Production Information
Punch Drunks
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 2
Release Date: July 13, 1934
Running Time: 17:29

“Every time I hear that Weasel tune, something POPS inside of me!”

Short Take

In Punch Drunks, Moe is a struggling boxing manager having lunch with several associates who are angry at him for their low payment and threatening to quit on him. He notices that their shy waiter (Curly) goes into a violent fugue whenever he hears the song “Pop Goes the Weasel,” which is the case when he knocks out three associates and later his boss. Moe also takes notice of a fiddler (Larry) who happens to be playing the potent tune at the restaurant and quickly recruits the two unsuspecting cohorts and preps them for the boxing world. With Larry playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” at every boxing match, Curly becomes the number-one contender for the heavyweight championship.

All goes well until the night of the highly anticipated World Championship match with Killer Kilduff (Al Hill). Only a few moments into the first round, Kilduff plants a left hook at Curly, sending him into the crowd, landing on Larry and crushing his violin. Frantic, Larry scurries the streets, looking for anything that is playing “Pop Goes the Weasel,” while Curly is being battered by the boxer.

Larry manages to come across a politician’s campaign truck blaring the tune from its speakers and “race-drives” it to the arena, crashing through a side wall. Curly is just about ready to throw in the towel until he hears “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The wobbly boxer comes to his feet with renewed energy, and knocks out Kilduff in a matter of seconds, winning the fight. The song continues, however, and as they celebrate in the ring, Curly knocks out Larry and Moe and begins to advance on the camera as the short ends.

Punch Drunks Cast & Crew

Directed byLou Breslow
Produced byJules White
Written byMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Jerry Howard
Jack Cluett
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Chuck Callahan
William Irving
Jack “Tiny” Lipson
Dorothy Granger
Al Hill
Billy Bletcher
Arthur Housman
Larry McCrath
George Gray
A.R. Heysel
Dorothy Vernon
CinematographyHenry Freulich
Edited byRobert Carlisle

Punch Drunks Trivia

  • The script for Punch Drunks was written by The Stooges, credited as “Jerry Howard, Larry Fine and Moe Howard”
  • The only short written entirely by The Three Stooges
  • In 2002, Punch Drunks was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” the only Stooge film to achieve such an honor
  • Larry, who actually plays the violin, plays a violinist in Punch Drunks

Production Notes

  • Filming was completed May 2–5, 1934
  • Punch Drunks was remade with Shemp Howard in 1945 as A Hit With a Miss
  • A colorized version of this film was released in 2004 as part of the DVD collection Goofs on the Loose