6

SUNDAY

Bourgeois defenders of Charlie Chaplin, simpering fans of Laurel and Hardy, ingratiating apologists for the Marx Bros., take note: In a nod to the true masters of populist comedy, the American Film Institute is offering an exclusive showing of Jerks of All Trades, a recently restored and never-aired Three Stooges TV pilot. What sort of hard-nosed corporate robot wouldn’t shed a tear for his own lost humanity when Moe shouts “Here’s mud in your eye!” and sticks two fingers in an unlucky compatriot’s peepers? What kind of cultural aristocrat would disapprovingly sneer, “Low comedy,” as Larry artfully dodges pies hefted by enemies of the proletariat? And what theorizing pseudo-intellectual could fail to recognize the part in Shemp’s oily hair as the dividing line between democracy and fascism? Here, truly, is humor for the people and by the people. Jerks is screened with two non-Stooges shorts—Casper’s Night Out and Running Through the Rye—at 7 p.m. at the American Film Institute’s National Film Theater, in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. $4. (202) 785-4600. (Justin Moyer)