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I'll sue you
Comic phrase turn
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2013/11/11
8:46am
70363
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I was watching an educational show today, during which Moe accidentally shot a lawyers toupee (five times). The lawyer responded “I’ll sue you for this!”

To which Moe responded ” Oh, superstitious, eh?”

 

Anybody get the reference there?

2013/11/11
1:32pm
New River, AZ, USA
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First, welcome to the forum. I assume by “Moe” you mean “Moe Howard” of the 3 Stooges? Not sure what you mean by “educational show” in that case.  :)

Anyway, I did a search for “Jewish + superstition + toupee” and only came up with this.

Apparently there are some Jewish superstitions about toupees, but I’m not sure if this answers your question. Seems like a bit of stretch, but that’s all I could find. Unless I’m missing some obvious wordplay by the script writers. Maybe another forum member will come up with a better answer.

2013/11/11
6:53pm
70363
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Thanks for the reply.

The entire reference was confined to the lines I quoted, so I assume that it was something relevant to the period (late 1930’s), or that the Stooges are way more clever than me. Could go either way.

2013/11/11
8:35pm
Dick
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It may have something to do with “sue-perstitious.”  If that’s it, I still don’t get it.  Just a thought.

2013/11/12
12:44am
Robert
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Got it! He yells tarantula! and they all jump in to kill the toupee .
There are lots of superstitions about killing spider; for one, it’s unlucky to kill a spider because a spider spun a web over baby Jesus to hide him from Herod.

Is it an educational show? I had no knowledge about spider superstition before this.

2013/11/12
5:00am
deaconB
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Both the Howard and Fine clans were of the tribe.  Are they going to be aware of a superstition about baby Jesu that most Christians are unaware of?  I’m more impressed by Dick’s sue-perstition theory.

I’d call it an educational show.  In the 1950s, when my sister tried to change the channel, one of my older brothers would threaten  to “larn her but good”.

2013/11/12
8:42am
70363
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I forgot to mention the part about the tarantula. I was unaware of any superstitions regarding spiders. Apparently they were considered to be good luck omens, often associated with financial windfalls.

I’d have to side with Robert unless there was something else I missed in the joke. 

 

2013/11/12
10:11am
70363
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OK, I did forget to mention that when Moe realizes that the hairpiece is not a tarantula, he says “It’s just a divot”.  Maybe there is some golf superstition about replacing sod that I don’t know about. At this point, I’m willing to write it off as just another punchline that I don’t get. Maybe it will come to me in my sleep.

Last one –  Just what kind of hat is a Vernacular?

 

 

2013/11/12
1:09pm
Robert
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70363 said
I’d have to side with Robert unless there was something else I missed in the joke. 

 

I only explained the pun that Dick mentioned above.

 

2013/11/21
4:44am
tromboniator
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Sorry this is so late.

Folks, you’re looking for far too much sophistication. This is Three Stooges humor, which is not far above kindergarten level, and that’s maligning kindergarteners. Dick is absolutely right about sue-perstitious – it’s Moe’s version of litigious, just because it has the sue sound. If the man had threatened to break his knee, Moe might have said, “Oh, a neophyte!” Larry says the hairpiece is a tarantula because it looks like one: it’s about the right size and it’s hairy. Moe’s divot reference is the same thing: especially after he shoots it, the thing looks rather like a clump of grass. There might be an extension of the golf reference in Moe’s “I just shot five [golf] holes in a divot!” but I doubt it. These things are funny because we know it’s a toupé (which, apparently, is inherently funny), so the tarantula and the divot are unexpected, and way out of their natural elements in a courtroom. And because the Stooges take them so seriously.

The hat is a “vernacular” because when Curly is told to drop the vernacular (his peculiar manner of speech), he has no idea what the word means, so he assumes it refers to what’s in his hands – so he drops his hat.

I haven’t watched much Three Stooges in the past fifty years, but my recollection is that it is the broadest, most obvious, least sophisticated humor there is. That’s my take on it, anyway.

Peter

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