Stooges to Tarzan

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Guest Blogger:
 David J. Hogan, author of Three Stooges FAQ (Applause Books)

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Actor Jock Mahoney was a lean and intelligent Tarzan in Tarzan Goes to India (1962), but as I watched the movie at the Sandusky (Ohio) Drive-In, I knew I’d seen him before—but a younger version. When Tarzan Goes to India was almost over it finally dawned on me: I’d seen Jock with the Three Stooges.

Jacques O’Mahoney was a tall stuntman whose good looks and willingness to be self-spoofing won him speaking bits in some Columbia shorts. Long and lean, he was built like a decathlon athlete, and was a skilled acrobat. He’s very funny as Elmer, the lamebrained and inept cowboy of writer-director Ed Bernd’s Punchy Cowpunchers (1950), but I like him best as the Anemian guard sent to keep an eye on atomic scientist Emil Sitka and the scientist’s pretty daughter, (Christine McIntyre) in Bernd’s Fuelin’ Around (1949). Foolishly aware of his nice features and wavy hair, he allows himself to be seduced by Christine’s outrageous compliments. By the time it’s all over, Jacques’ head is wedged between the bars of the cell and his keys have been taken. O vanity!

Mahoney went on to call himself Jacques Mahoney, and finally Jock Mahoney. He became a TV star as The Range Rider (1951-53), starred in The Land Unknown (1957), a middling-budget sci-fi adventure from Universal-International, and became a TV star a second time as the suave gunfighter named Yancy Derringer (1958-59).

Some of his subsequent work was in support (U-I’s Away All Boats) or leads in low-budget stuff that skated close to exploitation (Three Blondes in His Life). But he made an agreeable Tarzan in Tarzan Goes to India and an equally good one in Tarzan’s Three Challenges (1963).

And as a point of trivia, Mahoney appears as a sneaky bad guy out to kill Tarzan (Gordon Scott) in Tarzan the Magnificent (1960).

Three Stooges FAQ by David J. Hogan
This entertaining and informative study of the Three Stooges focuses on the nearly 190 two-reel short comedies the boys made at Columbia Pictures during the years 1934-59. Violent slapstick? Of course, but these comic gems are also peerlessly crafted and enthusiastically played by vaudeville veterans Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, and Joe – arguably the most popular and long-lived screen comics ever produced by Hollywood.

Available from Applause Books and booksellers nationwide.

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About HLPAPG

Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on January 4, 2012, in Comedy, Film & TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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