Last week on MeTV- we chronicled Bud and Lou’s accidental trip to the planet Venus in the deceptively-named “Abbott and Costello Go to Mars”; but THIS week, let us contrast the voyage and view of Venus with that of another incompetent comedy collective- as the last combination of 3 Stooges heads into the cosmos, touting their motto- “Have Rocket, Will Travel”!
In this 1959 first feature film outing for the trio of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and new third Stooge “Curly Joe” DeRita, things are getting frustrating at the National Space Foundation. Their latest rocket launch has again proven unsuccessful. In fact, the missile has crash –landed right near the maintenance men’s headquarters where the Stooges have been snoozing. They head out to examine the rocket, as their cantankerous boss J.P. Morris, along with pretty scientist Dr. Ingrid Naarveg and psychologist Ted Benson arrive to survey the damage of the disappointment which has cost him $10 million. J.P. gives the boys the key to the rocket ( like it’s a rental car?!) and asks them to guard it and retrieve the monkey that was the passenger aboard the spaceship.
While Dr. Ingrid and Ted return to their laboratory in search of answers (and Ted in search of romance with the brainy blonde), the boys , quite accidentally, manage to right the rocket after some typical Stooge slapstick. They then head to the laboratory, where they are supposed to do their usual cleaning chores, just in time to hear J.P. deliver the sad news to Ingrid that the board of directors will end the project if she doesn’t solve the fuel and thrust problem before their next meeting. The Stooges, having bonded with Ingrid, decide that it is their duty to help discover a workable fuel- since the rocket is back standing and none the worse for wear.
Naturally, the boys stumble onto brewing up a new kind of fuel that is just what the doctor (Ingrid!) ordered- and rig up a way to pump it into the ship. As they’re attempting this, they bump heads with J.P., who, when the Stooges hide out in the rocket, accidentally causes it to blast off for outer space!
Much like Bud and Lou last week, the Stooges find themselves dealing with everything from meteor showers to weightlessness- before the ship finally lands on Venus. Unlike the Abbott and Costello version of the planet, this one has no attractive female inhabitants- just fire-breathing tarantulas, talking unicorns, and a malevolent robot with amazing powers- and a sinister plan for the boys!
This film was part of the Stooges’ revival of their popularity, stemming from the showing of their old Columbia comedy shorts in TV. It’s nice to see Moe and Larry, even though they certainly look their ages, and DeRita attempting to act like Curly falls a little short. They reprise a lot of the slapstick and routines we know from the shorts- along with some business that you won’t see in any of the films that followed! We’ll explain that , review how they got to this point, and point out some of the cast. Our old pal Gilbert Gottfried even drops by to chat about the Stooges as well!
“Have Rocket, Will Travel” blasts off tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, and you can check for time and channel in your area in your local listings, or at www.metv.com . Chicago area viewers can compare Venus trips by catching “Abbott and Costello Go to Mars” this morning at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
We had a great time up in Milwaukee last week at the Midwest Gaming Classic- and really enjoyed the many video-game based costumes in the cosplay contest! I only wish I could have had enough time to play some of the great pinball machines on display there! More Sven appearances will be coming up as spring moves into summer – if spring ever actually gets here…
Okay, wiseguys- spread out and get ready for some interplanetary insanity with the Stooges tonight!