Production Information
A Plumbing We Will Go
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 46
Release Date: April 19, 1940
Running Time: 17:31

“The best plumbers to ever plumb a plum.”

A Plumbing We Will Go Short Take

How much damage can the masters of mirth, merriment & mayhem accomplish in seventeen minutes? Well, while filming A Plumbing We Will Go they ruin the basement, upstairs bathroom, kitchen, living room, the lawn, and destroy the plumbing, and the electrical, gas, steam and telephone lines!

This classic starts off with The Three Stooges in court, accused of stealing chickens from Mrs. Throttlebottom’s chicken coop. Justice does not prevail, and the Stooges are found innocent. Now free, Moe, Larry, and Curly cause more mischief by fishing for their supper… in a fish tank in front of a pet store. Running from a cop, they steal a plumber’s truck for a getaway, stopping at a mansion where they’re mistaken for the real thing. Claiming they’re “the best plumbers to ever plumb a plum,” it’s not long before mayhem ensues.

Visual Comedy

The first production by the Lord/McCollum team and writer Elwood Ullman.  A Plumbing We Will Go features brilliant physicality from isolated Stooges and Dudley Dickerson as the cook, and a surprise, gushing climax from a television set, all helping to make this one of the most memorable comedy films ever made.

A Plumbing We Will Go Cast & Crew

Directed byDel Lord
Produced byDel Lord
Hugh McCollum
Written byElwood Ullman
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Bess Flowers
Dudley Dickerson
John Tyrrell
Bud Jamison
Monte Collins
Eddie Laughton
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byArt Seid

A Plumbing We Will Go Trivia 

  • Bess Flowers, the leading lady in this famous short, appeared in more movies that won the Oscar (5) for Best Picture than anyone else.
  • The television broadcast in the short from Niagara Falls was not just a fanciful bit. A few months after this short was filmed (December 1939) NBC transmitted the first official network television broadcast from New York City to station W2XBS in Schenectady, New York.


  • A Plumbing We Will Go was a remake of Sidney & Murray’s 1934, short Plumbing for Gold and would be remade again with El Brendel and Shemp Howard as Pick a Peck of Plumbers in 1944.
  • The Stooges remade A Plumbing We Will Go as Vagabond Loafers and Scheming Schemers using stock footage.
  • Interestingly, the original story in Plumbing for Gold involved searching for a lost ring which the Stooges did not use until Scheming Schemers.
  • Curly would recreate the maze-of-pipes gag six years later in Swing Parade of 1946.
  • Shemp Howard attempted it as well in Vagabond Loafers and Scheming Schemers, while Joe DeRita also attempted the gag in Have Rocket, Will Travel.
  • The chicken-stealing segment that opens the film was also reworked in Listen, Judge.
  • Aside from the aforementioned reworked films, footage from A Plumbing We Will Go also reappeared in the 1960 compilation feature film Stop! Look! and Laugh!.
  • Like A Ducking They Did Go, the title is a play on the children’s song, “A-Hunting We Will Go”.

Televisions in the 1930’s and 1940’s

  • At the time of this short, television sets had been on the market for a few years. A typical set, such as DuMont model 183X, would have cost about $445. Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics formula, adjusting for inflation, the same television would cost over $7,600 in 2015. The set being demonstrated is merely a prop, consisting of a box with knobs attached for the “screen” sitting atop a radio console.

Production Notes

  • A Plumbing We Will Go was filmed on December 13–18, 1939.
  • It was the last Stooge short filmed in the 1930s.