|Ants in the Pantry|
|Directed by||Preston Black|
|Written by||Al Giebler|
|Produced by||Jules White|
Clara Kimball Young
James C. Morton
Clarence Nash (uncredited)
|Cinematography||Benjamin H. Kline|
|Edited by||William Lyon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Ants in the Pantry is a 1936 short subject directed by Preston Black starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). It is the 12th entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
The Stooges are pest exterminators who, for want of business, also provide the pests. They select an upscale mansion where a high society dinner party is being held. With gleeful amorality, they unleash a plague of mice, moths, and ants, literally releasing small animals everywhere on purpose, then are predictably hired to clean up their own mess, without interrupting the party, dressed as guests. Things go according to plan until Larry and Curly hastily conceal mice-hungry cats inside an upright piano which is then played during a recital of Johann Strauss II's "Blue Danube Waltz." The chaos is compounded when a mouse enters the piano, agitating the cats. The Stooges are forced to get the offending pest and the cats out, destroying the piano in its entirety. To prevent the hostess from being socially humiliated, the guests are told the boys are the entertainment and find their antics absolutely hilarious. The Stooges are invited to join in the fox hunt, where Curly blows his nose, making a sound, which Larry thinks that it is the sound of a bugle, call, that a fox is in sight, instead, Curly picks up a live skunk, and puts it in the bag, causing Moe, Larry to and one of the horses faint to the ground, being the result of the skunk's nasty odor.
Ants in the Pantry was filmed on December 11–14, 1935; the film title is a pun on the phrase "ants in the pants." Moe Howard later recalled that a nest of ants actually worked their way into his pants:
There was a scene where we were having trouble selling our services, so we complain to our boss, who tells us, 'If they don't have ants, give them some. You dumbkopf!' We got the idea and went from house to house throwing moths in with minks, mice on the floor, and ants in the pantry. During the shooting, I hadn't noticed that a small container of red ants had broken apart in my pocket and the little devils were crawling down my back, in my hair, and into my pants. It was insane. All through the scene I was scratching and squirming and slapping myself on the neck and face and on the seat of my pants. Elated, director Preston Black shouted, 'Great Moe. Keep up that squirming!' It was very funny—to everyone but me.
- Ants in the Pantry at threestooges.net
- Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 77. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
- Howard, Moe (1979) . Moe Howard and the Three Stooges. Citadel Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-8065-0723-3.