Archive for Three Stooges

Hanna-Barbera’s The Robonic Stooges (1977)

Posted in cartoons, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on July 17, 2013 by Paxton

LEB

This week’s assignment from the League is to talk about robots. Another rather broad topic, but instead of listing my top 10 robots or something along those lines, I’d thought I’d discuss one of my favorite cartoons that happens to combine robots and…The Three Stooges?!

Yep, in late 1977 CBS aired the cartoon, The Robonic Stooges featuring Moe, Larry and Curly as bumbling, bionic super heroes.  The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera.

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The show originally ran as a segment on the variety show, The Skatebirds. The Skatebirds format was extremely similar to The Banana Splits.

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The bionic enhancements to the Stooges gave them abilities that were very similar to Inspector Gadget. Extending limbs, hidden gadgets, plus the letters on their chests were actually hidden doors that open to allow the Stooges to get supplies and objects they needed for their adventures.

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Also Curly seemed to be stretchy and inflatable. Many episodes featured him getting filled with hot air and blowing away.

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The show was wacky and fun. The Stooges would bumble their way through stopping thieves and mad scientists. Often times succeeding despite screwing everything up.

The Skatebirds was cancelled at the end of 1977. However, The Robonic Stooges was popular enough to get their own show after the cancellation. However, it would be cancelled by Spring 1978 and shown in reruns for the next few years. That’s how I watched the show, in reruns in the early-to-mid 1980s.

The voice cast was very good. Unfortunately, all of the original Stooges were dead by the time the show was in production, so Moe was voiced by the great Paul Winchell, Larry by Joe Baker and Curly by Frank Welker who did a variation on his JabberJaw voice.

Another show similar to this (but no robots) was Super Globetrotters. It was another way to make real life celebrities into cartoon super heroes. And it, too, was awesome.

Episodes of this show are pretty hard to come by online.  There are some clips on YouTube, but that’s about it.

Here is a shortened version of the show’s intro.

Here’s a clip of the Stooges inflating a giant inflatable battleship.

Robots around the League:
– Shawn talks about a robot used to sell Hitachi VCRs
– The Goodwill Geek shows us his awesome robot collection
– The Nerd Nook lists their top 10 pop culture robots

Billy the Kid Week 2010: Freaky Friday the 13th featuring Billy the Kid, The Three Stooges and Dracula

Posted in Billy the Kid, Dracula, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, reviews, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by Paxton

Billy the Kid Week

This is Day 5 of Billy the Kid Week. All week I’ve been reviewing movies featuring the character of Billy the Kid. Here are the previous week’s entries:

Day 0: Young Guns II 20th birthday
Day 1: Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw
Day 2: The Left Handed Gun starring Paul Newman
Day 3: Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
Day 4: Young Guns 22nd birthday

Since today is Friday the 13th, I am dubbing today as Billy the Kid Week’s “Freaky Friday”.  I will review one wacky and one scary movie featuring Billy. The first movie will be the Three Stooges’ epic western, The Outlaws IS Coming. The second movie will be the horror schlockfest Billy the Kid vs Dracula. These movies look like they should be appropriately zany, so let’s get started.

The Outlaws is Coming

Released in 1965, this is the last fully completed film featuring The Stooges. They began filming one more movie, Kook’s Tour, in 1970, but Larry had a stroke before filming was completed and the movie sat unfinished and unreleased for years afterward.

The original title of this movie was The Three Stooges Meet The Gunslingers.  That earlier title sounds reminiscent of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein for a reason as this movie is setup in much the same way. Instead of being a “monster rally” movie featuring a famous comedy team, it’s a “gunslinger rally” movie featuring a famous comedy team. There are 9 famous gunslingers in this movie including Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickock, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo, Cole Younger, Rob Dalton and Belle Star.  Each of the nine gunslingers were played by popular local Kid-TV hosts of the day.  Other notable stars in this film are Adam West as Kenneth Cabot,  a naive ne’er-do-well who works with the Stooges, the gorgeous Nancy Kovack as Annie Oakley and Henry Gibson as Charlie Horse, the Indian chief’s son.  The movie is even narrated by Paul Frees, known for his voice work on Rocky and Bullwinkle (most notably, Boris Badenov).  So, lots of talent were culled together to make this last movie for the Stooges.  West would go on to Batman the very next year.  Nancy Kovack would go on to several roles in geek classics like Queenie in two episodes of West’s Batman as well as Nona in an episode of the original Star Trek in 1968.

The Gunslingers

In the movie, the Stooges work as photographers and “undercover investigators” at an organization similar to the ASPCA.  They work with West’s Cabot and are sent on an undercover mission to Casper, Wyoming to determine why the population of Bison are dwindling.  They discover that a ruthless cattle baron, Rance Roden, has a group of deadly gunslingers killing off the bison to stir up the Indian population into an uprising that will slaughter the cavalry and put Roden in charge of the government (how the cavalry being defeated puts Rance as ruler of the government is not explained).  Oh, and Roden is selling government weapons to the Indians.  We meet the group of gunslingers in the beginning and learn where their territories are.  For some reason, Billy the Kid is said to be in charge of the Dakota Territory instead of Santa Fe (New Mexico, where Billy spent the majority of his life).  Johnny Ringo is in charge of Santa Fe.  Not a big deal since this is a Stooges movie, but it surprised me.  Anyway, we meet the gunslingers in the beginning, then we really don’t see them again until the end when there’s a big gunfight.  So, Billy the Kid only has dialogue in like two scenes.  Also, he’s played with the temperament of a teenager or child.  He whines and cries whenever he doesn’t want to do something.  Roden’s henchman Trigger Mortis (Get it? It’s a play on Rigor Mortis…haha!) gets most of the screen time for the villains.

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