The Yoke’s on Me, starring the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly), originally released May 26, 1944
The Yoke’s on Me is a very difficult Three Stooges short film to review, because it deals with the issue of racism — and not in a good way. In The Yoke’s on Me, the villains are Japanese Americans who have escaped from internment centers. The actors portraying the escapees wear dental prosthetics to exaggerate their supposed “enemy Jap” look. Which is ironic since, in the other Three Stooges short films of the era, actors portraying Japanese did not have to wear them. I strongly oppose the entire idea of political correctness. I believe it to be nothing more than censorship. But I find this short film disturbing because of the racist overtones, and due to the way that it deals with Americans of Japanese ancestry, I cannot recommend it.
Having said that, the basic premise of The Yoke’s on Me is as follows: having been rejected by the armed services, the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, and Curly) decide to “do their part” during World War II by becoming farmers. After paying $1,000 and throwing in their car, the boys become owners of a run-down farm, which lacks any livestock. After capturing an escaped ostrich, they decide to carve jack-o- lanterns for profit and then must contend with some Japanese Americans who have escaped from an internment center. The Three Stooges capture the escapees, with the help of explosive eggs laid by the ostrich who had swallowed some blasting powder.
Funny movie quotes from The Yokes on Me starring the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly)
Curly: Look, look! A pelican!
Moe: That’s no pelican, it’s a gander.
Curly: Mahatma gander?
Moe: No, a gander, a gander! A goose’s husband.
Larry: Yeah, a papa goose.
Curly: Do they have papa gooseses and mama gooseses?
Larry: Oh sure. And little baby gooseses, too.
Curly: Oh, I read about them. They come from Germany…the goosetapo!
Curly: That’s easy — we’ve got an ostrich that lays hand grenades!
Trivia about The Yoke’s on Me starring the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly)
- The short deals with the relocation centers set up by the U.S. Government during World War II. This was a very controversial issue, and when it was revisited in the 1970s, this short was banned from American television. It is the only Three Stooges short with that distinction.