Have Rocket, Will Travel is a 1959 American science fiction comedy film starring The Three Stooges. By this time, the trio consisted of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and new "third Stooge" Joe DeRita (dubbed "Curly Joe"). Released by Columbia Pictures, the feature was produced to capitalize on the comedy trio's late 1950s resurgence in popularity.
The Stooges are janitors working at a space center who accidentally blast off to Venus. They encounter a talking unicorn, a giant fire breathing tarantula, and an alien computer who has destroyed all human life on the planet and creates three evil duplicates of the Stooges. When the boys return home triumphant, they are given a hero's welcome.
Moe Howard - Moe
Larry Fine - Larry
Joe DeRita - Curly Joe
Anna-Lisa - Dr. Ingrid Naarveg
Robert Colbert - Dr. Ted Benson
Jerome Cowan - Mr. Morse
Don Lamond - The Venusian Robot/Reporter/Narrator
Robert Stevenson - Voice of The Thingtz
Dal McKennon - Voice of Uni the Unicorn
Have Rocket, Will Travel was Joe DeRita's inaugural screen appearance with the Stooges, having replaced Joe Besser after Columbia ceased production of the Stooges' shorts series. The title is a parody of the then-popular television show Have Gun, Will Travel, and its soundtrack featured songs such as "Swinging the Alphabet" and "Aba Daba Honeymoon".
Although billed as such, it was not the first starring feature for The Three Stooges. That honor goes to Rockin' in the Rockies, the only starring feature made with the best known lineup of Moe, Larry and Curly. The trio had also starred in a 1951 film called Gold Raiders during the Shemp Howard era, and had also had supporting roles in several 1930s films when the trio was still affiliated with Ted Healy, including Dancing Lady with Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Robert Benchley and Fred Astaire.
The space travel theme of Have Rocket, Will Travel was quite prevalent in the late 1950s. The Stooges had already filmed three shorts for Columbia revolving around this theme (Space Ship Sappy, Outer Space Jitters, Flying Saucer Daffy). They followed up with yet another space entry in 1962 for The Three Stooges in Orbit.