Production Information
Title: Pardon My ClutchStudio: ColumbiaShort Number: 105
Release Date: February 26, 1948
Running Time: 15:16

“You know fish is great brain food.” “You know you should fish for a whale.”
(Larry and Moe)

Short Take

Shemp has been ill with a toothache. The Stooges’ friend Claude (Matt McHugh), a self-proclaimed Kevin Trudeau-ish doctor, gives Moe and Larry some specific instructions on how to cure the toothache, which, of course, they misinterpret every which way possible. After finally yanking the troublesome tooth, Claude suggests they take Shemp on a camping trip for a little R&R. Since the Stooges do not own a car, Claude offers to sell them a car that turns out to be a “lemon.”

The trio runs into a series of mishaps trying to get the car to work, including a flat tire that gets them into trouble with a local gas station attendant (George Lloyd). Finally, things improve via a car collector (Emil Sitka) who wants to buy the clunker at a premium. Claude gets wind of this, quickly gives his money back to the Stooges, and hands it to the collector. Within minutes, two men in white coats from the local insane asylum come to retrieve the supposed car collector, with Claude following right behind.

By the way, how much do we love Moe’s sweater in the above scene!

Cast & Crew

Directed byEdward Bernds
Produced byHugh McCollum
Written byClyde Bruckman
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Matt McHugh
Wanda Perry
George Lloyd
Stanley Blystone
Alyn Lockwood
Doria Revier
Emil Sitka
CinematographyAllen G. Siegler
Edited byHenry DeMond

Pardon My Clutch Trivia

  • Shemp is unable to convince the gas station attendant that the tire he is removing from the tire display actually came off his car and rolled into the gas station by accident. This was a stock routine that had been used in prior comedies. It had been performed by Joe Murphy and Bud Jamison in I’m the Sheriff (1927) and Edgar Kennedy and Charlie Hall in Slightly at Sea (1940).
  • A different variation of “Three Blind Mice” introductory theme is used in this entry. This version would be used again for Crime on Their Hands and The Ghost Talks
  • When Shemp and Larry are throwing suitcases in the car which slide out and hit Moe on the head, the second suitcase didn’t hit Moe when it was supposed to.
  • During the 1947 production season, Ed Bernds noticed, while strolling across the backlot, a castle built for Columbia’s 1946 feature The Bandit of Sherwood Forest. Inspired, he obtained permission to write several scripts to shoot in the castle. The next three films Squareheads of the Round Table, Fiddlers Three, and The Hot Scots are the result – not to mention the three 1954 refurbished versions, Knutzy Knights, Musty Musketeers, and Scotched in Scotland. Sets were rarely of paramount importance in Stooge comedies because the focus was on the trio itself. But they always fill a room with energy, and here they have a whole castle in which to romp.

Stooge Firsts

  • ‘Tell-him, Tex’ routine – to be used as late as in 4 For Texas (1963) – although Moe shoving Shemp towards a fight dates back to Ted Healy in Beer and Pretzels, the rope catching Larry by the throat, and pulling the window shade down onto Claude’s head. Mo walks into the door jamb. Klinking each tooth until the bad one makes a different sound; Larry’s ringing the service station attendant with a tire; Shemp and Larry tossing their stuff beyond the car on Moe, Shemp’s feet on the pillow and his head a the bottom of the bed, and Shemp thinking the doorknob is his tooth.

Production Notes

  • Pardon My Clutch was filmed on May 19-21, 1947.
  • The short would be remade in 1955 as Wham-Bam-Slam!, using ample stock footage.
  • Both films borrow plot elements from the Laurel and Hardy shorts Perfect Day (1929) and Them Thar Hills (1934).