All the World's a Stooge

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All the World's a Stooge
Directed by Del Lord
Produced by Hugh McCollum
Del Lord
Written by John Grey
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Lelah Tyler
Emory Parnell
Richard Fiske
Olaf Hytten
Bud Jamison
Symona Boniface
Ethelreda Leopold
Cinematography Benjamin H. Kline
Edited by Art Seid
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 16, 1941 (1941-05-16) (U.S.)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

All the World's a Stooge is the 55th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1941 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.


Wealthy Ajax Bullion (Emory Parnell) is up in arms when his eccentric wife (Lelah Tyler) informs him that she wants to adopt a refugee, the latest socio-political movement. To top it off, he has a terrible toothache. His wife insists he goes to the dentist so she can prepare the nursery.

The Stooges are window washers who work on a scaffold outside of a tall building. Moe and Larry use a rope to pull a Curly back up to the scaffold. Moe then orders Curly to continue the job. He obliges but throws a bucket of water at an open window, and the water splashes all over the dentist's office. At nearly the same time, the dentist (Richard Fiske) arrives to see the mess. He then leaves after threatening to have them fired. It is then that Moe orders Larry and Curly to dry up the floor.

Mr. Bullion meets the inept window washers (whom he mistakes for interim dentists) when he enters the office demanding medical attention. They knock him out cold when he asks for anesthetic, then attempt to find the bad tooth. After pulling his bridge-work out completely ("you stripped his gears!", Larry comments), they try to put it back into his mouth with cement. However, the cement hardens before they have a chance to put the tooth back in, so they decide to blast. The dentist arrives back in his office as the dynamite is lit. He calls out to the Stooges, who notice him and run off. The dynamite goes off and Mr. Bullion wakes up, noticing that the pain in his tooth is gone. He heads back to his car and notices the Stooges hiding inside. He inquires as to what they are up to, and Moe says that they are "refugees." Mr. Bullion then has a very nasty idea to disabuse his wife of her philanthropic notion: pass these three nitwits off as refugee children.

Mrs. Bullion is naturally thrilled at the sight of the Stooges, who are dressed as children. Moe and Curly are in large sailor suits, while Larry is dressed as a girl in a dress with a large bow on his head. Mr. Bullion calls them Johnny (Moe), Frankie (Curly), and Mabel (Larry). The Stooges then stay with the Bullions until Mrs. Bullion decides to have a party to introduce her wealthy friends to her new refugees.

Mrs. Bullion ends up regretting their adoption during the party in their honor — and Mr. Bullion is beginning to regret concocting this scheme to begin with. The festivities are interrupted when an angered Mr. Bullion chases after the Stooges with an axe.

Production notes[edit]

All the World's a Stooge was the last short to be filmed in 1940. Filmed on August 24–28, 1940,[1] the title of the film parodies William Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage."[2]

Adopting refugees from European countries was a common event amongst society people during World War II.[2]


  1. ^ Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. p. 38. ISBN 9781595800701. 
  2. ^ a b Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, California: Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 191. ISBN 0971186804. 

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