Production Information
Gypped In The Penthouse
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 161
Release Date: March 10, 1955
Running Time: 16:07

I played in four sharps. I used to play it in five flats but I got kicked outta the last one. (Shemp)

Gypped In The Penthouse Short Take 

At the Woman Haters Club 87, Larry and Shemp exchange stories of their disastrous encounters with a gold digger, who turns out to be the same woman (Jean Willes). Jane became engaged to Larry, only to dump him when Moe shows up with a larger diamond ring. Shemp is a good Samaritan, who winds up in Jane’s apartment after a good deed, and chased by her husband Moe when he returns home early (Jane explains, “He was on a business trip. That’s separated, isn’t it?!”)

After telling their stories, they drown their sorrows in beer, and Shemp and Larry are introduced by fellow club member Charlie (Emil Sitka), to the club’s newest recruit: Moe.


The first of two fresh scripts for the 1955 releases, Gypped In The Penthouse offers two apparently independent stories of two disastrous romantic triangles told in flashback but concluded in real time when all four principles rediscover each other in two interdependent surprise encounters and give expression to emotional frustration. That is to say, it is two stories of twisted romance, jealousy, and revenge, Stooge-style.

Visual Humor

Stooge firsts: Shemp throwing the phone only to have it bounce back at his head, and blowing beer foam on each other. References: the piano sequence (Shemp: “I was tryin’ to impersonate that guy with the candelabra!”) was inspired by Liberace, who premiered on NBC television in 1952 and was known for his flashy robe, plays a white piano decorated with a candelabra, and finishes with an arpeggio flourish.

When Jane puts the ring down her dress, Shemp says into the camera: “There must be a way to get that ring back without getting into trouble with the censor.” The Stooges have recently played directly into the camera to end scenes in Brideless Groom, Pals and Gals (Larry), and Bubble Trouble (Moe).

The Stooges have been abusing new appliances since 3 Dumb Clucks, here Shemp struggles with a dishwasher. Shemp, steamed and soaking wet ends up in his boxer shorts in Jane’s room.

Gypped In The Penthouse Cast & Crew

Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byFelix Adler
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Jean Willes
Emil Sitka
CinematographyRay Cory
Edited byHenry Bastista

Gypped In The Penthouse Trivia

  • Woman Hater Club 87 – Moe and Larry joined a club of the same name two decades previous in 1934’s Woman Haters, the Stooges’ first film for Columbia.
  • Over the course of their 24 years at Columbia Pictures, The Stooges would occasionally be cast as separate characters. This course of action always worked against the team; author Jon Solomon concludes: “when the writing divides them, they lose their comic dynamic.” In addition to this split occurring in Gypped in the Penthouse, the trio also played separate characters in Rockin’ in the RockiesCuckoo on a Choo ChooFlying Saucer DaffySweet and HotHe Cooked His Goose, and its remake Triple Crossed. Having said that, we here at Stooges HQ enjoyed the scenes with Larry and Shemp at the Woman’s Hater Club drinking Old Panther.
  • Shemp has a keen comical knack for working with pianos as he did in Brideless Groom.
  • Jean Willes who plays Jane, the center of the love-triangle, is a striking presence in several Three Stooges shorts including Monkey Business as Nurse Shapely, A Snitch In Time, Don’t Throw That Knife and Hula-La-La. She appeared in one short with Curly, Moe and Larry, and the rest of her Stoogeistory with Shemp, Moe and Larry.

Production Notes

Gypped in the Penthouse was filmed on July 19–21, 1954.