Watch: Snooki co-stars in awkward and unfunny ‘Three Stooges’ teaser

Remember when The Farrelly Brothers’ pet project update of the Three Stooges was going to star Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro? Judging from the new teaser (above), those guys should be given honorary Oscars for NOT signing on.

Once the creators of modern gross-out classics like “Dumb and Dumber,” “Kingpin”  and “There’s Something About Mary,” Peter and Bobby Farrelly haven’t struck comic gold in a long time (“Hall Pass” was their most recent attempt), and this long-in-the-works passion project had some fans hoping for a return to form. No such luck, at least according to the new clip, which is rife with lobster-in-the-pants jokes and “Jersey Shore” cameos. Transferring Larry, Moe and Curly’s cartoonishly violent slapstick to 2012 doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but, after a decade in development, is this the best they could come up with?

Stooges-style slapstick has been a crucial part of the DNA of screen comedy since the early days of cinema, and when done right, can still be uproarious. Lining up three lookalikes (Will Sasso, Sean Hayes and Chris DIamantopolous) and having them do faithful imitations of the earlier performers while they mostly stand around and smack each other, however, just isn’t very satisfying (remember “Dumb and Dumberer”?). Furthermore, topical gags about iPhones and Snooki don’t exactly seem timeless, and don’t inspire much faith in the dialogue. The plot — which finds the Stooges mixed up in a murder and getting their own reality show (surprise!) — isn’t alluded to in the teaser.

There are a few reasons why the teaser isn’t a total waste of time, and they all involve Sofia Vergara and model-actress Kate Upton (in a revealing nun’s habit-turned-bikini). The rest of the cast, including Larry David, Jane Lynch, Lin Shaye and Jennifer Hudson, is also promising.

Let’s hope the Brothers re-connect with their earlier comic spark for their planned “Dumb and Dumber” sequel.

For now, tell us what you thought of the trailer. Would an A-list cast have helped?