Synopsis by Bruce Eder
One of a half-dozen comedy shorts that Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle made at Warner Bros. in the early 1930's, In The Dough is enjoyable slapstick in its own right, and also notable for featuring future character actor Lionel Stander at the very outset of his career, teamed up with none other than Shemp Howard as the leader and lead stooge, respectively, of a protection racket. Our rotund hero gets a job at a bakery and is doing well enough until the leader (Stander) of a local protection racket tries to muscle in on the business -- this sets off a series of altercations and misunderstandings that get more hysterical as they go along and also very messy, this being a bakery in a comedy short, with the inevitable lure of . . . edible missiles, of which there are many from which to choose. There's also a running gag involving a customer anxiously awaiting the baking of a rather large cake, and a related gag that we won't spoil here, except to say that this wasn't the first time it was used, and definitely not the last (that may have been on the Abbott And Costello television show). It's all good fun, albeit more gooey and sticky than "clean."