The release of a DVD anthology of the first 19 Three Stooges episodes is the occasion of some much-deserved critical commentary. The funniest part of the article is the juxtaposition of the expert’s title with the topic that he is expounding:
“I call it their ‘triadic dynamic,’ ” says Jon Solomon, the Robert D. Novak professor of Western civilization and culture at the University of Illinois.”
But the commentary, with its background information, is quite revealing, such as this on the typical plot structure of a Stooge episode:
The basic premise of many a Stooges comedy wasn’t complicated: The three down-on-their-luck schmoes take on some job for which they are completely unqualified, making a complete mess of it. For example, after happening upon some wealthy homeowner with leaky pipes, Moe will declare, “Sure, we can do your plummin’, Toots. We’ll have you fixed up in a jiffy!” Typically, this is followed by more broken pipes, pipes clobbering heads and, of course, a flood.
See, even the Three Stooges are all about the doctrine of vocation!