A Merry Mix-Up is the 177th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.
The shot featuring all nine brothers standing side by side took careful planning to expose just right, giving the effect of three Moes, Larrys, and Joes. To achieve this, each Stooge had to stand behind a specific marker before each shot was taken. For the final exposure, director Jules White suspected that Larry Fine was standing behind the wrong marker when compared to the previous two exposures.
Larry knew White was wrong, and went to great lengths to prove it. Luckily, Larry prevailed, and saved the studio from having to reshoot thousands of dollars worth of exposures.
The Stooges play three sets of identical triplets, born one year apart. All nine brothers lose track of each other after World War II, unaware that they are all living in the same city. One set (Moe, Larry and Joe) is single, one (Max, Louie and Jack) is married, and the other (Morris, Luke and Jeff) is engaged.
Trouble brews when the engaged set of brothers decided to celebrate at a local nightclub. Before they arrive, the unmarried set show up, followed by the fiancees of their brothers. The ladies start hugging and kissing the unsuspecting brothers. Within minutes, the wives of the married brothers show up, thinking their husbands are cheating on them. Hilarity ensues when the nightclub waiter (Frank Sully) walks in and sees all nine brothers simultaneously.
- Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg; (1982). The Three Stooges Scrapbook, p. 264, Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0946-5