What's new

The Case of The Missing Stooge Stoge (1 Viewer)

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
Have the Decade's Blondie TV show marathon on in the back room (to anyone interested in the show I recommend the excellent Classicflix' Complete DVD set or ideally, the upcoming BluRay set).
"The Ditherses" were over for dinner; and the boss sits down with an after dinner cigar. Nervous Bumstead offers him a cigar. "What do you think this is I'm smoking, a rope?". Nice burn. And the meaning was changed sufficiently enough by saying, 'a rope', opposed to just 'rope' to avoid an issue.

The Three Stooges however (and/or their writers), weren't afraid to go there. (Or hadn't the need to veil it). However, I can provide little additional info about it than that, having way more questions than answers. Who would ever think to take notes or memorize titles @ a 1980s Midnight Showing? In fact, this has been a forty or near-forty year mystery for me. (A real detective might query, "See this heel? Ran that down!").

Someone obviously knew of the short's (or shorts') existence in order to present them; some curator did know about these scenes and have them available in order to include them. However, no record or references are to be found online. Any information or answers would be greatly appreciated!

It's content I once saw at a Reefer Madness Midnight Show, and have never seen or heard of before or since.
The boys made a quip about "smoking rope". Also later, Curly was seen smoking a gigantic spliff (held with thumb and forefinger). Both caused quite a stir (and positive reaction) with the late night audience! I don't remember which if any other films (aside from RM) or shorts were presented that night, but The Stooges were for sure the highlight.

Compare that with Curly's offhanded "artichoke" remarks, well-known footage I've seen any number of times:
"Maybe he'd like a smarty-Coke, a party-smoke, an okie-doke. This feathered apple!" "Yartichoke." "You too!"
Not sure what any of that means, but apparently vague or ambiguous enough it hasn't caught the modern censors' attention/ire.

Also was not sure of the best forum to post since Stooges not technically a TV show but theatrical shorts. Additionally, I'm not completely sure it even was a Columbia short! Although I recall nothing unusual with the opening, so that would indicate Columbia. If it was, then regarding the DVD sets - why does some content get cut, with other similar content allowed, yet is still called "uncensored"? And why still censored? Three Stooges shorts sets are labeled complete and uncensored. Is that entirely true?

I've always assumed likely pre-1937 when the federal laws changed but I do recall it being a rural setting, like on a farm. That doesn't seem to fit any of their pre-1937 Columbia's. Was it post-1937? Was it possibly clips from a feature film? An entirely censored Columbia short (I know, hardly seems possible)? Some other shorts than Columbia?

And will this case ever be resolved?
The suspenders are killing me.
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
So that was the obvious reason for it's inclusion as part of the program. I do and have always believed it to have been a Columbia short. In my mind's eye, I remember the Columbia opening; like I said, I cannot say with absolute certainty, but am reasonably sure of it. Also that, anything else would have stood way out. Non-Columbia shorts or feature film clip questions posed are mostly rhetorical (but also serve to cover my bases). [Minor, but meant to and did say, "quip or remark" above, but had to discard some changes and I see now that edit was lost]. My initial and only other post on this topic (very brief and on a different forum) was back in 2006. Yes, this has been bugging me for many years.

Thanks everyone for reading!
 
Last edited:

Paul Penna

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
1,230
Real Name
Paul
Sounds to me like you're hearing things where you want to hear them. Slang and jokes about cigars, particularly cheap ones, being like rope go way back. The gag brand name “El Ropo” is a cartoon staple. And rhyming word-play with artichoke - the word itself was almost built for comedy - could be just that. And he calls it a “barbed wire pineapple,” not a “feathered apple,” btw. I can just imagine sky-high midnight movie audiences of yore guffawing like loons over imaginary pot references. I knew people like that back then, and at times I was one of them.
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
Ha, well you caught me - I relied on (past) internet search for artichoke dialog. The whole post was hastily thrown together on three hours sleep nor did I have a chance to edit or polish as normal or as desired. That has little to do with the points you make but I did want to clarify - so I'm glad you posted as I didn't want to keep reposting with no responses - to clarify, that my suppositions about 1937 were erroneous logic from the past; I should've made that clear initially. So the short had to be from the roughly ten year period between 1937 and 1947, as it was not a Shempers. Was it possibly a wartime short?

..Okay Paul, firstly, why then was the short included along with Reefer Madness showing? And tell then, where is the dialog from? Where do they say, "smoking rope"? I don't care if it's a drug reference or not (well, I do but for argument's sake) - you're missing the point. It's an issue of censorship and how the product is presented and represented. And if such a not big deal as you say, why still censored?? It's outrageous. Also please tell of scene with giant hand rolled 'cigar', if you'd like to call it that. I call it a 'stoge' in my thread title here - call it whatever you want. Regardless of any of that, where is the scene from?

And finally, I've been hedging my bets a little too much on this. I am sure it was a Columbia short and am hoping that some serious poster here has some knowledge of it. And can shed some light, providing a title of the Columbia short or shorts in question. Thanks, Jeff
 
Last edited:

Paul Penna

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
1,230
Real Name
Paul
I still can't tell exactly what you're talking about. What was censored, exactly? The word rope? Artichoke? From exactly what film or TV show was it censored? A Three Stooges short? A Blondie episode? And exactly where was it censored? From a film print shown in a theater? On a DVD? In a TV broadcast? Or do you mean an entire film was eliminated from something or other? You don't make any of this clear at all.

And are you really saying that something that happened to be shown in a midnight movie program in the 1980s is supposed to be proof of anything?
 

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
You don't make any of this clear at all.
Correct. It's not clear to me either. That's why I'm asking where were the clips from? That's all I seek here. I'm not trying to prove anything. I believe it was a Columbia short or possibly more than one. Yes, shown in a theater. If it's somehow not that and the answer makes me look like a stooge - then so be it, I don't even care - after x years, is it too much to ask, the source of the footage I saw?

Okay, I saw the Blondie episode and it had a similar reference so I supposed they changed it slightly, to not say exactly that.
Initially I ended the paragraph by saying, "Coincidence, I'm sure", or something to that effect. I thought that sounded too snarky, sardonic, or some such, so I took it out. But yeah, it could have been coincidence. I just thought the Blondie dialogue was a nice and current event (sort of) way to intro. Sorry if that was confusing.

Where was it censored?
It's a Columbia short. I did try to make the "where" clear toward the end of my first post.

Or do you mean an entire film was eliminated from something or other?
I just posed that rhetorically, if you like.

What was censored, exactly? The word ...Artichoke?
: D

So I take it you're not familiar with either scene I'm asking about, and which this thread is about?
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
I still can't tell exactly what you're talking about. What was censored, exactly? The word rope? Artichoke? From exactly what film or TV show was it censored? A Three Stooges short? A Blondie episode? And exactly where was it censored? From a film print shown in a theater? On a DVD? In a TV broadcast? Or do you mean an entire film was eliminated from something or other? You don't make any of this clear at all.

And are you really saying that something that happened to be shown in a midnight movie program in the 1980s is supposed to be proof of anything?
I'm looking 4 answers & u give me @ dozen more questions. overload... xD
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
Sorry if my post was that confusing. Maybe should've worked more on it offline first.
Here's my 2006 post I think may be stated simply enough:

Re: Stooges
Posted: Jul 24, 2006 3:01 PM

Hi,
Anybody have any information on uncensored Three Stooges shorts featured
at theaters' Midnight Shows during the 1980's?

It's the only time I've seen some of these scenes and
don't even know what episodes they were from originally.
The boys made comments about smoking rope.
Curly was smoking a gigantic spliff.
Have these scenes been lost?
Why were they available during the 80's?

Of course (there's) Curly's offhanded "artichoke" remarks
that apparently never caught the censors' attention.
Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks.
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
I can just imagine sky-high midnight movie audiences of yore guffawing like loons over imaginary pot references.
Your guffawing guffawing comment doesn't stand up to logic since if the references are imaginary, I ask you again, why censored then? And in so stating that 'smoking rope' remark and the artichoke dialogue are both imaginary, you also make my point that both should be treated equal and neither should be censored. So thanks for that at least.
And sounds like you're doing some imagining of your own. That's wild, man. Also, I don't consider myself a loon, just so you know.
 
Last edited:

Paul Penna

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
1,230
Real Name
Paul
OK, thanks for the amplification. And no, I don't think you're a loon, any more than I am (take that any way you wish ;)).

But what it appears to boil down to is that the assumption that censorship was applied to any of these things comes just from the way organizers of some midnight movie programs back in the 1980s publicized their showings, and that what had caused the supposed censorship were certain words and actions that pot-familiar audiences forty years after the fact were prone to assume were drug-related. (Sometimes a giant cigar is just a giant cigar.)
 

Wiseguy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
929
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
Don't know about rope, but in 1941's "I'll Never Heil Again" Curly refers to cigarettes as "coffin nails," something I would more expect from the 1970s or 1980s, not in the 1940s when a larger percentage of people smoked.
 

Paul Penna

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
1,230
Real Name
Paul
Well, I wasn't around back then :D
Me neither, but I guess the way I got familiar with it was mainly from 30s-40s movies on TV. I think from my mother, too, who was a smoker who'd started back when she'd been a modern young woman of the 1920s. Smokers would use “coffin nail” in a cynically joking way. Even when the cancer angle wasn't yet widely known or acknowledged, the idea that the habit wasn't exactly good for your health generally was common even among smokers. “The monkey on your back,” many of them called it.
 

Robbie^Blackmon

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
299
Random relevance, here.

I'd always heard as a kid that cigarettes were jokingly referred to as coffin nails and coffee as embalming fluid.

If taken out of context (or in a stoner frame of mind!), one could mistake Moe and Larry sharing a filterless cigarette in Commotion On The Ocean as passing a joint.

Curly once produced 3 increasingly larger cigars from his coat just to perturb Moe who told him, "No smokin'!"

Curly inadvertently lights a dynamite fuse in a truck full of explosives-- the smell of which leads Moe to ask, "What are you smokin', an inner tube?!"

Larry enjoyed a giant, novelty cigar sitting in the bath.. until it broke his ad-hoc water wings.

I can only imagine what someone might have created by splicing random footage together, grindhouse fashion, for a late-night stone-fest.
 

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
Ugh, more imagining about imagining, but nice list, and very topic-related - thank you. You seem knowledgeable of similar instances and yet are unaware of the large stoge in question. Could that be due to footage not being available anywhere? And it wasn't spliced footage - it was a Columbia 3 Stooges short. I got tired a few posts in of soft-pedaling (which never gets anyone anywhere) on that and tip-toeing around the implication; it's not my fault or decision that Sony continues to censor at least these two clips, (for whatever reason!), then label their DVD sets as complete and uncensored.
However, my topic is, 'What's the title of the short'? Everything else is just ancillary.
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
And rhyming word-play with artichoke - the word itself was almost built for comedy - could be just that. And he calls it a “barbed wire pineapple,” not a “feathered apple,” btw.
Bah - stupid internet search. : ) Thanks for correcting that.
 

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
I still can't tell exactly what you're talking about. What was censored, exactly? The word rope? Artichoke? From exactly what film or TV show was it censored? A Three Stooges short? A Blondie episode? And exactly where was it censored? From a film print shown in a theater? On a DVD? In a TV broadcast? Or do you mean an entire film was eliminated from something or other? You don't make any of this clear at all.

And are you really saying that something that happened to be shown in a midnight movie program in the 1980s is supposed to be proof of anything?
Anywhere the short is shown - on TV or DVD, that is where censored. Unless it's the entire short, then it's censored from everywhere, because it's not shown. (I know, seems beyond remote, yet to me that's more likely than it being a non-Columbia short. Also then, all shorts present would be 'complete & uncensored', right?).
Appreciate your feedback. (You were one more poster than I was actually expecting here). My opening post was too much of a rough draft - you helped me realize it's out of sequence, very dis-jointed. It was a mish-mash of old notes, new ideas, a comical would-be post (shared only privately) written over a year ago - from which I pasted much, stripping out most of the humor - your first post shows how well that all would fly. Just can't do that with controversial topic.
Anyhow, I've learned some things here, that above more editing and a more cohesive layout, about how it could better have been presented.
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
...But what it appears to boil down to is that the assumption that censorship was applied to any of these things comes just from the way organizers of some midnight movie programs back in the 1980s publicized their showings, and that what had caused the supposed censorship were certain words and actions that pot-familiar audiences forty years after the fact were prone to assume were drug-related. (Sometimes a giant cigar is just a giant cigar.)
Well, that's even harder to follow than my initial post.

Sometimes a giant cigar is just a giant cigar.
That's fine, it's a cigar then. That's not what I'm asking and don't care to further debate since somewhat subjective, yet everyone seems hung up on.
Here's a thought. Why not make the footage available then folks can see it and decide on their own and for themselves?
 
Last edited:

farnsbarns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
157
Real Name
Jeff Patten
...I can only imagine what someone might have created by splicing random footage together, grindhouse fashion, for a late-night stone-fest.
It was a Columbia 3 Stooges short. That was much of the novelty of it and the crowd sensation it caused. And was it quite possible the crowd was also excited and delighted by an eyeful of unseen footage they'd been deprived of then (and [edited - jp] now)?
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,028
Messages
5,128,960
Members
144,276
Latest member
acinstallation156
Recent bookmarks
0
Top