Widower Sheriff Andy and his son Opie live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry NC. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney.
I saw this show as a compilation called Funniest Moments 1 & 2, along with several other DVDs, mostly interesting documentaries. The box showed Moe, Larry, and Curly together so naturally I assumed it was some of their Columbia shorts work. I am a big fan of the Stooges from this era, and was more than a little disappointed when it turned out to be a collection of introductory "shorts" for their 1965 cartoon series.
These starred Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe DeRita, who was in my opinion a little bit better than the often despised Joe Besser. Although the shorts came about at the peak of their popularity, the Stooges by this time were really beginning to show their age. They were, however, still reasonably capable of performing slapstick comedy.
The main problem was in the quality of the show. The writing and overall production quality was not nearly as good as that from Columbia. The violence so typical of the trio was also severely and purposefully toned due to the fact that the market for the show was intended to be children. Perhaps most importantly, though, the trademark sound effects were absent, replaced by some that were apparently borrowed from another popular show of the time - The Flintstones.
The cartoons themselves were just not to my liking. I grew up with the Stooges in black and white, but with live action, and having them as cartoons just did not fit.
As for the live shorts, any Stooge fan should appreciate them. It gives us a rare glimpse of the boys in color. Many of the shorts include Emil Sitka, a supporting actor who has worked with the Stooges since his debut in the Columbia short "Half Wits Holiday," which was ironically Jerome "Curly" Howard's final short.
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