.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Thursday, May 05, 2011


You really should know who THE THREE STOOGES are! The Three Stooges were originally a part of Ted Healy's Vaudeville act before going into films.

The Stooges were:

Moe Howard (Moses Horwitz, 1897-1975)
Moe Howard

Larry Fine (Louis Feinberg, 1902-1975)
Larry Fine

Shemp Howard (Samuel Horwitz, 1895-1955) Shemp left the act because of a strong dislike of the alcoholic Healy.
Shemp Howard

The Three Stooges
Shemp was replaced by Curly Howard.

Curly Howard (Jerome Lester Horwitz, 1903-1952)
Curly Howard

The Three Stooges
The Stooges went out on their own and got a contract at Columbia Pictures for a series of short films starting in 1934. Curly remained the third stooge until he suffered a stroke on the set in 1947. Shemp rejoined the team until his death in 1955. Attempts at continuing the series using scenes of Shemp from earlier films, combined with a double, did not work, so comic actor Joe Besser was hired for a season.

Joe Besser (Joseph Besser, 1907-1988)
Joe Besser

Joe Besser was a talented comic, but his style just did not mesh with the stooges. When the Columbia Shorts department was closed actor Joe DeRita was hired as the third stooge and the team was reborn and found new popularity in feature films and personal appearances.

The Three StoogesAutographed photo contributed by Eric Jamborsky.
Autograph reads: Joe, Moe, Larry
To Eric good luck always, Joe Besser

Joe DeRita (Joseph Wardell, 1909-1993)
Joe DeRita

When Larry Fine suffered a stroke things pretty much ended, and Moe's death spelled the end of the team.

The Three Stooges performed classic Vaudeville slapstick of a rough and tumble variety and were very popular. Other comic teams tried this approach and most are forgotten today. But despite all the slaps and eye pokes, the Stooges came across as likable people which was the key to their success.

You really must see them in the following:

Violent is the Word for Curly (1938)
Violent is the Word for Curly (1938) The boys are mistaken for college professors (don't ask) and the usual mayhem ensues. A highlight is their rendition of the catchy song "Swingin' The Alphabet".

Then, see them in these four:
A Plumbing We Will Go (1940) One of my all time favorites. The boys are plumbers who pretty much destroy the house they are supposed to be fixing. It has some great sight gags.
Heavenly Daze (1948) My favorite film with Shemp. Shemp dies and, as a ghost, has to reform his cousins Larry and Moe in order to enter Heaven. It has a very painful gag involving Larry and a sharp pen.
Outer Space Jitters (1957) The boys wind up on a rocketship to Venus. Great movie villain Gene Roth is an evil Venusian.
Have Rocket Will Travel (1959) This was the first Three Stooges feature and introduced Joe DeRita as the third Stooge. It's still pretty entertaining, although the features tend to run a little long.

Have Rocket Will Travel (1959)
Movie still: Have Rocket Will Travel (1959) contributed by Eric Jamborsky. Autograph reads: Curly-Joe To: "Eric" Sincerely, III Stooges

*Contributed by: Eric Jamborsky Date: Wed, Oct. 19, 2005 14:37:54 PDT


  • you have a very kewl blog think I will put this one on my favs to keep checking it out! thanks for sharing

    By Blogger Guvnah, at Thu Oct 20, 08:44:00 PM PDT  

  • I just found out about your site today...it looks quite interesting though I've not checked all of it so far. Your choices of films for The Three Stooges is interesting though you didn't mention two of my favorites, "Microphonies" and "An Ache In Every Stake" or is that "steak"? I'm not sure. I guess you can't name them all, can you?

    By Anonymous Roger Schoolcraft, at Fri Oct 21, 09:29:00 AM PDT  

  • Great article
    I have to admit I was never a Stooge fan, when I was growing up, but as an adult I married a wonderful guy that took the time to travel to California and meet them in the 70's, and as I have listened to his tape recordings of Moe Howard, and Larry Fine, I have changed my mind. If you like the Three Stooges you have to get the new book just out this year titled One Fine Stooge about Larry (of course) lots of interesting things to read, and so many nice pictures, of course I love it even more since my husband had a lot to do with the book, look in the index under Michael Mikicel, because of him I have grown to love the Three Stooges.
    Nyuk Nyuk

    By Anonymous Jeannie, at Sat Jul 08, 12:00:00 PM PDT