Scheming Schemers

Scheming Schemers is the 173rd 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 inept plumbers at Day and Nite Plumbers. Moe is busy reading "How to Be a Plumber" when the phone rings with a request to find a ring that trickles down the sinkpipe at the home of the wealthy Norfleets (Emil Sitka and Symona Boniface). The timing could not be any worse, as the Norfleets are throwing a dinner party to celebrate the acquisition of a $50,000 Van Brocklin painting.

Just as the Stooges happily retrieve the ring, Larry knocks it out of Moe's hand, right back down the drain. The Stooges then work their way to basement to find the water shutoff. Larry is assigned to finding the water cutoff and proceeds to dig up most of the the lawn in an attempt to turn off the water. Shemp later surmises that the pipes fail to work properly because they are "clogged up with wires." Shemp and Moe proceed to remove the electrical system from the pipes and connect a water pipe to the freshly available pipe. The cook (Dudley Dickerson), who is in the kitchen trying to prepare an extravagant meal for the Norfleets, watches in bewilderment as the stove and chandalier gush water.

As the Norfleet's house transforms into Niagara Falls, two party guests named Mr. and Mrs. Allen (Kenneth MacDonald and Christine McIntyre) manage to swipe the prized Van Brocklin painting. The Stooges manage, however, to catch onto the Allen's scheme and retrieve the painting, but not before engaging in a pie fight with Mr. Allen. As this is going on, Moe wonders where Shemp is throughout the pie melee. It then is discovered that Shemp is in the upstairs bathroom, trapping himself inside a maze of pipes.


The Stooges have invented a lot of gadgets over the years which include the following:

  • a cot that anyone can flip in case one cannot get up in the morning
  • a phone attached to an extendable piece of metal
  • a home made hatchery bin
  • a spring to launch food to their customers

End of the Shemp Howard era

As Shemp Howard had already passed away, 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.

For Scheming Schemers, Palma appears for the shot of "Shemp" honking a truck horn. Palma then gathers several pipes, obstructing his face. Palma then gets a line of dialogue — "Hold yer horses, will ya?" — by dubbing in Shemp's voice from the soundtrack of The Ghost Talks.


Scheming Schemers is a reworking of Vagabond Loafers, which in itself was a remake of A Plumbing We Will Go. Additional pie fight footage was recycled from Half-Wits Holiday.

See also


Further reading

  • Moe Howard and the Three Stooges; by Moe Howard, (Citadel Press, 1977). ISBN 0806507233
  • The Three Stooges: An Illustrated History, From Amalgamated Morons to American Icons; by Michael Fleming (Broadway Publishing, 2002). ISBN 0767905563
  • One Fine Stooge: A Frizzy Life in Pictures; by Steve Cox and Jim Terry, (Cumberland House Publishing, 2006). ISBN 1581823630

Search another word or see schemingon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature