Besser, it isn't really Joe De Rita who makes those later feature films something less than their vintage films. They were older for starters, and they were now making movies more deliberately aimed at children. De Rita's energy level seemed to fit in that context.

    It is interesting that the last short the Stooges actually filmed ("Flying Saucer Daffy") was a completely original film, aside from I think one shot pulled from an earlier short.

    Hard to say how Shemp would have been received by kids at the time. There were some shorts with Shemp in the first TV package, but only a very few. But he would have been long-established in his role as a Stooge, having been there since 1946 as well as having been an original member of the team when they started.

    I wonder if those who love Curly and "hate" Shemp ever think about the fact that (1) he was the original third Stooge, and (2) he was Curly's BROTHER.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 08:13:32 PM »
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  • I think I've chewed over this before, but I can definitely see "Muscle Up" working a lot better if Shemp was there. As for the features, I've come to accept Derita for what he is--a very capable comedian who filled his role well & did the job he was hired for. That, and the obvious fact that Moe and Larry were a lot older and couldn't be as wild as they were in the glory days of the short films.
    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 Paul Pain

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #15 on: December 17, 2017, 05:28:38 AM »
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  • Keep in mind that many Besser shorts, like QUIZ WHIZZ, were clearly written with Besser in mind, using some of Besser's own vaudeville tricks and routines from his solo shorts.  Likewise, certain remakes were only possible because it was Joe, not Shemp.
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    Offline archiezappa

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #16 on: December 18, 2017, 01:35:02 AM »
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  • I always liked "Sweet And Hot." It's probably my favorite Joe Besser episode. However, I feel that the best Joe Besser episode is "A Merry Mix Up." That episode has a lot going for it. The main thing to consider with "A Merry Mix Up" is the fact that this episode would not have worked with Curly or Shemp. The comedy doesn't fit with either of their styles.

    Offline dukieboy

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    Re: Am I the only one who feels this way about the Joe Besser episodes?
    « Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 06:37:25 AM »
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  • Besser was greatly inferior to Shemp regardless.
    Shemp was a great comic actor.

     


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