Dewey, Cheatem & Howe
Dewey, Cheatem & Howe is the gag name of a fictional law or accounting firm, 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.
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 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 2012 film uses this example among similar ones such as proctologists "Proba, Keister, and Wince" and divorce lawyers "Ditcher, Quick, and Hyde."
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".
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.
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.
In an episode of White Collar (Season 01 Episode 09 Min 5:41) 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.
- 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