Better Late Than Never (or, a TRIPLE dose of If It’s the Last Thing I Do!”)

In this entry of “If It’s the Last Thing I Do!” we have a triple header of goodness:  the last Three Stooges short starring Curly Howard; and the last filmed appearance of Curly Howard, and the last pictorial evidence of a filmed appearance by Curly Howard. (I dare you to diagram that sentence!)

Curly's last short
Curly’s last short
Curly's second-to-last filmed appearance
Curly’s second-to-last filmed appearance

Everyone seems to know about the “Hold That Lion!” cameo, but interestingly enough, Curly had a cameo in a later short, “Malice in the Palace” in which he played a very crabby chef! You don’t really notice it’s Curly until you look at the ears (the Horwitz boys had very similar ears!) He was also taller than Moe and Larry, but about the same height as Shemp.

Curly's last TRUE film appearance (yes, the man holding the cleaver IS Curly!)
Curly’s last TRUE film appearance (yes, the man holding the cleaver IS Curly!)

Unfortunately, aside from the one-sheet and anecdotes from the director and Norman Maurer (Moe’s son-in-law, so Curly’s nephew-in-law?) there’s no other “proof.”  (I’ve also heard that this isn’t Curly, and that it’s some other Columbia day player and/or George Lewis. This doesn’t make sense because Lewis was noticeably taller than all of the Stooges, and he had a very distinctive look.)  None of the footage has ever shown up, which makes me wonder what they did with the deleted scenes in shorts and B-movies–did they just throw it away? Did some enterprising studio employee take it for their own collection? Who knows?

If there’s anyone out there sitting on old Stooge footage, send me an e-mail! I won’t buy it, but I would enjoy hearing the story of how you got it!

 

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