Ants in the Pantry (1936) starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard)
In Ants in the Pantry, the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry and Curly) are inept pest exterminators who are about to lose their jobs – until their boss “suggests” that they start infesting the houses they visit with vermin, so that they can then exterminate them! It seems to work at the first mansion they try, with the lady of the house having them dress up in fox hunting clothes, so as to blend in with the other guests at the party she’s throwing.
Soon the Stooges are trying to get rid of the pests that they’ve brought in, including Larry throwing a sackful of cats into a piano (to get rid of the mice there), only to have Curly try to remove them — without drawing attention to himself, of course! The party is a disaster, with the lady of the house preparing to throw the Three Stooges out, until her guests begin congratulating her on the funny “entertainment” that she’s hired!
All is forgiven, and she even invites the Stooges along on the fox hunt. Curly, however, is suffering from a cold and doesn’t realize that the “fox” that he’s found is, in fact, a skunk — whose stench knocks out Moe and Larry — and a horse as well!
Ants in the Pantry is available on DVD as part of The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 1: 1934-1936, and is highly recommended.
Moe Howard relates the following story about the filming of Ants in the Pantry in his autobiography, Moe Howard and the Three Stooges:
“There was a scene where we were having trouble selling our services, so we complain to our boss, who tells us, ‘If they don’t have any bugs, give them some.’ We got the idea and went from house to house throwing moths in with minks, mice on the floor, and ants in the pantry. During the shooting, I hadn’t noticed that a small container of red ants had broken apart in my pocket and the little devils were crawling down my back, in my hair, and into my pants. It was insane. All through the scene I was scratching and squirming and slapping myself on the neck and face and on the seat of my pants. Elated, director Preston Black shouted, ‘Great Moe. Keep up that squirming!’ It was very funny – to everyone but me.”
Funny movie quotes for the Three Stooges short film, Ants in the Pantry
Moe (Moe Howard): …if they ain’t got ants, they ain’t got ants!
A. Mouser: So you give them ants, und mice, und moths, all sroough the houses; you Dummkopfs!
Curly (Curly Howard): [hiding behind a wire frame garbage can] Howâd he see us?
Moe (Moe Howard): Must’ve been the garlic you ate last night.
Girl: [to Moe, unaware that her skirt has ripped off] Do you feel a draft?
Moe (Moe Howard): Draft?
Moe (Moe Howard): No, I was exempted.
Curly (Curly Howard): Thanks for the dance, or whatever you might call it?
Girl: What’s the matter?
Curly (Curly Howard): [being pulled out of his chair by Larry, sight unseen] Can’t you see that I’m falling for you?
Moe (Moe Howard): [trying to wrap a chain around Curlyâs waist as an impromptu belt] If you didn’t have TB, I could get this around you.
Curly (Curly Howard): What do you mean, TB?
Moe (Moe Howard): Two bellies.
[the Stooges as pest exterminators drumming up business & ruining a society dinner]
Moe (Moe Howard): [to Larry, carrying bear trap]
Larry (Larry Fine): You never know, we might run into a bear.
Moe (Moe Howard): Yeah, like my bare hand! [slaps Larry]
Moe (Moe Howard): What school to you go to?
Curly (Curly Howard): Oxford!
Moe (Moe Howard): You should go back to loafers! [stamps Curly’s foot]
Larry (Larry Fine): Say, whatever happened in 1776?
Curly (Curly Howard): What street?
Curly (Curly Howard): What does he think I am, a rat?
Moe (Moe Howard): [menacingly] Yeah!
Curly (Curly Howard): Well, you didn’t have to tell everybody.
Trivia for Ants in the Pantry
- Ants in the Pantry was reworked in 1951 as Pest Man Wins.
- The title, Ants in the Pantry is a play on words on the phrase “ants in the pants”
- Three Stooges regular Bud Jamison appears as one of the party guests