Having spent Saturday at the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival, I’ve got bagpipe music still ringing in my ears, and tartan on the brain. I witnessed feats of strength that included FLIPPING an 130-pound log. Some star from Game of Thrones (aka the Mountain) even set a world record throwing a weight over a high bar, apparently a repeat performance. It looked about as effortless as the rest of us tossing a ping pong ball.
Naturally, I’ve been scanning for Scottish movies in hopes of extending my memories of men in kilts, especially since I don’t have time just now to be swept into Volume 2 of Outlander (whose Jamie, naturally, had a cardboard statue at the Fraser clan tent). Encountering an entry called “Hot Scots” on Wikipedia, I assumed some early Chippendalish, Magic Mike embarrassment was to be found, only to discover that the entry was referencing an episode of The Three Stooges.
Now I don’t think “hot” when I hear the names Moe, Larry, and Shemp. I don’t think I’m alone in that. But, like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers after them, the three sure did excel at making fun of themselves, and that made the episode worth a look.
The plot of the episode is about as flimsy as you’d guess: the stooges decide they want a job at Scotland Yard, and have mistaken a garden cleanup employment ad for an investigative one. After fouling up that simple task, they discover a posting calling for detectives in Scotland, and equip themselves with kilts and Mcs in front of their names for the job. After hearing their accents, their new client inquires what part of Scotland Shemp is from. Moe explains that Shemp is from the south, “below the McMason-McDixon line.”
Their client wants his possessions protected as he’s off at a clan meeting, and of course, the stooges utterly fail to notice his entire staff taking everything he owns. There’s even a Scooby Doo moment when Shemp fails to notice a masked robber isn’t Larry.
The episode, of course, is saturated with silly sound effects and the stooges whacking each other with sticks and clubs. I’m not a huge stooges fan–their humor is a little too exclusively physical for me–but somehow, the style is so suitable for the weird way we celebrate the Scottish, and the many spills reminded me of my favorite scene from Mike Myers’ comedies: The infamous “We have a piper down!” wedding clip from So I Married an Axe Murder.
Give “Hot Scots” a try if you want a break from work or the news this week. You can find it on Amazon Instant, The Three Stooges Collection, 1946-48, Episode 15, and of course, YouTube. I think we can all use some silliness about now…