Three Hams on Rye

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Three Hams on Rye
Directed by Jules White
Produced by Jules White
Written by Clyde Bruckman
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Emil Sitka
Christine McIntyre
Nanette Bordeaux
Ned Glass
Danny Lewis
Judy Malcolm
Brian O'Hara
Mildred Olsen
Blackie Whiteford
Cinematography Al Zeigler
Edited by Edwin H. Bryant
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 7, 1950 (1950-09-07) (U.S.)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

Three Hams on Rye is the 125th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1950 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 Stooges are stage hands who also have small parts in the production of "The Bride Wore Spurs." They quickly get on the bad side of their producer, B. K. Doaks (Emil Sitka), who has had his last several plays panned by famous critic Nick Barker (Ned Glass) and wants to put on a good show with what he has. In order to prevent Barker from getting in to see the play, he commissions the boys to stop him from sneaking in, which they fail to do as a result of their confusing disguises (they end up attacking each other and B.K.).

B.K. reprimands the Stooges and demands they get the props ready for the final act (a cake and a salad), but Moe is reminded that he forgot to go shopping for them. It is also late at night and the stores are closed, so the Stooges have to whip up a cake and salad for the act to appease B.K. and save the show. However, as the cake is being prepared, Shemp accidentally tosses a pot holder onto a cake pan, resulting in Moe unintentionally adding it into the cake.

As the final scene commences, the Stooges and a number of other bit actors, as Southern Gentlemen, all propose to "Janie Belle" (Christine McIntyre) at once, and she proposes a contest; whoever eats the most of her cake gets her hand in marriage. However, the cake is difficult to eat as a result of the pot holder, and after ingesting their pieces, all the actors begin coughing up feathers, causing all in attendance to start laughing uproariously.

B.K. is mortified and cues the curtain down, and as the Stooges drink copious amounts of punch to quell the feathers in their mouths, B.K. tears into them. However, in a reversal of fortunes, Barker thinks the play is a hilarious satire and commends the Stooges' performance before asking to see B.K.'s next work. B.K. then claims that the next work will star the Stooges as the main roles, and the boys are redeemed.

Production notes[edit]

The plot device of the coughing up feathers due to a misplaced potholder was borrowed from 1935's Uncivil Warriors. This is the fourteenth of sixteen Stooge shorts with the word "three" in the title.[1]

Three Hams On Rye was filmed in December 1948 and was not released until September 1950. The 630 days between filming and releasing the short are the longest for any Shemp film released as a member of the team, Love at First Bite comes in second at 620 days.


  1. ^ Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. pp. 370–371. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4. 

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