Rumpus in the Harem is the 171st short subject starring the Three Stooges.
The Stooges are about to head off to open their restaurant (the Cafe Casbah Bah, a Middle Eastern restaurant) when they are awoken by their crying sweethearts. It seems the girls are in need of some money to pay off a bad debt. While attempting to prepare a meal for customers Hassan Ben Sober (Vernon Dent) and Gin-A Rummy (George J. Lewis), the Stooges try to think of a way to raise the needed cash. In the interim, they discover a plan that their hungry customers are hatching. These two thieves are attempting to rob the tomb of Rootentooten, which contains a priceless diamond, but they discover that the Emir of Schmow (Johnny Kascier) has already gotten his hands on the diamond. The two plotters start wailing and are thrown out of the restaurant. The Stooges then attempt to retrieve the diamond themselves, as there is a $50,000 reward at stake.
The Stooges arrive at the Emir of Shmow's palace, all three dressed as Santa Claus. They then manage to acquire the diamond and make a quick exit, but not before dealing with a burly guard.
As Shemp Howard had already died, for these 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.
For Rumpus in the Harem, Palma is seen from the back several times. The first time occurs in the restaurant when Moe declares that the trio must do something to help their sweethearts. Larry then concludes the conversation by saying "I've got it, I've got it!" Moe inquires with "What?" Larry replies, "a terrific headache!"
Later, Palma is seen from the back being chased in circles by the palace guard. A few lines of dialogue appear — "Whoa, Moe, Larry! Moe, help!" — by dubbing Shemp's voice from the soundtracks of Fuelin' Around and Blunder Boys.
Palma is seen one final time, making a mad dash for the open window, and supplying his own yell before making the final jump. 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.