Monday, September 30, 2019

The Three Stooges Wise Guy Root Beer

"Why did the duck go to the bathroom?"
"I don't know, why?"
"Because it was a toilet duck."

This is a "joke" my 4-year-old daughter told me recently. If you didn't laugh, you're not alone. I am a harsh critic of my kids. I heap praise upon them when they deserve it, and when they don't i cripple them with shame. She made up this joke by herself and it was shameful to say the least. Rest assured i gave her a lengthy lecture about joke structure and why this one isn't funny in the slightest. I also told her what she needed to do in the future, because i'm sure it won't surprise you to know that in addition to being an expert in all root beer related matters, i'm also an expert on writing, telling and critiquing jokes as well as knowing what's funny. That's why i chose to review this root beer today. The Three Stooges is a classic comedy troupe from the 1930's and 40's. Their infamous slapstick brand of quasi violent humor was a hallmark of my late teens and would regularly play on late night reruns. I remember staying up all night with my cousins on more than one occasion watching these masters at work. I briefly consulted the source of all truth which told me that they were active from as early as the 1920's all the way up until the 1970's, which surprised me since the bulk of their work seems to be more dated than that. Six stooges made appearances during their run, with Larry and Mo as stalwart members and a rotating third member. Easily the most popular third stooge would be Curly, but i always personally preferred Shemp with his long disgusting greasy hair. And while some of the jokes they made were undoubtedly lost on me due to my youth and lack of experience as well and the timeliness of the references the Stooges were making, i could still relish in the cognitive dissonance of thinking this was a work of comic genius as well as complete garbage and the dumbest way i could be wasting my time. Their body of work stands at a whopping 190 episodes of expert open hand slapping and eye-gouging mayhem. But what do these comedy legends know about root beer? Turns out, not much. You see, these original Stooges have long been dead and this root beer is nothing more than Rocket Fizz up to their old tricks again. They are taking an opportunity to sell soda by tying it to a cultural icon just as they have several times before.

The 12 oz. clear glass bottle is adorned with a color image of the Stooges, atypical of their nearly entirely black and white catalog of short films. They are dressed in unconvincing cowboy attire and holding mugs of root beer. There isn't much else to the label, and to be honest there doesn't need to be. I'm sure this is why Rocket Fizz selected the troupe to embody a root beer, because they are so recognizable that it stops people in their tracks at a mere glance. It's genius when you think about it. I doubt they even have to license their likeness or anything. There is some legal mumbo jumbo on the label about trademarks and the Stooges likeness, but i doubt they get any money off the sale of this root beer. I see what you're doing Rocket Fizz and i gotta give you props capitalizing on famous dead people.

So we know they know how to make people laugh and we know they are in all likelihood completely uninvolved with the production of this root beer. Plus they are all dead, so they can't give it their stamp of approval. BUT, if they were alive, would they approve of this root beer? Something tells me they'd think it's not half bad because that's the truth. It's not half bad. I like the subtle wintergreen flavor and aroma, the sweetness of the cane sugar and the very muted bite this carries. It has a bit of a generic overall feel to it, could stand to be a bit more carbonated and has a bit of a watered down taste, but it's ultimately not bad. To be honest, i was expecting much worse. Rocket Fizz isn't above putting out a subpar product and slapping a recognizable face or two on it with a witty title just to sell some soda, but in this case it worked out pretty well.

My official review is that The Three Stooges Wise Guys Root Beer gets 6 (six) IBCs. I liked it. It wasn't super novel or ground breaking, but it was enjoyable and i would drink it again. That's really the biggest win any root beer can strive for; will this be consumed more than once by the same person, especially if that person is me. It's good. It's refreshing. It will sustain you through and all night Stooges marathon, the likes of which happen all the time (or at least they did 20 years ago). But with everything on demand these days, i think it would be well worth your time to crack a couple of these open and enjoy some good ol' fashioned comedic violent. Knuck knuck!