Dewey, Cheatem & Howe
Dewey, Cheatem & Howe is the gag name of a fictional law or accounting firm, used in several parody settings. Comic figures The Three Stooges, Johnny Carson, Groucho Marx, and Daffy Duck were among the first to mention a firm of this name. The gag name pokes fun at the perceived propensity of some lawyers and accountants to take advantage of their clients: the name of the firm is a pun on the phrase "Do we cheat them? And how!". This gag name is also used more broadly as a placeholder for any hypothetical law firm.
The second name varies somewhat, with regards to spelling (Cheetem, Cheater, Cheethem, Cheatham...) but also to the word it is based upon (Screwum, Burnham...).
Tom and Ray Magliozzi, of NPR's Car Talk radio program, named their business corporation "Dewey, Cheetham & Howe". Their corporate offices were located on a third-floor office at the corner of Brattle and JFK Streets in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Magliozzi brothers have declared that they established the DC&H in 1989.
A popular Three Stooges poster features the Stooges as bumbling members of such a firm, although the actual episodes use the name "Dewey, Burnham, and Howe".
The champion Standardbred race horse Deweycheatumnhowe takes his name from this pun. On August 3, 2008, that undefeated horse won harness racing's most prestigious event, the Hambletonian Stakes, run at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Variants exist on the theme. The British magazine Private Eye uses "Sue, Grabbitt, and Runne" ("sue, grab it and run") when satirising the legal profession, reflecting the magazine's experience defending from libel lawsuits. In a set of legal forms published for lawyers and other legal professionals,[vague] one fictitious law-firm name is "Skrewer, Widow & Children." The narrating presidential aide in Christopher Buckley's novel The White House Mess came from the law firm of "Dewey, Scruem, and Howe".
Payne & Fears LLP is the Irvine, CA, law practice of James Payne and Daniel Fears, who allude on their website to their "unintentionally ominous name."
Robin Williams used a variant of the pun when making a joke about the Bernie Madoff fiasco and the fact that his name is pronounced as "made off" by saying "What's next, a law firm called Dewey, Fuckyou and Howe?"
The novel Gump & Co., Winston Groom's sequel to Forrest Gump, names "Dewey, Screwum, & Howe" as legal representation for members, including Forrest Gump, of a New York firm accused of insider trading.
The 1989 video game Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals features a law firm by this name, though only the second partner, Suzi Cheatem, makes an actual appearance in the game.
- Aptronym, a personal name descriptive of the person so named.
- Blackacre, another legal placeholder name
- do-dew merger
- Lawyer jokes, which often use fictional firms or fictional names
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- New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, August 2, 2008
- Wright Hassall Solicitors
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