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"Is this work in competent hands?" "Coitainly, we're all incompetent!" - Vernon Dent and Curly (SLIPPERY SILKS, 1936)

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Average Rating:     [8.72/10]   27 votes


The Stooges find themselves enrolled in an Eastern dental school, and despite making a monstrous set of dentures with a life of its own, manage to graduate, with the Dean's recommendation to go "out west" to set up practice. Their first customer is tossed out (fortunately for him) when a tough local Sheriff comes in with a toothache. In his nervousness, Shemp drops his dentist manual, and accidentally picks a book titled The Amateur Carpenter instead (not that the Stooges notice for a while.)

The dentist office footage was originally filmed for MERRY MAVERICKS, but the scene ran so long that producer Hugh McCollum decided to cut it and produce a new short around it. Excerpts from the original script of MERRY MAVERICKS, with the dentistry segments, were presented in The Three Stooges Journal # 106 (Summer 2003). MERRY MAVERICKS filmed in June 1950; the additional THE TOOTH WILL OUT footage was filmed in February 1951.

The Stooges' tune "My Lucky Strike" is an original song, written by... Moe, Larry & Shemp; see The Three Stooges Journal # 96 (Winter 2000).

Emil Sitka almost ruined his reputation as a "1-take wonder" when he chased the Stooges down the street. Director Ed Bernds told him to ad lib angry dialogue, and on the first take, Emil delivered a barrage of obscenities! The scene was reshot, after cast and crew stopped laughing.

A rarity in the 1950s, the Stooges shot the outdoor sequence on the Columbia Ranch's downtown/city street.

IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Shemp
Release Date
October 04, 1951
Production Type
Short Subject
16 min.
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Production Notes   (4)
Working Title(s):   A YANK AT THE DENTIST
Title Origin:   Expression, "The truth will out."
Prod. No.:   4162
Shooting Days:   2 days   From: 1951-02-19   To: 1951-02-20

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 2.00)
Face Slaps: 8 Eye Pokes: 0 Head Bonks: 0 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (3)
  • "Hi'ya Miss Buckshot."

  • "The tuition is $5 apiece, or 3 for $25." "A rare bargain... we'll take the 3."
    (Vernon Dent & Moe)

  • "Easy!!!! The mouth is in the front!" "Oh, they moved it, huh?"
    (Moe & Shemp)

Stooge Goofs   (7)
  • Character Breaking
    You can see Larry cracking up out-of-character in the background during several parts of the scene with dentist Shemp working on the first patient, particularly when Shemp drills his own mouth for a quick second.

  • Character Breaking
    When the second patient (Dick Curtis) is on the chair snoring, during one part, it looks like Curtis is going to crack up because he has this smile on his face while he'ssupposed to be pretending to be asleep.

  • Disappearing Hats
    When the Stooges walk in their dentistry office, Larry is wearing three hats and we can see him hang all three of them up on a perch. But a little later when the second patient comes barging in the office, there is only one hat hanging on the perch.

  • Footage Combo
    The entire second half of this short was originally shot for MERRY MAVERICKS, but was taken out and used for this short instead. However, there's an error. In the first half, which was brand-new footage, all the Stooges earn a dentistry diploma, but when the MERRY MAVERICKS outtake footage comes in, Shemp is the only one who's the dentist and he even says that he payed 4 bits to get his diploma (which also never happened in the first half).

  • Unintentional Tripping
    When Shemp says â€Å"Okay, let's see what's next” and walks over toward the table, he accidentally trips over something and almost falls down.

  • Wardrobe!
    As the Stooges are thrown out of the first building, Larry's stunt double is wearing different clothes from the bright, checkerboard-pattern suit Larry's wearing as he appears at the end of the stunt. The same thing appears to happen when they're thrown out of the restaurant. Larry's suit also appears to change yet again by the time the Stooges run into the dental school building. As Larry enters the building, the checkerboard pattern & distinctive dark edging around the edges of his tailcoat are gone.

  • Wrong Arm Shaking
    When Shemp is reading up on how to locate a tooth with a metal object, he tells Moe that his left arm is nervous, but it's his RIGHT arm that is shaking!

Stooge Routines   (3)

Stooge Trivia   (1)

Audio Files   (0)

No audio files are available for this episode.

Video File   (Y)

Transcript   (N)

There isn't a transcript available for this episode.

Videography   (1)

Fan Reviews   (10)
Posted 2001-09-29 13:18:00 by Shemp_Diesel
Edited 2014-12-25 12:41:43 by Shemp_Diesel

I have sort of a reverse opinion. The short starts slow but gets rolling right at the chase scene & the rest of the film takes off from there. One minor flaw in the second half is the rather abrupt finish but I'm glad that Bernds saved all that glorious footage from being lost on the cutting room floor. Whatta you know. After you drill a toot' you're supposed to fill it.

8 pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2010-05-01 08:30:52 by Stoogephilia
It's must be a Greatest short,not only with the Shemp,but also in the Stooges history ever made.This is a true masterpiece of Bernds as Stooges Director.From the live dentures to dentist office chaotic scene is genius,especially the live dentures.That idea is equal as the scene of maze of pipes from "A Plumbing We Will Go" ,sweater removal scene from "How High Is Up?",and live oyster soup battle in "Dutiful but Dumb",represent the genius idea of Stooge comedy than another comedy team...................

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2003-09-01 17:13:00 by CurlyQlink41144
Edited 2006-03-26 18:54:44 by shemps#1
This isnt a very funny short, although there are some funny scenes. The first time I saw the scene where Shemp gets the teeth stuck on his hand I though I was going to have a heart attack I was laughing so hard. That is the funniest part of this short.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2000-09-09 19:04:00 by Stooge
Edited 2003-06-27 02:27:00 by Stooge
A pretty good short and it's good to see Bernds return back to his usual good standards after his MERRY MAVERICKS debacle. The chase scene at the beginning is fun and hilarious, and the scene with the dracula dentures is great. The last half was originally shot for the beginning of MERRY MAVERICKS but taken out because it was too long (and probably too funny to match the rest of that dull short), so that explains why the ending of this seems abrupt. Bernds should've put in a new ending after the last scene.

I also couldn't help but notice that Larry looked kinda bored in the last half.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2003-02-25 04:08:00 by Bruckman
Those animated teeth which look like they ought to belong to a rabid Rottweiler steal the film for me every time. And they sing pretty sweet harmony too! Shemp's efforts at dentistry w/the Maha glasses are good and sadistic, w/gags reminiscent of WC Fields' THE DENTIST and Bob Hope's Western-dentist in THE PALEFACE. Individual scenes are fairly funny but the short as a whole has a disconnected appearance, more like a series of sketches than a coherent film, so that the end product has a hastily-assembled feel to it and prevent it from rising into the classic echelon.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2001-11-19 00:03:00 by Mike Holme
Great short, I for one actually like the dentistry scene since it is quite chaotic. The beginning I agree is the best part in which the stooges deal with the talking dentures! I think the dentistry footage may have boosted a poke on "Merry Mavericks" if it was kept in my opinion. Dick Curtis' last role.3 1/2 pokes
Posted 2001-07-25 00:23:00 by [Deleted Member]
Y'know Genius, the drilling part was so long because it was the main part of the short. Actually, the whole time Shemp was being the dentist was probably the main part of the short. But think of it this way- in "What's the Matador" and "Sappy Bullfighters", the main part is the whole arena scene, right? would you rather have a two-second confrontation between Curly or Joe and the bull or see something shown between the time when Moe and Larry runs away when they see the bull and the part with the head-on collision?Anyway, "Tooth" is a definate Stooge masterpiece. I could easily sing "I got a lucky strike when I found you, the short of my dreams!" I think the drilling of the chair is funny, but the drilling of the back of the guys head is hilarious!ISLIPP- when you spill the novacane. ®2001
Posted 2001-07-20 09:00:00 by Genius In the Lamp
The short gets off to a great start, especially with the killer choppers. Once they set up practice, things get a little uneven. The drilling bit way overstays its welcome and ends a bit abruptly, while the ending just sort of fades away. Not bad, but with some fine-tuning, it could have been better.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2001-05-01 01:38:00 by sickdrjoe
Mortimer's correct, the first half of TOOTH kicks major hiney. Not to climb on my 'outdoor shooting' soapbox- AGAIN - but the opening scenes (Stooges get fired, twice, and their second employer chases them down a busy street)bring back memories of many a Curly short. I'll have to double-check to see if Columbia had any turn-of-the-century period films on the 1951 schedule, as the whole flavor of the beginning captures the era nicely (and Cohn wasn't a guy to spend an extra nickel on ambience for a 2-reeler!)Second half falls flat, sad to say.
Posted 2001-01-16 03:14:00 by Mike Holme
Pretty good short, but what puzzles me is that Shemp is the dentist. Why couldn't Moe be the dentist? Larry has little participation, Moe doesn't hit him once, but Shemp does, but just once. Moe and Shemp are the main characters at the dental office. Larry is in a way, just a supporting actor in this episode. But the antics were pretty funny.

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