Here is the 1940-42 volume from the multi disc collection, which I am in possession of, and it shows the comics at their height. As I said before, and here the short episodes are referred to as "screenplays" and they are well written for the veteran vaudevillians and here as in silent film days, humor is seen in very ordinary things. Keep it simple it involves the viewer in, they identify with the comedic set up so well, and combined with this is vaudeville type stunts throughout and the center of the action is curly..and the two are just foils for his act, but all three do well nicely together. The humor is best went the stunts are related to the action, when the gags are in their daily stunts not some comic element brought in extraneously, so that it seems out of place? So building on the silent clowns, vaudeville and even Laurel & Hardy, they have awriting, production and dirrectorial talent to bring these comic sequences together and they are quite funny!
The best sequences are probably directed by Del LOrd and his producers(who are usually constant) but even Jules white does well since Curly's antics will cover up for the inexperience and lack of talent when a director is not as talented as other on the studio set? The writing direction and sequencing is situated on his lively talents. There is another element borrowed from the silent clowns, helping women or children in distress, many of the sequences also deal with marital problems, again drawing viewers in, and they are quite basic setups ripe for comic twists and turns. Memorable lines addressing a group of girls "your english is not so good looking"..attractions based on looks rather than talk; a lawyer "diggins" getting the boys out of jail; a sequence with curly and a bar of soap; and a sequence elaborating on his profile(Curly)..since he's piqued interest in his comedy, and who exactly he is?
So here we have comedy from the silent era to this day, brought up to date and specifically tailored to the talents of this set of stars. We will see how the act continues as these shorts progress..and the changes over the coming years.