Low Rent Comedy Teams
Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we have wine pairings for three films sporting low-rent comedy teams. They came together for a brilliantly mediocre film – a moment in time that has proven to be unforgettable no matter how hard the participants have tried.
Master Minds probably overreaches on the title just a bit. The 1949 movie stars The Bowery Boys, who picked up where the Dead End Kids and the East Side Kids left off. The fanciful plot centers on one of them, who finds he can tell the future due to a toothache. Believe it or not, his gig in a circus sideshow is the good news in this story.
For a Master Minds wine pairing, let’s take a bridge or tunnel to Brooklyn, where a former California winemaker has set up the Brooklyn Winery. He uses grapes from Napa Valley and Sonoma County as well as fruit from New York’s Long Island and Finger Lakes regions, so you can take your pick.
1966’s The Last of the Secret Agents? sends the spy film genre up the river for a few laughs. It stars the comedy team of Marty Allen and Steve Rossi. Okay, so you need more bait? It also features Nancy Sinatra in her underwear.
The plot depends on the belief that Allen and Rossi would ever be tabbed by anyone to help the good guys beat the bad guys. A few years after this film, the comedy team would star in Allen and Rossi Meet Dracula and Frankenstein, the death knell of a film career. Decades later they would get a “lifetime contract” to play a Vegas hotel, a span that lasted a good four years.
For an Allen and Rossi movie, why not buy a Martini and Rossi vermouth? Go ahead, as long as you have the mask on no one will recognize you.
1959 saw a resurgence in popularity for the Three Stooges. I’m guessing it had something to do with their film shorts being shown on television on a daily basis. I know that’s where I first saw them, in the afternoon block of cheap comedies for kids after school. “Weekday afternoons at three,” said the announcer. “Dad, is today a weekday?” I asked, hopefully.
The plot of The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze, predictably, is similar to the Jules Verne classic, Around the World in 80 Days. This time, it is Phileas Fogg’s great-grandson making the bet – and the trip – with the help of the Stooges. Moe Howard and Larry Fine are joined here by Joe DeRita, in the revolving door known as “the third stooge.” DeRita confessed later in his career that he never thought the Stooges were funny. I knew a bunch of eight-year-olds that would argue that point.
A wine for the Stooges? There is one for Iggy and the Stooges, but that’s probably a reach. How about a wine which is simple to the point of immaturity? Grab one of those bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau off the point-of-purchase end cap. It was harvested and vinified only months ago. It’s not a wine for everyone and is actually reviled by many who consider themselves experts, much like the Stooges themselves. Also like the Stooges, the wine isn’t getting any better while sitting on the shelf.