The Three Stooges
The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team active from 1922 until 1970, best known for their 190 short subject films by Columbia Pictures that have been regularly airing on television since 1958. Their hallmark was physical farce and slapstick. Six Stooges appeared over the act’s run (with only three active at any given time): Moe Howard (Moses Horwitz) and Larry Fine (Larry Feinberg) were mainstays throughout the ensemble’s nearly 50-year run and the pivotal “third stooge” was played by (in order of appearance) Shemp Howard (Samuel Horwitz), Curly Howard (Jerome Horwitz), Shemp Howard again, Joe Besser and “Curly” Joe DeRita.
In this episode, the Stooges are key witnesses at a murder trial. Their friend and colleague, Gail Tempest (Suzanne Kaaren), is a dancer at the Black Bottom cafe where the Stooges are musicians. She is accused of killing Kirk Robin (a play on “Who Killed Cock Robin?”). When the Stooges are called to the witness stand, they are nowhere to be found. The defense attorney (Bud Jamison) goes out into the hall only to find the Stooges playing jacks and tic-tac-toe simultaneously on the floor. After considerable mutual frustration, the court finally swears in Curly, who begins to describe the events that took place on the night of the murder. He offers to show the court exactly what happened. The Stooges and Tempest are part of a musical act; and the Stooges break into their musical routine to prove this, with Larry on violin, Moe on harmonica, and Curly on both spoons and upright bass. Written by Felix Adler. Directed by Preston Black. Original air date: May 30, 1936.