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Thursday, January 19, 2012

So at last, The Three Stooges are proven BRILLIANT! (I knew it all the time.)

I ALWAYS thought the Three Stooges were brilliant. As a bright young man myself, I could see raw intelligence seeping through their every move. 

Who could have said it better than Curly when he exclaimed "Nyuk nyuk nyuk!" as Moe stepped into a paint bucket while reeling from an opening door hitting him in the face causing him to back into Larry who was carrying a long lead pipe and turning to see what happened when the pipe swung and whacked Moe again in the back of the head? How dramatic. How spontaneous. How cogent. HOW BRILLIANT!

And that was 77 years ago (1935 for the not so quick) in a film shunned by 'The Academy' (those idiots) called Hoi Polloi... the colorized version. Now how does this prove the Stooges were leap-years ahead of science and, in a word, BRILLIANT? Pay attention.

First, the background:

In this Stooge adaption of Pygmalian, Professor Richmond, who believes it is environment, not heredity that dictates social behavior, bets Professor Nichols $10,000 that he can take three unsophisticated  men and, through environment and proper training, turn them into gentlemen. By some strange quirk of fate, the Stooges were found as unsophisticated garbage men (not that there is anything wrong with that) and deemed to be the perfect subjects for the wager.

After many attempts to teach them proper etiquette (including dance lessons punctuated by an errant bee down the instructor's bodice), the Stooges are introduced at a fancy society party.  It does not go well. Curly pulls a thread on Moe's jacket and the jacket falls apart. Larry and Moe prove to be the world's worse dancers with the biggest feet and Curly shaves in front of guests, gets his foot stuck in a spittoon, plucks a cherry from the punch bowl and battles Moe who kicks him in the butt, causing the champagne bottle Curly is holding to erupt, spraying all the guests.

Eventually, Professor Richmond concedes his experiment is a failure and forks over the $10,000 to Professor Nichols who, in turn, makes an apology to a lady guest for the rowdies. The lady, now fully indoctrinated,  is offended by the remark and slaps the professor in the face. Richmond laughs and in turn gets slapped by Nichols. Then all the other guests start laughing and slapping and gouging until the party gets helplessly out of control. 

The Stooges, disgusted by it all, realize this is what they get for associating themselves with the hoi polloi and leave... but not before the professors conk champagne bottles over their heads.

Flashback forward to present. (Got that?)

Just today, the international journal Nature reported on a new study that tried to quantify the DNA effect on IQ by tracking changes of intelligence over a person's life. The study concluded that only 24% of the life-span changes in intelligence could be linked to genes... and an amazing 76% to environmental factors. 

Those Stooges... They knew that way back when. In fact, they thought their contribution to science was so significant that they remade this film twice more... in 1946 as Half-Wits Holiday and in 1958's Pies 'n Guys. Didn't anybody ever watch and learn? As is often the case, true genius isn't recognized until years later, postumously. Where are you Mr. Nobel?

C'mon science, get with it... and if you haven't clicked the Hoi Polloi link in the third paragraph, do it now! It's worth it. Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

PS: Thanks Wikipedia, for the background info.

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