Pardon My Scotch is the ninth 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 Stooges are carpenters who are temporarily left in charge of a drugstore, assembling a door with disastrous results. When a liquor salesman stops by and asks for a drink, the Stooges mix together a drink using all manner of medicines and chemicals, and mixed with a rubber boot. The concoction reacts, and it is so strong that it cuts through a wicker chair serving as an improvised sieve. But the man loves the libation (which he thought was Scotch), and he convinces the Stooges to pose as Scotsmen and attend a party at his boss' (James C. Morton) house, where he can sign the Stooges to a liquor contract for their invention, dubbed the "Breath of Heather".
One highlight of the party is an Italian tenor (Billy Gilbert) singing "Santa Lucia." The Stooges express their displeasure by firing off grapes down his throat to stop him, then a banana into his mouth at the final "Santa Mariaaa-," which does the trick. Disgusted at being made into a "fruit salad," he exits in disgust, calling them "pigs." In reaction, Moe tosses a pineapple at the exiting singer, which hits him off camera after making a physics-defying turn in mid-air.
After a raucous Highland Fling dance (actually referred to by Moe as the "Lowland Shim" ("...it's like a fan dance, only you do it in kilts!") ), and a disastrous dinner, the barrel of the lethal "scotch" is presented. The Stooges' attempt to tap the barrel results in an explosion which engulfs all the party guests in a sea of foam.
During the opening scenes when the boys are assembling the door, Moe asks Curly to saw a piece of wood for him. Curly lays the wood on top of a wooden table, which Moe happens to be standing on. Curly then proceeds to buzzsaw both the wood and table in half, with the table splitting in two. However, the table (which was wired off camera to split on cue) split inward on Moe's half of it, and Moe came crashing down on his left side, breaking three ribs. He was able to pull himself up and deliver a double slap to Larry and Curly before fainting. Moe was then rushed to the hospital, and production ceased briefly.
Trouper that Moe was, it is unclear whether his reaction to the fall was partially pain or all just normal acting. As Moe starts to get up, he shakes his head a couple of times, with his typical scowl; then walks very deliberately from the left to the right of the other two Stooges to position properly for the camera angle (i.e. to where he was supposed to already be, had the table broken outward as planned); places one hand on part of the wall as he turns; Curly and Larry (as with other films) ask, "What happened?" and Moe (as usual) answers, "Nothing!" and then delivers the double slap. This wider-angle scene then immediately cuts to a close-up presumably filmed at another time.
This painful footage was reused eight years later at the beginning of the short Dizzy Detectives.
- The title Pardon My Scotch is a double pun that parodies the expression "Pardon my French." The term "Scotch" for "Scottish" is now considered impolite, although "Scotch" as a type of whiskey is still acceptable.
- This short was filmed just four months after the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, which ended the American experiment with Prohibition. This event is an integral part of the storyline, with the drugstore owner frantically attempting to lay in a stock of liquor in anticipation of the imminent end of Prohibition.
- Pardon My Scotch is the first Stooge film to employ "Listen to the Mocking Bird" as the Stooges' official theme song. It would be used until 1939's Three Little Sew and Sews.
- Moe calls Larry a "porcupine" for the first time in this short.
- In this short, Moe bonks Curly's and Larry's heads together for the first time.
- At the party, Curly is bitten by and gets into a fight with a submarine sandwich he made, which would be a recurring gag in several Stooge shorts.
- The scene where the Stooges do their "native" dance is briefly seen in the movie Daddy Day Care.
- When the banana flies into the Gilbert's mouth, a string can briefly be seen attached to the banana.