Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Day the Oyster Slept

Curly Howard gamely endures in Dutiful But Dumb (1941)
I have enjoyed many iterations of the oyster stew routine.  Here is a funny version of the routine performed by Clyde Cook in Thundering Taxis (1933). 

The routine is carefully sustained while Cook expresses a variety of reactions and his rival, a prop oyster, performs a variety of tricks.

But, now, I have come across a version of the routine that is not funny at all. 

This time, in The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (1933), a feisty crab invades a bowl of oyster stew served to George Sidney and Charles Murray.  The scene, with its sluggish pacing, conventional staging and bland acting, drains the material of its humor at every juncture.  Sidney and Murray's low-energy antics compare abysmally to the manic, surreal turmoil that Curly Howard gamely endures in Dutiful But Dumb (1941).

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