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1
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.
2
Okay, so I'm not the only one that has this problem. I watched it a few times. The Gold Raiders movie will no longer play on my DVD. I feel like I wasted money.
Perhaps a separate topic should be started just for the subject of the apparently widespread defectiveness of the MEET THE BARON/GOLD RAIDERS Warner Comedy Teams DVD?
3
Okay, so I'm not the only one that has this problem. I watched it a few times. The Gold Raiders movie will no longer play on my DVD. I feel like I wasted money.
4
My copy of GOLD RAIDERS actually did work the first time I watched it, but wouldn't work after that, even though I was using the same DVD player. Eventually, I ended up buying it on iTunes, so I can access it whenever I want now.
I recently read a post on a different forum about somebody having bought that DVD new and GOLD RAIDERS wouldn't play at all on that one, either!  That MEET THE BARON/GOLD RAIDERS Warner DVD sure is a problematic one, isn't it?  It rather sucks to have to double dip on a title due to a common defect, which this appears to be.

It may not do any good, but I'm seriously considering contacting Warner about this matter, especially as I have no other recourse for getting a replacement DVD, since the Amazon Marketplace vendor I purchased this DVD from apparently no longer exists.  The way I see this, it couldn't hurt!

CHEERS!  [3stooges]
5
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.
6
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.
7
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?
8
Yes, how fortunate we are to have all 190 Three Stooges Columbia shorts on DVD, plus most of their main features on DVD, and several on Blu-ray (Although their GOLD RAIDERS (1951) comedy western feature doesn't seem to play on many of the Warner issued Comedy Team DVDs, including mine! [cry]), and they don't take up much more space than a handful of VHS Tapes!

Yes, We Have Plenty Of Bonanzas! ;)
CHEERS! [3stooges]

My copy of GOLD RAIDERS actually did work the first time I watched it, but wouldn't work after that, even though I was using the same DVD player. Eventually, I ended up buying it on iTunes, so I can access it whenever I want now.
9
The "missing 60" refers to 60 Stooge shorts dropped from the syndicated TV package in the late 1990s. They came up with a formatted half-hour show, including bumpers with trivia, and the "magic TV syndication number" of 130 half-hour "episodes."

Later, AMC picked up the same 130 shorts but they were able to get clean copies of the complete shorts without all the other silliness. One time they slipped and ran a short that wasn't in the package (illegally, I guess). Me-TV in Chicago later was able to get all 190. I don't know the status of the shorts on TV nowadays, whether all 190 are generally shown or not, but since they are all on DVD, it doesn't really matter.
Yes, how fortunate we are to have all 190 Three Stooges Columbia shorts on DVD, plus most of their main features on DVD, and several on Blu-ray (Although their GOLD RAIDERS (1951) comedy western feature doesn't seem to play on many of the Warner issued Comedy Team DVDs, including mine! [cry]), and they don't take up much more space than a handful of VHS Tapes!

Yes, We Have Plenty Of Bonanzas! ;)
CHEERS! [3stooges]
10
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."



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