Income Tax Sappy

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Income Tax Sappy
Directed by Jules White
Produced by Jules White
Written by Felix Adler
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Benny Rubin
Margie Liszt
Nanette Bordeaux
Vernon Dent
Joe Palma
Cinematography Ray Cory
Edited by Edwin Bryant
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 4, 1954 (1954-02-04) (U.S.)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

Income Tax Sappy is the 153rd short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1954 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.


The boys are set to do their income taxes, which are due the next day. As they do, Moe mentions on how easy it is for people to cheat on their tax returns and not get caught, so the three of them get the idea to create their own fake deductions to ensure a hefty refund, and throughout their endeavors, Larry and Shemp come up with an idea to come up with creative deductions for other peoples' tax returns and charging them for it. Moe finds this idea grand, and the three of them become "tax experts."

Not long afterward, the Stooges are enjoying a life of luxury, having made lots of money from profits and their own tax returns. On one particular day, they host a dinner party for one of their clients, a German man who obsessively strokes his beard, but as the meal commences, strange happenings and the boys' own incompetence anger their guest. He then removes his beard (which Larry had accidentally cut off), exposes himself as a sleeper agent for the IRS, and calls in his fellow agents to arrest the Stooges for tax fraud. With nothing left to lose, the boys make a mad dash away and attempt to fight off the agents, but end up being busted and sent away in handcuffs.

Production notes[edit]

The title Income Tax Sappy is a homonym for "Income Tax Happy."[1]

This is one of only two shorts released in 1954 containing all new footage, the other being Shot in the Frontier. Shemp Howard did not slick down his long hair in either film. This was because he had begun dying his hair by this time, and initially could not use pomade.[1]

Income Tax Sappy features a recurring gag of "Man Vs. Soup," wherein one of the Stooges is about to eat a soup that, at first unbeknownst to them, contains a live crustacean that continually eats all the crackers the Stooge drops in it, and a battle between the two parties ensues. In 1941's Dutiful But Dumb, Curly Howard tries to defeat a stubborn oyster in his stew; in 1948's Shivering Sherlocks, Moe is having problems with clam chowder; in this episode, Larry struggles against lobster gumbo.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion, p. 435; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0-9711868-0-4

External links[edit]