Tassels in the Air

Tassels in the Air
Directed by Charley Chase
Produced by Charley Chase
Hugh McCollum
Written by Al Giebler
Elwood Ullman
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Vernon Dent
Symona Boniface
Bess Flowers
Bud Jamison
Victor Travers
Jean De Briac
Gertrude Astor
Cinematography Allen G. Siegler
Edited by Art Seid
Distributed by

Columbia Pictures

Coca-Cola Telecommunications (1987)
Release dates
  • April 1, 1938 (1938-04-01) (U.S.)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

Tassels in the Air is the 30th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1938 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.


Nouveau riche housewife Mrs. Smirch (Bess Flowers) has intentions to hire the in-demand interior decorator Omay (Jean De Briac) to redecorate her house in a bid to get in the "who's who" of the local rich elite. Omay accepts her offer.

Meanwhile, the Stooges are hired as painters to redecorate the building where Omay's office is and are given the job of painting temporary names on the doors of all the offices. They, of course, botch the job. It comes out that Curly has a strange proclivity to fly into a blind rage whenever he sees a tassel, placated only with soft tickling of his chin.

Mrs. Smirch enters the building and mistakes Moe for Omay. The real Omay, offended that his office was mislabeled as the janitor's closet, gives up his lease. The boys' boss (Vernon Dent) immediately fires them, and they take on the ruse of Omay and his two colleagues with intention of doing the work on the Smirch household.

They arrive at the Smirch's residence and begin to work as Mrs. Smirch brings in a few of her new rich friends for a card game. However, the real Omay enters the home, exposes the boys as frauds and publicly embarrassing Mrs. Smirch.

Production notes

Tassels in the Air was filmed on November 26–30, 1937.[1] The film's title is a play on the old expression, "Building castles in the air," i.e. dreaming of achieving the impossible.[2]

Curly goes crazy whenever he sees tassels. The cure is to tickle him under his chin with a paintbrush, a similar variety of plot device to those used earlier in Punch Drunks, Horses' Collars and Grips, Grunts and Groans.[3]

Many of the gags used in the table painting scene would be reused by Moe, Larry, and Shemp in their unsold television 1949 pilot Jerks of All Trades, which, coincidentally, also featured Symona Boniface. The gags would be recycled again the following year in A Snitch in Time.[2]


  1. Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. p. 251. ISBN 9781595800701.
  2. 1 2 Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, California: Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 127. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
  3. Tassels in the Air at ThreeStooges.net

External links

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