Malice In The Palace (lost deleted scene of "Three Stooges" comedy series short; 1949)
Malice in the Palace was the 117th short starring The Three Stooges, where they run a restaurant. The short is now in the public domain.
The plot centers around the three goofballs running a restaurant in a Western-movie version of a Middle Eastern market town, possibly somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula or in North Africa while thieves nearly as incompetent as they themselves attempt to wheel, deal and steal a fabulous treasure called the Rootintootin Diamond (the name being a play on 'Tutankhamen') and being betrayed by one of their own. The Stooges end up rousting the now-broke thieves and make their own slapstick play to steal it from the one who stole it from the first set of thieves by invading the palace he has set himself up in.
Originally in the short, there was a brief scene starring former Stooge Curly Howard playing a chef. However, due to his stroke 3 years earlier, the scene was ultimately deleted, and the chef was instead played by Larry. On the Lobby card of the short, a screenshot of Curly exists. No surviving prints/footage of the scene has been found to this day.
As a result of deaths and other cast changes, as well as careful use of old footage to pad out newer shorts, former Stooges and their associated actors often show up well past their time in Stooge pieces.
The Stooges were known to be close to their children as well as to the theater owners who they were on much better terms with than the studio they once worked for. If hope exists for this deleted scene to be confirmed and found, it is possible with these entities.
The dialogue, as saved from Jules White’s copy of the script and digitized in the Three Stooges scrapbook #106, says the scene was 10 seconds long and would have said;
Larry enters. Curly puts on his fez, removes his apron and Larry says,
“One rabbit, one hotdog!”
Curly; “Fix it yourself! I’m going to lunch!”
Curly; “Soitenly! You don’t think I’d eat in this dump?!”
- Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0-9711868-0-4