VHS cover art
|Directed by||Norman Maurer|
|Produced by||Norman Maurer|
|Written by||Norman Maurer|
Moose the Dog
|Cinematography||James T. Flocker
|Edited by||Pat Somerset|
|Distributed by||Normandy Productions|
Kook's Tour is an American short comedy film produced in late 1969 and early 1970. It was the final film to star the Three Stooges and was originally intended as the pilot for a television series. However, on January 9, 1970, before filming was completed, Larry Fine suffered a severe stroke, paralyzing the left side of his body. When it became clear that Fine was not expected to recover fully from the stroke, production of the series was cancelled and the Kook's Tour pilot film was shelved. The film remained unreleased for several years until its director Norman Maurer had the available footage re-edited into a 52-minute presentation and arranged for it to be released to the Super 8 home movie market in the mid-1970s. It has since been released on home video.
The name is a pun on the term "Cook's Tour", which was popularized by the Thomas Cook travel company. The film also served as a vehicle to show off the great variety of Chrysler Corporation vehicles. All the vehicles shown in this movie were produced by Chrysler, Chrysler RV, and Chrysler Marine Division.
Kook's Tour was the third time the Stooges had tried to create a live-action television series, after their first attempt with Jerks of All Trades in 1949, and then The Three Stooges Scrapbook in 1960.
Following Larry's stroke and the cancellation of Kook's Tour, several attempts were made to revive the Stooges (with Emil Sitka replacing Larry, and DeRita attempting to form a new trio for live appearances), but no further films were produced before Larry Fine's and Moe Howard's deaths in 1975 and the final dissolution of the group.
Kook's Tour was conceived by Moe Howard's son-in-law, frequent Three Stooges collaborator Norman Maurer, as a weekly television series that would have mixed the Stooges' brand of farce comedy with a documentary travelogue format. The concept of the series was that, after 50 years of comic mayhem, the Stooges (Moe, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita) have retired and are traveling the world with their dog, Moose, motor home, and motor boat (which is transported from place to place via a cargo plane). The 52-minute pilot film for the series saw the Stooges exploring the wilderness of the western United States, including areas of Wyoming and Idaho. In the meantime, Larry keeps getting snubbed when trying to catch a fish and getting a picture of a deer. At the end of the pilot film, Larry, in frustration, throws his hat into the water and fish bite on the fishing hooks attached to it. Larry starts to get excited about catching some fish, but Curly-Joe counts the fish and says "One for me, one for Moe, and one for....Moose!"
The epilogue shows Moe sitting in an office, discussing the trip and stating that their next destination for the second episode (which was ultimately never produced) was Japan. (Moe makes no reference to Larry's stroke; it's unknown whether this scene was filmed before or after.)
- Kook's Tour at threestooges.net
- Kook's Tour at the Internet Movie Database
- Kook's Tour at AllMovie
- Three Stooges.com description