Termites of 1938 (1938)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Almost like a special bonus, the slapstick of this Three Stooges short is sprinkled with a few dashes of subtle humor. When a husband insists on going fishing, leaving his wife mate-less for a big society bash, her friend suggests she call the Acme Escort Service. "I hope they're discriminating," the matron remarks as her African-American maid cocks an eyebrow. The maid, it turns out, calls Acme Exterminators instead of Acme Escort, which introduces the Stooges. They are in the midst of trying out Moe's new mouse catching contraption, which involves a cannon and a lot of string. The mouse proves to be smarter than the Stooges, however, and detonates the cannon, sending Moe's head into the wall. Just then the phone rings and Moe, now hard of hearing, thinks the woman, who wants the "best man for a dance," is requesting a "pest man for ants." The Stooges show up at the mansion appropriately dressed, but that's the only thing about them that winds up being appropriate. The guest of honor is a British chap who is visiting the States for the first time and at dinner, he carefully follows the Stooges' atrocious table manners. In turn, the other guests are forced to follow him, as he tosses olives in the air and spears the squab with corn-on-the-cob holders. Then the Stooges replace the musical entertainment for a little number of their own, played to a recording of a marching band. Mice appear, and the Stooges finally hunker down to work. But they're clearly the ones who are the real pests and finally the matron's husband returns from his trip. He swears never to go fishing again and chases the Stooges away. As they drive off, he tosses a gopher bomb into their auto. An enormous explosion destroys the car and the boys' evening clothes.