Hot Stuff
Directed by Jules White
Produced by Jules White
Written by Felix Adler
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Joe Palma
Emil Sitka
Gene Roth
Connie Cezon
Evelyn Lovequist
Christine McIntyre
Vernon Dent
Philip Van Zandt
Jock Mahoney
Andri Pola
Harold Brauer
Cinematography Ray Cory
Editing by Harold White
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • September 6, 1956 (1956-09-06)
Running time 15' 55"
Country United States
Language English
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Hot Stuff is the 172nd short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.


The Stooges are secret agents working undercover at the home of Professor Sneed (Emil Sitka) and his daughter (Christine McIntyre). Sneed is developing a rocket fuel in secret for the government. Captain Rork (Philip Van Zandt) watches the professor through his front window, with hopes of kidnapping him. Of course, Rork and his henchmen capture the Stooges instead, mistaking Larry for the professor. Trouble brews when the Stooges are required to whip up some the fuel, and then write down the formula. It does not take long for the kidnappers to capture the real Professor Sneed, along with his daughter, and throw them all in jail until the formula is disclosed. As Rork serves the Stooges their last meal, they steal the jail keys from him and use their fake fuel to break themselves, Professor Sneed and his daughter out of the jail and make a quick exit.

Production notesEdit

The short is a remake of 1949's Fuelin' Around, using ample stock footage.[1] Hot Stuff was one of four shorts filmed in the wake of Shemp Howard's death using earlier footage and a stand-in.

"Fake Shemp"Edit

Fake Shemp comic

"Fake Shemp" WikiWorld article

Main article: Fake Shemp

As Shemp Howard had already died, for his last four films (Rumpus in the Harem, Hot Stuff, Scheming Schemers and Commotion on the Ocean), Columbia utilized supporting actor Joe Palma to be Shemp's double. Even though the last four shorts were remakes of earlier Shemp efforts, Palma's services were needed to link what few new scenes were filmed to the older stock footage.[1]


For Hot Stuff, Palma is seen twice. The first time occurs when the Stooges, disguised in beards, are trolling through office hallways. Moe instructs Shemp to pursue a suspicious looking girl, to which Palma grunts "Right!" He then walks off-camera, allowing Moe and Larry to finish the scene by themselves. This is the only time Palma allowed his face to be seen on-camera. As he was purposely wearing a beard, his face is successfully concealed.

Later, Palma is seen from the back while the boys are locked in the laboratory. Palma attempts to imitate Shemp's famed cry of "Heep, heep, heep!". Again, Moe directs Shemp, this time to guard the door. Palma obliges, mutters a few additional "Heep, heep, heeps!," and conveniently hides behind the door. This was one of the few times during his tenure as Shemp's double that Palma was required to speak without the aid of dubbing.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Script error
  2. Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg; (1982). The Three Stooges Scrapbook, p. 263, Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0946-5

External linksEdit

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