Dewey, Cheatem & Howe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe is the gag name of a fictional law or accounting firm,[1] used in several parody settings. 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 'em? And how!" This gag name is also used more broadly as a placeholder for any hypothetical law firm.[2][3][4][5][6]

The second name varies somewhat with regards to spelling (Cheetem, Cheater, Cheethem, Cheatham, etc.), but also to the word upon which it is based (Screwum, Burnham, etc.).


The name of the DC&H corporate offices (otherwise known as the headquarters of the radio show Car Talk) is visible on the third floor window above the corner of Brattle and JFK Streets, in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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 declared that they established DC&H in 1989.[7]

A popular poster for The Three Stooges features the Stooges as bumbling members of such a firm, although the actual episodes use the name "Dewey, Burnham, and Howe". The 2012 film uses this example, among similar ones such as proctologists "Proba, Keister, and Wince" and divorce lawyers "Ditcher, Quick, and Hyde." In the film Heavenly Daze, Moe and Larry deal with a crooked attorney named "I. Fleecem" (I fleece 'em).

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.[8]

Variants exist on the theme. The British magazine Private Eye uses "Sue, Grabbitt, and Runne" ("sue, grab it and run") when satirizing the legal profession, reflecting the magazine's experience defending from defamation 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".

Catherine O'Hara used the phrase in the premiere 1986 edition of HBO's telethon "Comic Relief."[9]

Robin Williams used a variant of the pun when making a joke about the Bernard Madoff fiasco and the fact that his name is pronounced as "made off" by saying "Was the name not a clue? Did he have to be with the accounting firm of Dewey, Fuckyou and Howe?"

The novel Gump and 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.

In an episode of Gilmore Girls, Luke Danes (Scott Patterson), while dealing with his wife's irritating divorce lawyer, jokes that his own lawyer is Don Dewey at "Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe."

Johnny Carson used the fictional law firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe in his satirical skits.

In an episode of Prison Break, Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell states that he won a large sum of money after sustaining an injury on an oil rig, thanks to his lawyers at "Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe".

In an episode of Friends, Chandler Bing's boss states that the company they both work for has signed a contract with a new law firm: "Dewey, Cheatem and Howe". It is, of course, in the context of an office party, shortly before the boss is heard giving the punchline "Twenty dollars Sister, same as in town.".

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.

The novel The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams features a firm of architects by the name of "Sir Conham Goode, Son, and Howe".

In an episode of White Collar (Season 01 Episode 09, time index 0:05:41) the document that has the Judge's ID stamp lists the Plaintiff as being represented by "Donald Dewey of the law firm Dewey, Chetham and Howe".

In the video game, The Sims 4, Sims in the Business career go to work at the "Dewey, Cheatem & Howe" offices.

In one Stunt Dawgs comic book story, the Stunt Scabs' lawyer introduces himself as Slyme Whiplash and the law firm he works for as "Dewey, Cheatam and Howe".

In the Count Duckula episode "Who-Dunnit?" the lawyer firm is identified as "Chattem, Cheetem and Runn" though their representative is called Mr. Snatchitt.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gerald P. Koocher, Patricia Keith-Spiegel (1998). Ethics in psychology: professional standards and cases. Oxford University Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-19-509201-1.
  2. ^ "The Fullname Citation Style". Harvard University. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  3. ^ "LaTeX letter using "appmhead" styles". University of Colorado Boulder. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  4. ^ "Math 103, Fall 2009, questions for final exam televised review, with solutions" (PDF). Rutgers University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  5. ^ "Meet Your Clients - Consumer Protection - Fall 2002" (PDF). Georgia State University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-15. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  6. ^ "Research Memo Assignment". Louisiana State University. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  7. ^ "The History of Car Talk". Car Talk ( Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  8. ^ New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, August 2, 2008 Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^