21 January 2020 | MartinHafer
Has the Joe Palooka series jumped the shark with "Joe Palooka Meets Humphrey"?
When I began watching "Joe Palooka Meets Humphrey" I seriously wondered whether the series jumped the shark with this film. To 'jump the shark' means that a TV show or movie series has finally peaked and the producers introduce some insane or ill-fitting plot devices or characters in a desperate attempt to revive things. Here, evidence of such a jump is that it begins with Joe finally marrying his fiance, Anne, as well as the introduction of a goofy character, Humphrey.
On their way to their honeymoon, Joe and Anne have a peculiar (and unrealistic) traffic accident. A huge man named Humphrey helps them and fixes the car...and then insists on coming along on the honeymoon just to be sure the car will function perfectly. Does this make any sense? No...especially when Humphrey is essentially a cartoon character in human form. He rides his pedal car as fast as a car, CONSTANTLY eats and looks like he's wearing a wig...and he's NOT a welcome addition to the series.
So is this and the rest of the film any good? Not especially. The emphasis here is on cartoon-like laughs and having Humphrey AND Knobby tag along for the honeymoon is just ridiculous. Also ridiculous is Knobby and the locals CONSTANTLY trying to interrupt the honeymoon in order to arrange a fight a week into the honeymoon!! And, the fight ended up being between Joe and the giant, Humphrey!! So, it safely can be said that yes, the series was jumping the shark with "Joe Palooka Meets Humphrey" as the plot simply was unimportant and plot devices were! The emphasis in purely on humor and plot just didn't seem to matter in the least. Did it ever regain its original quality and degree of realism in subsequent films? I'll just have to see them to find out for myself.
By the way, the clerk in the hotel is played by Joe Besser. Besser is best known for his annoying little boy act which he did repeatedly on "The Abbott & Costello Show" as well as his brief stint as one of the Three Stooges (probably the worst and most ill-suited replacement for Shemp and Curly).