|Index||10 reviews in total|
"Income Tax Sappy" is a gem of a short. Everybody's performance in this is as great as ever and almost all the gags are top notch. The premise: The stooges decide they can cheat on their income tax in ingenious ways and conclude that if they can do it, they can teach others to do it too. With this new "tax-cheating" establishment, the Stooges become rich culminating in a VERY fancy dinner party which their guest, Mr. Cash (played by the wonderful Benny Rubin) attends much to his eventual consternation (it is not wise to cut off your dinner guest's beloved beard). Among the funniest gags: Shemp doing the old "Human adding machine" bit, Moe tangling with a foot-long sandwich which suddenly develops a mind of its own and bites back, and all the Stooges' attempts to appease Mr. Cash (not to mention conceal the fact that they have given him a close shave) who finally reveals himself to be an undercover man from the IRS! If you love the Stooges, this short will leave you in stitches!
Anyone, and I mean anyone who hires the Three Stooges as tax experts
deserves what they get. Not even H&R Block would hire Moe, Larry, and
Shemp and they hire some winners there. Believe me, regretfully I know.
It's tax time and the boys are doing their taxes and they think of some wild deductions. Larry opines that he should deduct $3000.00 for charity, after all charity does begin at home. Other such similar things occur and the boys get away with it. In fact they decide they're so good why not offer themselves as tax consultants. I'm not sure some real ones didn't start this way.
But even in the days before computers inevitably people do get audited and the IRS sends out Benny Rubin as a potential customer for the Stooges. Rubin was a long time vaudeville, burlesque, and borscht belt comedian and he gives the guys a run for their money in the laugh department.
Let's just say it all doesn't go well and that maybe taxes was not the lucrative employment opportunity as originally thought.
Income Tax Sappy is a pretty good short subject for the boys and I stand by what I said in the title.
This is one of only two original Moe, Larry, Shemp shorts released in
1954. Moe is at his grouchy best in the start of this picture, tearing
on Larry & Shemp with seemingly little provocation. I also enjoy some
of the little asides in this short, like Shemp's "always hitting,
picking, doing that, everything" after Moe orders him to get a cup of
coffee or Larry's little mumblings while putting mustard on a hotdog.
As previously mentioned, Shemp's part is reduced bigtime at the dinner party, but Moe, Larry, and the hilarious Benny Rubin more than pick up the slack. "You are very loose eater".
I rate this one a 8/10.
Btw, for the IMDb people, your trivia note for this short actually belongs under "Heavenly Daze".
This is a classic. Even though Shemp doesn't get as much screen time as
would hope, Benny Rubin as Mr. Cash, Moe, and Larry make up for it big
In the scenes Shemp is in, he shines. It confuses me why Shemp doesn't get
that much screen time. Even though he had a stroke in 1952, he recovered
within weeks of it. I guess director Jules White and writer Abner Singer
wanted Moe and Larry to shine more for once. There are so many classic
and exchanges in this and Moe is especially hot tempered. This short is a
must-have for any stooge fan who likes Shemp or the episodes he was in.
Larry prepares a foot long hot dog for Moe. He slathers it with a liter of mustard and says to himself, "and I knoooooooow he's gonna like that!". As he takes the hot dog to serve to Moe, he grabs the jar of mustard as he reminds himself, "He might want a little mustard!" Welcome to "Income Tax Sappy," where cheating on their income tax has made the Stooges into millionaires (the national economy must have been very strong in the early 1950's). The IRS, of course, gets wise. They send over Benny Rubin in a phony beard and a phonier German accent, and the sting operation is on. Shemp displays his ardent love for mashed potatoes and gravy ("I looooooooves gravy!") by shoveling copious quantities of each onto his dickey, which amuses the maid. The jig is up for the Stooges right after Herr Rubin gets the predictable face full of those very same mashed potatoes and gravy. It's good to see Vernon Dent as one of the T-men who come after the Stooges. All in all, there's food fighting, mayhem, and a good dose of Moe handing out the physical abuse to Shemp and Larry. Alas, if only Shemp had not claimed those 14 bartenders as dependents on his W-1040.
"Income Tax Sappy" is one of the last good Three Stooges Shorts. It is
notable for several reasons. It was one of only a few released that
year that did not contain stock footage. It was also one of the few
"all-new" episodes released after Shemp Howard suffered a minor stroke.
Most notably, however, is that "Income Tax Sappy," much like other "all-new" episodes released late in Shemp's career, had a different look and feel to it. According to author Jeffery Forrester in his 1981 book "The Stooge Chronicles", these episodes were an attempt by Columbia to freshen up things a little bit. Columbia's reasoning was that audiences were getting a little tired of the standard Stooges routines. The viewer will notice that in episodes like "Income Tax Sappy", and "Goof on a Roof", the settings are much more middle-class (at least how TV and the movies showed the middle-class in the 1950s). The apartments in these shorts are actually rather up-to-date and spiffy! The earlier portrayals of the Stooges, as barely-employed low-lifes, would have seemed awfully dated by this time.
Did this attempt by Columbia work? Well, yes and no. "Income Tax Sappy", while okay, does not rank up there with the best of the Shemp episodes like "Brideless Groom" and "Fright Night." Though the Stooges give it their best, it was clear that things were winding down.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's that time of year again to file those income tax returns, and the
Three Stooges are desperate to save money. So they not only devise all
kinds of ways to cheat on their taxes, but they also earn a truckload
of money by crookedly preparing other people's tax returns! The result:
a lavish mansion, expensive clothes, and attractive jewelry for the
Stooges' sister (Margie Liszt). Their only mistake: hosting a small
dinner party at their new mansion and inviting one of their "clients,"
a bearded eccentric named Mr. Cash (Benny Rubin), who just happens to
be an undercover IRS agent!
The following are several memorable gags from "Income Tax Sappy." Moe has trouble with glue (he gets squirted in the palm and then grabs a clump of Larry's hair) and also with a hot dog (for an unbelievable sight gag, it bites Moe on the nose, squirts mustard on his face, and finally jumps out of the sandwich and runs away yelping). While trying to carve a turkey, Larry accidentally snips off a good portion of Mr. Cash's beard, thus forcing Moe & Larry to nervously try to prevent their guest from habitually stroking his beard. Larry battles a live lobster in his gumbo soup, which was a gag originally done by Curly in the Stooge short "Dutiful but Dumb" (1941). And for the closing gag, as Moe, Larry, & Shemp fight with Mr. Cash and his two associates (Vernon Dent and Joe Palma), the Stooges end up sitting on a burning stove; the three IRS agents escort the boys out of the mansion while they holler in pain with their rear ends on fire!
"Income Tax Sappy" is a very good original Three Stooges short, considering that it was made at a time when short subjects were being phased out and stock footage remakes were quite frequent. Columbia Pictures was the last major movie studio to maintain a shorts department, which finally terminated in 1957.
This short is easily one of the best Shemp shorts of all time and
surprisingly, this short was in 1954 when they're doing stock footage in
most of the other shorts during this time and every actor turns in a
splendid performance. The boys are trying to cheat on their taxes and Moe
really grouchy in this short, especially in the first half and there is
of hilarious scenes such as when Shemp destroys Moe's prized possesion and
Moe tells Shemp to give it back, Shemp does as he bonks Moe's head with
very out of character for Shemp, then at the party scene the stooges have
nice home and they're serving food for the guests and Benny Rubin (the guy
with the phony beard) does a great performance and he is one of the most
underrated stooges actors in this short, I wish that he got to be in the
Curly shorts and I love it when Moe accidentally cuts Benny Rubin's beard
and acts nervously and tries to keep him from finding out that his beard
missing and it turns out, Benny Rubin is a undercover IRS agent and he
arrests the stooges while the stooges try to flee but they accidentally
on the hot oven while the get captured with their butts on fire, a classic
Although Shemp doesn't get quite as much screen time due to a minor stroke in 1952, Moe and Larry gives a great performance (especially Moe) and the people who say that Goof on the Roof (the short before this) was their final classic, I think they're wrong, I think that this short was their final classic. 9/10
First, it's sort of strange to me at least, that several previous reviewers consider this a classic "Shemp" short even though his actual screen time is minimal. Are they trying to say something? Regardless, this is one of those "late era" shorts that shows the beginning of the end for the Stooges. The basic premise for this short is fairly good but could have been so much funnier if given over to serious comedy writers and not someone who was way past his prime like Felix Adler. This guy was a good comedy and gag writer...twenty years earlier during the silents and early talkies. However, by this time he was a raging alcoholic and pretty much wrote jokes and gags for drinks, and it shows up here. The Stooges apparently have a "bare bones" script to work with so as is their tradition they make every attempt to beef it up. Maybe that's why Moe seems very irritable and grouchy in this one. He knows what's happening and doesn't like it but he has a contract that he's obliged to play out. Another thing is that Columbia by this time or maybe even earlier since at least the time of "Three Loan Wolves" or "Half Wits Holiday" with an obviously ailing Curly, just didn't care and told them to do it regardless of any health problems. Nice place to work, huh? Shemp was recovering from a mild stroke at this time but the "front office guys" apparently said something like,"Gee, we hope you get well but do this pic or else!" Hence why his screen time is limited and also sort of missing in key scenes with Moe and Larry. The Stooges should have had a better agent, contract or sharpie lawyer who would've looked out for their own interests a little bit better. This short can be missed.
The only Three Stooges short I like better than INCOME TAX SAPPY is HEAVENLY
DAZE. INCOME TAX SAPPY is my second favorite of all Three Stooges shorts.
The plot is funny and not all about income taxes. I love this short! The
only part that I didn't like, which was kind of gross, as a scene where
Larry has a zipper on his stomach. But otherwise a VERY enjoyable short. The
funniest part is when the stooges run into the kitchen and throw a pie at
the IRS agents.
**** out of 4 stars.
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