|A Gem of a Jam|
|Directed by||Del Lord|
|Produced by||Hugh McCollum|
|Written by||Monte Collins|
|Edited by||Paul Borofsky|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
A Gem of a Jam is a 1943 short subject directed by Del Lord starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). It is the 76th entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
The Stooges are janitors in a doctor's office working the night shift. The usual antics occur, first with Moe getting an electrical shock down his pants, leading to a cossack dance. Then, Curly gets his head wedged inside a fish bowl, containing a live fish. Though Moe and Larry eventually slide the bowl off, Curly starts to feel the swallowed fish tickling his insides. Moe manages to fish the aquatic critter out of Curly.
Outside, a crook on the lam is shot in the arm while trying to make a getaway after a robbery. The thugs bring their hurt leader (John Tyrrell) up to the Stooges, thinking the doctor's office is open for business. The boys play doctor and promptly anesthetize the wounded crook with a rubber mallet. Then, the wounded crook slides off the gurney and out the window while the Stooges' back are turned. As luck would have it, the crook lands right into a police car waiting below at street level. The other crooks flee when they see the Stooges mangle the situation, only to be captured by the policemen.
The trio, meanwhile, take cover in a spooky storage area, replete with a huge jack-in-the-box, and a scared night watchman (Dudley Dickerson). Curly is so terrified that he stumbles into a trough filled with fast-drying plaster, making him virtually immobile. As a consequence, the poor, ghostly-looking Stooge ends up scaring all involved.
The gag of Curly stepping out of a trough appearing as a ghost first appeared in the 1934 Laurel and Hardy film The Live Ghost. When the night watchman (Dudley Dickerson) backs into the mannequin, he shouts, "I'm losing my mind!" This line, however, has been muted for television broadcasts and home video releases.