This is sometimes what happens, folks, when successful, long-running shows sputter out. They regenerate like sunglass-wearing amoeba with a slightly altered title. Soon, they bring on fresh cast members, try out-there plots and if they’re not careful, they jump the shark of amusing believability for audiences with impatient TV clickers. In this case, a traditional, live-action sitcom became a cartoon. Anything to wring the last drop of entertainment — and royalty chain — was attempted.
Naturally, one show’s fumes is somebody’s opportunity. My uncle, the subject of my first book, Wheeling the Deal: the Outrageous Legend of Gordon Zahler, Hollywood’s Flashiest Quadriplegic, never squandered an opportunity. Being a crippled businessman in Hollywood, he had no choice. So he often pitched work to aging legends, be it the Stooges’ producers here, “Woody Woodpecker” creator Walter Lantz, “Flipper-Gentle-Ben-Seahunt”-et-al producer Ivan Tors, or the late great black architect, Paul Williams. Gordon served as music supervisor for 24 episodes of the “New Three Stooges,” according to IMDB. The cartoon figures animated here move more in one clip than Gordon could in all the years after his horrific, paralyzing accident in 1940 Pasadena. But he sure learned how to deliver good post-production services and found himself on the coat-tails of a comedic franchise as a result. Enjoy the clip from the episode entitled “The Noisy Silent Movie.”