Production Information
Hoi Polloi
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 10
Release Date: August 29, 1935
Running Time: 18:08


“What’s that for? I didn’t do nuthin’!” “That’s in case ya do and I’m not around!”

Short Take

In an adaptation of Pygmalion, Professor Richmond (Harry Holman), certain that environment and not heredity dictates social behavior, bets one of his peers, Professor Nichols (Robert Graves) $10,000 that he can take a common man and through environment and proper training turn him into a gentleman. Naturally, they choose The Stooges, who are garbage men, and make them the subjects of the wager. After many attempts to teach them proper etiquette (including a dance class punctuated by an errant bee that flies down the back of their female dance instructor), The Stooges will decide the wager by their behavior at a fancy society party.

Eventually, Professor Richmond loses the bet and gives the $10,000 dollars to Professor Nichols. Nichols comments to a lady guest concerning being pestered by a bunch of “rowdies”. The remark does not go over well with her, and she slaps him in the face. Professor Richmond laughs, and the unfortunate fellow slaps him in turn. In quick succession, guests laugh at other guests’ misfortunes, and slaps and gouges fly until the party becomes a melee of Stooge-born slapstick. The Stooges, disgusted by it all, realize that this is what they get for “associating themselves with the hoi polloi” and decide to leave, but Richmond and Nichols get the last laugh on them via champagne bottles crashed onto their heads.

Hoi Polloi Cast & Crew

Directed byDel Lord
Produced byJules White
Written byFelix Adler
Helen Howard
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Harry Holman
Robert Graves
Phyllis Crane
Geneva Mitchell
William Irving
Bud Jamison
James C. Morton
CinematographyHenry Freulich
Edited byJames Sweeney

Hoi Polloi Trivia

  • The idea for Hoi Polloi came from Moe Howard’s wife, Helen
  • The Stooges reworked the film twice more, as Half-Wits Holiday in 1947 (Curly’s final starring role) and Pies and Guys in 1958

Production Notes

  • Filming took place from May 2-6, 1935
  • A colorized version of this film was released in 2006