June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975
Instead of drowning my unemployment anniversary sorrows with Diet Coke (or Diet Mountain Dew), I’ve decided to laugh in the face of continued in-between-engagement-ism (that’s a perfectly cromulent word!) and get started on my annual Hallowe’en B-movie thon a day early.
The first short on the list Three Pests in a Mess (1945), isn’t technically a “scare” short, but there’s a bit where the fellows run around the Ever-Rest Pet Cemetary with a “body” (actually a dummy that Curly “shot”). It’s funny and fast paced and interestingly, is one of the final shorts Curly would film before his stroke later in 1945. It’s amazing to see how much he aged in a matter of months. Funnily enough, the “old age” of 42 seemed ancient for the Stooges, but 42 now? A mere baby! Maybe people just lived harder back then.
The rest of the list includes the usual “spook” themed shorts, as well as the last short filmed–Flying Saucer Daffy (1957). It’s a Besser-era short, which is “Niagara Falls!” for some Stooge fans, but you have to admit, Joe Besser was a talented comic, and he could hold his own with Moe and Larry…even though he didn’t really fit. Sometimes that worked (like this short), sometimes it didn’t (the reincarnation shorts). Then again, after 20+ years, I’m not sure what would’ve worked after the deaths of Curly and Shemp.
Anyhoo, that’s the first half of the Halloween-a-Rama, the second begins tomorrow night!