Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stop, Look, Laugh & Record!

Q: Are We Not Chimps? A: We Are Stooges

I noticed that Turner Classic Movies was airing a Three Stooges feature this morning and set up my recorder to tape it. Turns out it was Stop! Look! And Laugh!, a 1960 "best of" compilation put together by producer/director Jules White. White edited together some of the funniest clips featuring the original Three Stooges (Moe, Larry and Curly) - including "A Plumbing We Will Go," "Micro-Phonies" and "How High Is Up" - with new non-Stooges material tied together by Paul Winchell and his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. But the best thing about it is the inclusion of The Marquis Chimps (world famous by 1960 from their frequent Ed Sullivan Show appearances) in a reinterpretation of the Cinderella story. Fans of Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution rejoice - it all started with the Marquis Chimps!

Realizing that the only thing funnier than watching three de-evolved human beings beating each other up is watching three upwardly evolved simians monkeying around, I tried Googling "Marquis Chimps", and learned the following:

The Marquis Chimps, who were owned and trained by Gene Detroy, were - like their human counterparts the Stooges - a trio: Charlie, Cindy and Enoch. They starred on the ABC-TV sitcom THE HATHAWAYS (1961-62), which told the story of real estate agent Walter Hathaway (Jack Weston) and his theatrical agent wife Elinore (Peggy Cass), who try to raise the Marquis Chimps as their children, when they're not booking them for show business appearances.

The TV Acres Website adds:
The Marquis Chimps made guest-star appearances on a series of JACK BENNY HOUR specials, as well as THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, and THE KRAFT MUSIC HALL "Comedy Survival Kit" episode No. 102 (February 28, 1968) with Steve Allen, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Louis Nye, Allen and Rossi.

The Marquis Chimps also starred in a popular TV commercial for Red Rose Tea where they played wild musicians who chanted the lyrics "Red Rose Tea" at the end of the ad spot.

TRIVIA NOTE: THE HATHAWAYS opening sequence is animated. First we, see a wooden barrel next to a house - right below a rainspout. Suddenly, one by one, a trio of chimpanzees pop out of the barrel and walk off to the right of the screen. As the third and smallest of the chimps (Cindy) tries to climb out of the barrel, it rocks back and forth and then falls over which affords her an easy exit route. She crawls out dragging a large white sign. With a wooden backyard fence as backdrop, the trio of chimps start to stand on top of each others shoulders. The chimp on top (Cindy) shows her white sign full to the screen. The sign begins to display the name of the show, cast credits and animated versions of the human stars (Peggy Cass, Jack Weston). At the end of the narration, the sign reading, "Featuring the Marquis Chimps" bumps both humans inside the sign which makes them fall down. Their tumble causes the precarious tower of chimps to collapse as well.

Related Links:

Stop! Look! And Laugh! DVD
The Hathways (IMDB)
Marquis Chimps (TV Acres)
The Hathaways (TV Party)


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