Production Information
Termites of 1938
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 28
Release Date: January 7, 1938
Running Time: 16:33

At yer service, day or night, we do the job and do it right… Acme!”


Short Take

Muriel Van Twitchett is distraught when she finds out she has no escort for a fancy party. Her husband has skipped out to go on a fishing trip. A friend suggests she call the Acme Escort Bureau, and the maid mistakenly dials Acme Exterminating, which happens to be run by the Stooges. The boys accept the job and give the guests an education in their version of etiquette. But during a musical performance by our trio, mice appear and the Stooges get to work on their real occupation, much to the dismay of the guests.

Cast & Crew

Directed byDel Lord
Produced byCharley Chase
Hugh McCollum
Written byElwood Ullman
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Bess Flowers
Bud Jamison
Dorothy Granger
Hattie McDaniel
John Ince
Symona Boniface
CinematographyAndré Barlatier
Edited byArt Seid

Termites of 1938 Trivia

  • The film’s title is a parody of the film title Gold Diggers of 1937.
  • The film has two musical quirks unusual for Stooge shorts. First, the Three Stooges’ opening theme, “Listen to the Mockingbird,” is played again when the Stooges first appear onscreen. Second, music derived from Victor Schertzinger‘s score for the 1933 Columbia feature Cocktail Hour is featured during the dinner scene. This is the result of producer Charley Chase, who liked incidental music from his time at the Hal Roach studio.

The cast of Termites of 1938 touted many supporting stars in the Hollywood acting community including:

  • Dorothy Granger, a prolific supporting actress for many film comedians, including Laurel & Hardy (Hog Wild), Andy Clyde, Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, and particularly as Leon Errol’s wife in his long-running RKO short subject series.
  • Hattie McDaniel, The first African-American actor to win an Academy Award –  Best Supporting Actress in Gone With The Wind (1939). She also appeared in Thank Your Lucky Stars with Joe DeRita in 1943.
  • Bess Flowers, Nicknamed “Queen Of the Hollywood Extras” for her work in more than 350 Hollywood films.

Production Notes