Cookin’ Up Trouble

2451. COOKIN’ UP TROUBLE (1945-USA). With BULLY GILBERT, SHEMP HOWARD, MAXIE ROSENBLOOM. This funny slapstick spotlights the comic antics of a pair of beloved Hollywood farceurs. Billy Gilbert and Shemp Howard essentially play themselves, characters whose names are Billy Gilbert and Shemp Howard. They’re a popular vaudeville comedy team who share a bill with their boss, a high-wire artist known as Dare Devil Collins. Collins has marital woes, not to mention a young son to whom Billy and Shemp have become second parents. The comics are entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the boy. To their dismay Billy and Shemp discover that vaudeville is dying, and they find themselves out of work and desperate to earn a buck. They eventually hook up as cooks in a restaurant owned by one Maxie Rosenbloom (played by “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom, the pugilist-turned-character actor-comedian). Lest we forget, Billy also is forced to look for a wife in order to legally adopt the boy, whose scheming step-mom arrives on the scene to cause all sorts of trouble. Our favorite among the many comic highlights: the double-talking diner, and Billy’s chaotic instructions on how to fry an egg. There are plenty of hearty belly laughs and amusing repartee between Billy, Shemp and the various other characters in this rollicking comic romp. 67 minutes. Comedy