The Yoke's on Me
|The Yoke's on Me|
|Directed by||Jules White|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Clyde Bruckman|
|Edited by||Charles Hochberg|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
The Yoke's on Me is the 79th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1944 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.
The Stooges try to join the army but are labeled 4-F by the draft board due to Curly having water on the knee. After they decide to go on vacation until a job comes along, their father (Robert McKenzie) insists they aid the war effort instead by becoming farmers. Inspired, the trio sell their dilapidated car and buy an equally dilapidated farm. The farm contains no livestock except for one ostrich, which eats gunpowder. The boys then spot some pumpkins and decide to carve and sell them.
In the interim, several Japanese-Americans escape a prison camp (known during World War II as relocation centers), and work their way onto the Stooges' farm. Curly is the first to notice some suspicious activity (one of the escapees places a carved pumpkin on his head, spooking Curly). Eventually, Moe and Larry believe him, and realize that the farm is surrounded by the Japanese-Americans (whom they mistake for Japanese invaders). Moe then throws an ostrich egg (laden with digested gunpowder) at the escapees, killing them.
During World War II, the Stooges released several comedies that engaged in propaganda against the then-enemy Japanese, including Spook Louder, No Dough Boys, Booby Dupes and The Yoke's on Me. The Yoke's on Me is especially singled out by modern critics. For many years, the film was blacklisted by some television stations, due to its treatment of Japanese American escapees from a relocation center (the characters are not Japanese POWs).
Author Jon Solomon has said, "no Stooge film so profoundly disturbs modern viewers as this one." Author Michael Fleming put it more bluntly: "Knowing what we do now about how Japanese-born American citizens were mistreated and stripped of their belongings in relocation centers makes this as funny as a train wreck."
- Curly: "Look, look! A pelican!"
- Moe: "That's no pelican, it's a gander."
- Curly: "Mahatma gander?"
- Moe: "No, a gander, a gander! A goose's husband."
- Larry: "Yeah, a papa goose."
- Curly: "Do they have papa gooseses and mama gooseses?"
- Larry: "Oh sure. And little baby gooseses, too."
- Curly: "Oh, I read about them. They come from Germany...the goosetapo!"
- Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. p. 321. ISBN 9781595800701.
- Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, California: Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 246. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
- "The Yoke's On Me". Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Fleming, Michael (1999). The Three Stooges: An Illustrated History, From Amalgamated Morons to American Icons. New York, New York: Broadway Publishing. p. 208. ISBN 0-7679-0556-3.