Recap: The Three Stooges Punch Drunks

Punch Drunks is a 1934 short subject starring The Three Stooges. It is their second short.

Struggling boxing manager Moe is having lunch with several associates when he notices that their shy waiter (Curly) goes insane whenever he hears the song "Pop Goes the Weasel". Moe also takes notice of a fiddler (Larry) who happens to be playing the potent tune at the restaurant. Seeing dollar signs in the uncontrollable waiter, Moe quickly recruits the two unsuspecting cohorts and preps them for the boxing world. Curly's boxing handle becomes "K.O. Stradivarius", and with Larry in tow—playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" at every boxing match, Curly becomes the number one contender for the heavyweight championship. But, of course, things begin to go awry after Larry breaks his violin.

This short has the distinction of being the only Three Stooges short thus far selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


  • Agony of the Feet: As Curly picks up a car stuck in the mud due to his newfound super strength, Larry stops playing and he drops it on Moe's foot.
  • Berserk Button: Whenever Curly hears "Pop Goes the Weasel", he loses all control of himself.
  • The Boxing Episode
  • Car Meets House: Larry crashes a bandwagon playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" through the wall of the arena to help Curly win.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Curly
  • Dope Slap: It's not a stooge short without it of course. But Curly is also slapped by his boss at the beginning, and Moe's friends.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: One of the only shorts where the stooges haven't met each other before at the beginning.
  • No Sell: Curly's opponent in the championship match doesn't flinch when Curly punches him without his Berserk Button activated.
  • The Remake: About a year before rejoining the Stooges, Shemp Howard would star in a remake of this short (A Hit With a Miss). Shemp played the Curly role, while Robert Williams and Charles Rogers respectively assumed the Moe and Larry roles. As with most remakes produced by Columbia's shorts department, this one used tons of stock footage from its source.
    • The Stooges themselves later reworked the premise into their 1963 feature The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze.
  • Spinning Newspaper: During a montage showing Curly's success in the boxing ring.
  • Stock Footage: Larry running down the street is shown more than once.
  • Written by Cast Member: Credit for the story went to "Howard, Fine, and Howard" (Moe, Larry, and Curly).