Cast & Crew
When Jerry Mahoney, "son" of ventriloquist Paul Winchell, balks at going to school because he is unprepared for a history test, Paul recites a brief history of the world: As civilization develops, chimpanzees evolve into man. The ingenuity of man is illustrated when riveters Moe, Larry and Curly plummet off a building on which they are working and are saved by a opening a parachute they have wisely donned. After sending Jerry off to school, Paul has to contend with Jerry's pal, Knucklehead Smiff, who lives with them. Knucklehead is also reluctant to go to school because he feels stupid. As a tonic, Paul relates the story of gas station attendants Moe, Larry and Curly, who light a match to check if an automobile's gas tank is filled. After Knucklehead leaves for school, Paul recalls Jerry as a baby, then phones to inquire about the repair of his car. At the garage, mechanics Moe, Larry and Curly hastily shovel the disassembled parts of Paul's engine back into the car. Upon seeing this, the owner of the garage tells Paul that his car is "finished," but not ready. When Jerry comes home for lunch and complains that his afternoon class is about Mexico, Paul tells him the story of bullfighter Curly: Curly's friends, Moe and Larry, dress up like a bull, but when the real bull enters the ring and charges Curly, Curly becomes angry and butts heads with the beast, knocking him unconscious. Still reluctant to return to school, Jerry dabs jam on his face and claims that he has chickenpox, but Paul discovers the ruse when he douses Jerry with a cold compress, wiping away the spots. When Jerry asks to view his favorite television show, Paul switches on the set and they watch as Moe, Larry and Curly feed bullets into a meat grinder, creating a homemade machine gun with which to rout their pursuers. Later, Paul discovers a broken faucet and calls plumbers Moe, Larry and Curly, who are busy reconnecting the pipes in a client's house. Once they are finished, the stove and electrical fixtures begin to spout water. That night, when Paul puts Knucklehead to bed, Knucklehead asks for a bedtime story and Paul tells him the story of Cinderella, reenacted by chimpanzees. Later, as Paul and Jerry are sleeping, they are awakened by an elegant party next door attended by Moe, Larry and Curly that has erupted into a pie fight. When Paul knocks at the door to complain, he is hit in the face with a pie.
The Marquis Chimps
Officer Joe Bolton
L. W. O'connell
Martha Vera Romm
Allen G. Siegler
Filmed at The 20th Century Fox Film studios on 10th Ave. in NYC.
As noted in Filmfacts, Stop! Look! and Laugh! is a compilation of bits and pieces from Three Stooges two-reel comedies produced by Columbia in the 1930s and 1940s. These segments are tied together by newly shot footage involving ventriloquist Paul Winchell (1922-2005) and his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. In the onscreen credits, the production crew from the Three Stooges segments are grouped together and identified as "writers of various segments," "producers of various segments," "directors of photography various segments" and "directors of various segments." The production crews from the Paul Winchell and Cinderella sequences are grouped separately under the heading of "Cinderella sequence" and "Paul Winchell sequences." Although the film was scheduled to be shown on July 27, 1960, a Daily Variety news item dated July 27, 1960 noted that a restraining order was filed by Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita, the successor of original Stooge Curly Howard, on the grounds that the film was advertised as a new Three Stooges comedy, and that it would greatly impair the Stooges' plans to make a follow-up to their 1959 film Have Rocket Will Travel (.) The complaint also alleged that Columbia had no right to incorporate the Stooges' two-reel films into a feature without their consent. According to a November 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item, the restraining order was dissolved two weeks later when the court decided that the comedians did not have sufficient cause to prevent distribution of Stop! Look! and Laugh!.
In the 1950s, Winchell (1922-2005) and Mahoney were well-known television stars. Winchell first appeared on radio in 1936 on the Major Bowles Original Amateur Hour, where, with his puppet Terry, he did an imitation of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. In 1948, now teamed with his puppet Jerry Mahoney, Winchell co-hosted the CBS television series The Bigelow Show with mentalist Dunninger. Throughout the 1950s, Winchell and sidekicks Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, starred in the following televised shows: What's My Name? (originally called The Spiedel Show), Winchell Mahoney Time, Circus Time and The Paul Winchell Show. Although Winchell had provided an off-screen voice for the 1939 film Everything's on Ice (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40), Stop! Look! Laugh! marked his first onscreen film appearance.
The following segments featuring the Three Stooges were omitted from the summary: The Stooges finding a baby on their doorstep, a dog being kidnapped from The Stooges' animal hospital and Curly lip synching opera, accompanied by Larry and Moe.