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Average Rating:     [2.73/10]   27 votes


Although the Stooges' sister, Birdie, has been dead more than a year, Joe will not let her memory fade. He studies reincarnation, thinking someday Birdie might return. While walking the streets, Joe hears Birdie's voice coming from a horse. The Stooges are delighted to find their reincarnated sister and take her home to celebrate. They spend the rest of the time hiding her from their landlord (Mr. Dinkelspiel). The key gag is that she makes uncles out of the Stooges.

The voice of 'Birdie' was recorded two months after filming, with script pages dated June 8, 1956. The specific recording date is unknown.

IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Joe
Release Date
January 31, 1957
Production Type
Short Subject
15.5 min.
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Cast Members   Production Crew

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Production Notes   (3)
Prod. No.:   4251
Shooting Days:   3 days   From: 1956-04-18   To: 1956-04-20

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 0.50)
Face Slaps: 2 Eye Pokes: 0 Head Bonks: 0 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (2)
  • "You're the anesthetist." "Don't call me names!"
    (Larry and Joe)

  • "Are you okay Mr. Dinklespiel?!" "Yeah... I fell on my head."
    (Moe and Benny Rubin)

Stooge Goofs   (8)
  • Anxious Horse
    When Moe picks up the baby colt, the horse playing Bertie suddenly jumps and Moe seems distracted by it.

  • Dubbed-In Line
    Larry's mouth doesn't move when he says â€Å"Be good and we'll take you home tomorrow, okay?”

  • Dubbed-In Lines
    After Bertie gives birth to a baby colt, most of the Stooges' lines are obviously dubbed in as they don't match their mouth movements.

  • Location Change
    When Bertie belches, Larry is standing next to her, but in the shot before and after, Larry is behind her.

  • Moe's Stand-In
    You can see the face of Moe's double at the end, and he looks nothing like Moe.

  • Mouthing Bertie's Line
    When Bertie says â€Å"I can't go home with you, Joe”, Moe mouths that same line.

  • Visible Padding
    You can clearly see a pad up Joe's arm sleeve when Bertie bites him in the arm.

  • Visible Shadow
    After Mr. Dinklespiel leaves the Stooges' apartment and we hear him fall down the stairs, you can still see a shadow of him standing outside the Stooges' door.

Stooge Routines   (3)
  • Animal's tail hitting a Stooge
    A Stooge is being constantly hit by an uncooperative cow, mule, or horse's tail. So the Stooge ties a heavy and hard object around the tail to stop it. However, the cow/mule/horse still lifts its tail and it hits the Stooge in the head with the hard object.

  • Blowing pill down throat
    A Stooge tries to blow a pill down Shemp's or a horse's throat through a pipe, but before the Stooge can blow, Shemp or the horse coughs through the pipe, causing the pill to be blown down the Stooge's throat instead.
    Also used in:  EVEN AS IOU  ·   SCRAMBLED BRAINS  ·  

  • We need the eggs
    Moe or a secondary character asks what is wrong with the third Stooge:

    STOOGE: "He thinks he's a chicken".
    MOE / SECONDARY CHARACTER: "Why don't you send him to a sanitarium?"
    STOOGE: "Because we need the eggs!"
    Also used in:  LISTEN, JUDGE

Stooge Trivia   (0)

No trivia have been logged for this episode.

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   (23)
Posted 2008-08-13 19:53:21 by DocWatson

This is the first of the redheaded stepson combination of Moe, Larry, and Joe Besser. Not a good debut either. On an old tape we got off TV they ran a slew of the old shorts, with alot of classics. This one managed to sneak in there among the others.

Joe Besser was a good comedian, but his style just didn't fit. Nowhere else is this more appearant than here. Moe and Larry have no chemistry with Besser, and it also is horrific to see him actually hit Moe back!!!! Almost totally unacceptable to Stooge purists.

Some of the Joe shorts were alright for what they were. This wasn't though. Really poor script. Jokes fell flat. Just short of abysmal.

0.5 out of 4 from me.

Reviewer's Rating: (1)
Posted 2008-02-08 20:50:12 by BatStooge
Edited 2008-02-08 21:23:55 by Dunrobin

I have De Rita and Besser tied at the bottom of my stooge list. A reason for that is because this episode stinks. The funniest part is when Moe[playing human Bertie] gives human bertie his personality when he drops the food on Joe on purpose

Posted 2007-10-12 08:26:53 by Tofu
Edited 2007-10-12 08:28:58 by Tofu
Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb (a hoof?) and say that I liked this short. Okay, so it's a far cry from any Stooge classic, but after finally seeing it for the first time today, I didn't think it was as abysmally terrible as I've read here.As a sidenote, it's the first Joe short I've seen, and actually the first time I've ever seen Joe Besser, period. I agree that he didn't seem to fit into the Stooge mold, but I can see where his type of act would have been funny elsewhere. I'll have to go and look for some of his stuff... :)I actually wound up giving this a solid 2 pokes -- an extra half poke coming from the ending. Normally I hate "it was all a dream" endings; they come off as really cheap, but in this case, it actually saved the short for me. The entire concept of the short was such a "WTF?" that making it all a dream was the only thing that could have made it work. In fact, it did seem to work for me, because we've all had some pretty silly dreams, and I can only imagine what else goes through the head of a nutty guy like Joe.Beyond all that, I thought the rest of the short was standard Stooge fare -- what slapstick and random silliness there was, wasn't terribly bad, and I actually found myself laughing in several spots. All of the scenes with Benny Rubin as the landlord were good, as were the Moe/Larry bits (as if they wouldn't be). "Ask me nice!" [SLAP!] "That's nice enough!"All in all, not much worse than any of the lesser Curly-era shorts.

Reviewer's Rating: (5)
Posted 2007-07-17 16:48:30 by KingKongFu
Edited 2007-08-14 11:45:10 by KingKongFu

FourthThird, I think the reason many people dislike Joe Besser is because he would not let Moe strike him and that's one of the reasons why I don't find him to be a favorite stooge. I mean after all, we all are used to the slapstick in this show; The Three Stooges has always been a show about slapstick. If Columbia's budget was still in an upswing even after Shemp died and Joe came along, would we Stooge fans still complain about these shorts because it was Besser's fault? Probably not. But his resistance to violence, his whiny attitude, and his reputation of delivering original lines too slowly (as was the case for shorts like GUNS A-POPPIN or SAPPY BULLFIGHTERS) may still somewhat hurt any shorts that might have been if Columbia's shorts department wasn't waning in popularity. That's probably why Joe is disliked as a stooge.

Anyway, if Shemp hadn't kicked the bucket, do you guys think this short would have been made? Maybe not because Columbia was doing remakes before then, and I personally would think they would have done even more remakes of shorts from 1950 and 1951 to produce shorts for 1957, 1958, and 1959 (maybe occasionally with a few originals). Otherwise the extremely low budget Columbia had would be too noticeable if you know what I mean. That's why they had started doing remakes in 1952, to try to mask the noticeably low budget they started to have due to the declining popularity of the short subjects.

But what else could the suits at Columbia do, now that Joe Besser has joined the trio? They were faced the very difficult task of trying to keep the Stooges afloat with the extremely tight budget they had, as well as only ONE director directing ALL the shorts from 1952 on, and they couldn't do Besser remakes of Besser shorts with the Stooges because he didn't join the Stooges before that time when they were making nothing but originals; he just came in, in early 1956. So this is the result of him just entering the scene, whole new footage being shot with him and the other two Stooge veterans, albeit cheaply, with every little bit of money that Columbia had left.

As for this short, the budgetary constraints and lack of energy here are noticeable, plus the whole premise of a reincarnated loved one into a talking horse didn't really work well for the Three Stooges and paled badly in comparison to the "talking horse" that Blystone did in EVEN AS I.O.U. BTW, the shooting dates for this short are unknown, but I think this was filmed sometime in May of 1956 because I could see the calendar in the background, but I don't know if it is a fact or not.

Posted 2007-07-05 09:42:27 by FourthThird
Edited 2007-07-08 09:49:50 by FourthThird

Sure, the Besser-era shorts were not very good overall, and HOOFS is certainly no exception (though I liked it better than I thought I would, having read many a bad thing about it). But, to be honest, it really annoys me when people blame Joe for the low quality of these shorts. It seems obvious to me that the real problem was lazy writing, recycled plots, and low budgets -- things that were already there several years before Joe came along.

Perhaps it's because I became familiar with the Stooges roughly all at once (as opposed to, say, getting into Curly-era stuff years before ever seeing Besser stuff), but for the most part Joe doesn't strike me as a bad fit for the Stooges. If I saw an average Besser outing without knowing the Stooges' history (and without having seen Curly shorts, which would have been true of a lot of people in the late '50s), it never would have occurred to me that that Joe guy somehow didn't belong with those other two. And that "no-hit" rule everyone talks about only really affected a few shorts.

Give Besser credit where it's due. He took the impossible task of walking in Curly's and Shemp's shoes, with the added disadvantages already mentioned (budgets, etc.), and gave it about the best shot anyone could have given it. Plus he seems to have been humble about his contribution, and genuinely respectful of the legacy that he stepped into. And, come on -- does anyone think that, say, A MERRY MIX-UP would have been improved by having Curly-Joe instead, or that HORSING AROUND would have been better as a "Two Stooges" vehicle?

(P.S.: I think Moe's stand-in kind of looks like the "Ringo" character from THE RUTLES.)

Posted 2006-03-28 13:14:38 by [Deleted Member]
This short is bad, real bad, as are the Joe shorts in general. I don't feel, however, that it's entirely Joe's fault that this is so. As has been noted, the Stooge shorts, by this time, were underfunded, rushed, poorly written, claustrophobic, and tired. Joe wasn't a very good fit for the Stooges, but he was a talented clown and could even be amusing at times in his role as the third Stooge. Which brings me to a fantasy that has been brewing in my head: What if some producer in 1959 had decided to make one final great Stooge short? Maybe this guy was someone who had really appreciated their best work, felt bad that they had fallen into such a shabby state, and wanted to return them to their glory one last time. Just like the Beatles, who were basically falling apart, were given a great swan song in the shape of Abbey Road through the guidance of George Martin, this guy pulled out all the stops for the final Stooge short: great writing, a good plot, solid funding, gobs of hilarious gags, lots of slapstick, wonderful supporting cast, outdoor shooting, high energy. He would have understood how to best use Joe for Stooge humor--focusing on his silliness, his over-the-top reactions, his plumpness and funny looks--and involve him big time in the slapstick. Moe and Larry, still able to give amazing performances when encouraged, rise to the occasion with vigor. Think about it--it could have been done! And wouldn't it have been great for the very last Stooge short to be, not a stinker, not even just ok, but a great short--one that could stand up next to other memorable ones? We can dream, can't we? ;-)
(p.s.--I love this site. Thanks for putting up with my long post!).
Posted 2003-11-08 21:33:00 by jagman
I do not like the Besser shorts, but I have seen Besser in other things and have some inkling of how he got his reputation. Under certain circumstances his sissy routine could be quite amusing (though rather one-note even at the best of times). But he simply was a bad choice as a third Stooge. His shrinking violet personality doesn't mesh well with the rough-and-tumble Stooges that we know and love. There is also the fact that Moe and Larry were fairly well along in years by the time that Besser joined them, and their performances tend to lack energy in the shorts with him (and in some of the later Shemp shorts as well).As for this particular short, it is certainly bad. I can't say, however, that it is absolutely the worst one that Besser did, since there are so many strong contenders for the title.
Posted 2001-06-02 01:02:00 by Stooge
Edited 2003-06-29 05:14:00 by Stooge
The Besser era starts off terribly right off the bat with one of the worst Stooge shorts ever. The plot and writing was very lame, and Moe and Larry don't have any funny gags or lines to work with. Besser was annoying as usual. His act was funny elsewhere, but didn't fit the Stooges at all. Benny Rubin as the landlord steals the short and is the only funny thing.

Reviewer's Rating: (1)
Posted 2003-06-11 00:01:00 by [Deleted Member]
Dunrobin is punishing us for some reason with this Besser"mess-terpiece" this week. The Besser/talking horse shortsare probably the worst films the Stooges ever made!Not very original (the similar "Francis the Talking Mule"series with Donald O'Connor came first), and not very funnyat all, either. What a comedown from the days ofmasterpieces like "Punch Drunks," "False Alarms" and"Scrambled Brains." Oh, well...
Posted 2003-06-10 20:36:00 by Pat Stooge
This is first short with Joe besser made not long after Shemp was retired from the Three Stooges and for Joe's first effort its blows. This short is lame,stupid and absolutely pointless,Seeing Moe in drag was very disturbing and weird.Another cruel irony is that Joe Palma the man who stood in for Shemp in the A.D. shorts appears as a drunken idiot.This short was written by drunken idiots and is one I could live without.

Reviewer's Rating: (1)
Posted 2002-06-21 16:08:00 by Super service
My mother always said, "if you can't say something nice about a person (or in this case thing) don't say anything at all." Therefore...For duty and humanity!
Posted 2002-04-05 00:45:00 by jaronson
AMEN to Uncle Mortimer repeating the famous WEAKEST LINK line. At least someone on this website likes that show. Also Uncle Mortimer, add me to the ANTI-BESSER AS A STOOGE Club. This short is the worst short I've ever seen in my life. The talking horse plot is stupid and is very unfunny. Having something talk that can't talk is what brings the grade on this and THE GHOST TALKS down. The only thing that saves this from a bomb is the whole part with Benny Rubin as the landlord. Other than that, this short stinks, plus having Moe play a maid or some woman instead of himself at the very end was a cop-out.Grade: F

Reviewer's Rating: (2)
Posted 2002-02-11 14:19:00 by Shemp_Diesel
The Besser era starts out of the gate like a gimp fawn. Moe and Larry being the troopers they were(and being severely underpaid for over 20 years) had to put on the bold front & act this crap out. And yet as much as this short blew some genius would get the brainstorm to pen a sequel(blech).1 poke

Reviewer's Rating: (1)
Posted 2002-01-09 18:07:00 by BJR
I can't believe we were subjected to this mess on AMC last night! A horrible beginning to an era that would end horribly also with SAPPY BULLFIGHTERS, and have only a few good moments in between (OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, A MERRY MIX-UP).As for this short itself, Joe and the talking horse degrade a short that is already boring and mundane, making it impossible to watch without wanting to throw your TV out the window. Moe's reaction to Larry's stupid joke about "needing the eggs" from Joe at the beginning is one of the only things that made me laugh out loud.I agree with the others, the best character here is not a Stooge, it's the landlord.This is truly a pile of garbage for the ability of Moe and Larry. Joe doesn't have to ruin a short; just look at OIL'S WELL for a good example of Moe and Larry being hilarious despite having an annoying leech attached to the short.This one ranks down at the abyss of Three Stooges shorts along with OUTER SPACE JITTERS, WOMAN HATERS, and THREE TROUBLEDOERS.Rating: 1/10
Posted 2002-01-09 10:31:00 by [Deleted Member]
What can I say about this mess that hasn't been said already? All I can say is, boy, do I feel sorry for Moe and Larry. Besser may have been the biggest miscasting mistake of this century, he's a Wuss with a capital "W"! A VEEERY poorly written script and that horse's annoying complaints certainly don't help. Mediocre is too high praise for this one. Half-poke for Dinkelspiel, but that's it. Darn, I can't think of a signature!

Reviewer's Rating: (1)
Posted 2001-08-25 02:02:00 by [Deleted Member]
This short is only a LITTLE bit not as bad as everyone says. I loved Larry's line in the bathroom- "Ask me nice!" (SLAP) "That's nice enough!" The way he says "Ask me nice!" with that facial expression, that posture/body language and that tone of voice SLAYS me! Benny Rubin is hilarious as well. "I can see.." (Moe puts his glasses on, which are covered with flypaper) "...nothing."Again we see the swishing-horse-tail gag, which was first done in "Fiddlers Three". I liked it there better. By the way, if this short is really so bad, why is there 8 pages of comments on it? Maybe you folks don't really hate it- you just like to SAY that you do!ISLIPP and SLEEP when Joe spille the ether. ©2001Edited by - ISLIPP on 8/27/01 5:44:37 AM

Reviewer's Rating: (5)
Posted 2001-08-22 11:07:00 by Giff me dat fill-em!
I always thought that the "talking horse" (gag?) was used to fill-in for all the slapstick that was missing from the short. It WAS a unique plot device ... too bad it didn't work good enough to help the terrible reviews I and my fellow nyukleheads keep handing out. The best lines in the short for me are at the very end when Joe says "Bertie, I dreamt you were a horse!" And Moette says "A Horse?! Why you Worm!" and dumps the bowl of potatoes on Joe.
Posted 2001-06-07 10:48:00 by Airdale
I believe the script writers were on HEAVY drugs when they thunk up this brlliance.But Besser shorts do have one redeeming quality: they have that uncanny ability to leave you feeling embarassed even when you're the only one in the room watching. A talking horse with a wrist watch on? Maybe the viewers need heavy drugs before viewing aBesser-depressor. rrrrRRUFF!a wrist watch?
Posted 2001-06-02 18:35:00 by sickdrjoe
The first of sixteen rank and runny discharges better known as The Besser Shorts.Lucky for Moe & Larry that tv had wiped out theater attendance by the time this short hit screens like a flung turd.
Posted 2001-04-26 16:32:00 by Nicole
This short. There are not enough bad words in the world to describe this short. I bet Moe and Larry were embarassed just to look at the script of this, this short. Joe Besser was 'funny', but he wasnt a stooge. I could bet they were running out of ideas by '57, so it's obvious that these shorts would stink, but this short is beyond stinky. When I first saw this short, I thought, "This can't be the Three Stooges! There's Moe, there's Larry, but that other guy doesn't have the right to be called a stooge!" No offense to Besser fans, though. Half a poke for Larry and Moe making an attemt to be funny with this Besser guy ().
Posted 2001-04-07 17:55:00 by NicktoBarada
I should think so! (And no, I will not get into the particulars of a foaling). Getting back to rating the short, I would have to say it is okay. Compared to the great powerhouse of the Howard Brothers and Fine, this short is mildly humorous. I wouldn't call it a bomb, like so many of the other Bessers, but it is still rather unimaginative. There are funny bits-- just not with Joe. Hey, I only watch these things for the sake of Moe and Larry; they are the ones who carry the short and save it from total disaster. Ah, the late 50's and early 60's were a turbulent time... The Bay of Pigs disaster, the Cold War with Russia, the Joe Besser era... (shudder) No wonder people were so screwy!
Posted 2001-02-22 02:48:00 by Mike Holme
My Re-Review: This short is a terrible debut for Joe as a stooge,what a clunker. The only punishment Moe gives him, which is not much, is dumping a bucket of water on him. Then Joe bonks him right on the head, and Moe does nothing to Joe for that while he slaps Larry for asking him to ask nice. The horse plot is absolutely, the stupidest plot I have seen as a stooge fan. But I haven't seen the sequel, so this is probably not the worst one ever, but its the worst I've seen yet!
Posted 2001-01-09 18:26:00 by Uncle Mortimer
I 'bad mouth' Joe Besser because he STINKS while Curly and Shemp RULE. Shemp and Curly were both irreplaceable, especially with a wimpy and unfunny personality like Joe Besser's. I will say that "Hoofs and Goofs" is one of the better Besser shorts though. But it's 'because' of MOE and LARRY. Hell, the HORSE is better than Besser!! (The only reason I'll watch a Joe Besser-era short is for MOE & LARRY.)

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