The Three Stooges

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Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!Curly's laughing phrase.

One of Moe's catchphrases.Spread Out!

Oh! My Stradivarius! Oh! My Beautiful Stradivarius!Larry's phrase when he destroys his violin by mistake.

Hey MOE! HEY LARRY!One of Curly or Shemp's catchphrases

Heep! Eep! Eep! Eep! Eep! Eep! Eep! Eep!Shemp's catchphrase whenever he is scared or surprised.

Oh, A wise guy, eh?!One of Moe or Curly's catchphrases.

The Three Stooges are the main protagonists of several short films, and a feature film directed by the Farrelly Brothers.

In 1932, with Moe now acting as business manager, Healy reached a new agreement with his former Stooges, and they were booked in a production of Jacob J. Shubert's The Passing Show of 1932. During rehearsals, Healy received a more lucrative offer and found a loophole in his contract allowing him to leave the production. Shemp, fed up with Healy's abrasiveness, decided to quit the act and found work almost immediately, in Vitaphone movie comedies produced in Brooklyn, New York.

With Shemp gone, Healy and the two remaining stooges (Moe and Larry) needed a replacement, so Moe suggested his younger brother Jerry Howard. Healy reportedly took one look at Jerry, who had long chestnut red locks and a handlebar mustache, and remarked that he did not look like he was funny. Jerry left the room and returned a few moments later with his head shaved (though his mustache remained for a time), and then quipped "Boy, do I look girly." Healy heard "Curly," and the name stuck. (There are varying accounts as to how the Curly character actually came about.)

Members

Moe is the leader of the team and the voice of reason among the four, and the one that usually keeps the other four in line.

Shemp is the second in command, but he is not as smart or level-headed as Moe, although he is just as gruff and irascible.

Larry is the most mellow and chipper of the four.

Curly is the ditziest of the four, with an almost childlike mind. He is also the strongest of the four, having once being a champion boxer.

Crossover

  • The Three Stooges teamed up with Scooby-Doo and the gang in The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

History

The Three Stooges started in 1925 as part of a raucous vaudeville act called 'Ted Healy and His Stooges' (a.k.a. 'Ted Healy and His Southern Gentlemen', 'Ted Healy and His Three Lost Souls' and 'Ted Healy and His Racketeers'—the moniker 'Three Stooges' was never used during their tenure with Healy). In the act, lead comedian Healy would attempt to sing or tell jokes while his noisy assistants would keep "interrupting" him. Healy would respond by verbally and physically abusing his stooges. Brothers Moe and Shemp were joined later that year by violinist-comedian Larry Fine, and Fred Sanborn joined the group as well.

In 1930, Ted Healy and His Stooges, including Sanborn, appeared in their first Hollywood feature film: Soup to Nuts, released by Fox Studios. The film was not a success with the critics, but the Stooges' performances were considered the highlight and Fox offered the trio a contract without Healy. This upset Healy, who told studio executives that the Stooges were his employees. The offer was withdrawn, and after Howard, Fine and Howard learned of the reason, they left Healy to form their own act, which quickly took off with a tour of the theatre circuit. Healy attempted to stop the new act with legal action, claiming they were using his copyrighted material. There are accounts of Healy threatening to bomb theaters if Howard, Fine and Howard ever performed there, which worried Shemp so much that he almost left the act; reportedly, only a pay raise kept him on board. Healy tried to save his act by hiring replacement stooges, but they were not as well-received as their predecessors In 1932, with Moe now acting as business manager, Healy reached a new agreement with his former Stooges, and they were booked in a production of Jacob J. Shubert's The Passing Show of 1932. During rehearsals, Healy received a more lucrative offer and found a loophole in his contract allowing him to leave the production. Shemp, fed up with Healy's abrasiveness, decided to quit the act and found work almost immediately, in Vitaphone movie comedies produced in Brooklyn, New York. With Shemp gone, Healy and the two remaining stooges (Moe and Larry) needed a replacement, so Moe suggested his younger brother Jerry Howard. Healy reportedly took one look at Jerry, who had long chestnut red locks and a handlebar mustache, and remarked that he did not look like he was funny. Jerry left the room and returned a few moments later with his head shaved (though his mustache remained for a time), and then quipped "Boy, do I look curly." Healy liked the name, and thus 'Curly' was born even though his hair wasn't "curly". (There are varying accounts as to how the Curly character actually came about.)

In 1933, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) signed Healy and his Stooges to a movie contract. They appeared in feature films and short subjects, either together, individually, or with various combinations of actors. The trio was featured in a series of musical comedy shorts, beginning with Nertsery Rhymes. The short was one of a few shorts to be made with an early two-strip Technicolor process; the shorts themselves were built around recycled film footage of production numbers cut from MGM musicals, some of which had been filmed in Technicolor. Soon, additional shorts followed (sans the experimental Technicolor), including Beer and Pretzels, Plane Nuts, and The Big Idea.

Healy and company also appeared in several MGM feature films, such as Turn Back the Clock, Meet the Baron, Dancing Lady, Fugitive Lovers, and Hollywood Party. Healy and the Stooges also appeared together in Myrt and Marge for Universal Pictures. In 1934, the team's contract with MGM expired, and the Stooges parted professional company with Healy. According to Moe Howard in his autobiography,the Stooges split with Ted Healy in 1934 once and for all because of Healy's alcoholism and abrasiveness. Their final film with Healy was MGM's 1934 film, Hollywood Party.

Comedy III Productions, Inc.

Comedy III has also, since 1995, authorized and provided the services of veteran actors Jim Skousen, Alan Semok, and the late Dave Knight (as Moe, Larry, and Curly respectively) for numerous "personal appearances" by the Stooge characters for a variety of merchandising and promotional events. This latter day trio has also provided voices for the characters in a variety of radio spots, merchandising tie-ins, and most recently for the first new Three Stooges short in fifty years... a CGI animation by Famous Frames Mobile Interactive, a first-wave "new media" company. Entitled The Grate Debate, the short has Moe, Larry and Curly running for president.

Television broadcasts

Throughout their career, Moe acted as both their main creative force and business manager. Comedy III Productions, Inc., formed by Moe, Larry and Curly-Joe DeRita in 1959, is presently the owner of all Three Stooges trademarks and merchandising. After a court battle with the grandsons of Moe Howard, the company is currently operated by DeRita's stepsons, Earl and Robert Benjamin, attorney Bela G. Lugosiand Larry Fine's grandson, majority owner Eric Lamond.

Museum

Robert Swerdlow of Dix Hills, New York has a large collection of Three Stooges memorabilia. Puppets, dolls, coloring books, paper dolls and toys are displayed in his Long Island home.

In other media

Gary Lassin opened the Stoogeum in 2004 in a renovated architect's office in Spring House, Pennsylvania, 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Philadelphia. The museum-quality exhibits fill three stories (10,000 square feet or 929 square meters), including an 85-seat theater. Peter Seely, editor of the bookStoogeology: Essays on the Three Stooges said that the Stoogeum has "more stuff than I even imagined existed." 2,500 people visit it yearly, many during the annual gathering of the Three Stooges Fan Club.

Museum

Robert Swerdlow of Dix Hills, New York has a large collection of Three Stooges memorabilia. Puppets, dolls, coloring books, paper dolls and toys are displayed in his Long Island home.

In other media

Gary Lassin opened the Stoogeum in 2004 in a renovated architect's office in Spring House, Pennsylvania, 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Philadelphia. The museum-quality exhibits fill three stories (10,000 square feet or 929 square meters), including an 85-seat theater. Peter Seely, editor of the bookStoogeology: Essays on the Three Stooges said that the Stoogeum has "more stuff than I even imagined existed." 2,500 people visit it yearly, many during the annual gathering of the Three Stooges Fan Club.

2000 TV movie

Television

Template:Expand-section In spring of 2000, longtime Stooge fan Mel Gibson executive produced a TV movie (The Three Stooges) about the lives and careers of the comedians. Playing Moe was Paul Ben-Victor; Evan Handler was Larry; John Kassir was Shemp; and Michael Chiklis was Curly. It filmed in Sydney, Australia and was produced for and broadcast on ABC. It was based on Michael Fleming's authorized biography of the Stooges, The Three Stooges: From Amalgamated Morons to American Icons. Its unflattering portrayal of Ted Healy led Healy's son to give media interviews calling the film inaccurate. The film ran regularly on the American Movie Classics (AMC) channel during the 2000s .

Comic books

St. John Publications published the first Three Stooges comics in 1949 with 2 issues, then again in 1953–54 with 7 issues.

Dell Comics published a Three Stooges series first as one-shots in their Four Color Comics line for 5 issues, then gave them a numbered series for four more issues (#6-9). With #10, the title would be published by Gold Key Comics. Under Gold Key, the series lasted through issue #55 in 1972.

Gold Key Comics then published the Little Stooges series (7 issues, 1972–74) with story and art by Norman Maurer, Moe's son-in-law. This series featured the adventures of three fictional sons of the Three Stooges, as sort of modern-day teen-age versions of the characters.

Trivia

  • They are MoeLarryCurly, "Curly" Joe De Rita, Joe Besser, and Shemp.
  • They are a team of well-meaning bumblers who find themselves holding different jobs across different places and different time periods.
  • According to the Farrelly Bros. movie, the four of them are brothers, having being raised in an orphanage not knowing their birth parents.
  • Despite their idiocy, they often suceed in their tasks, and get even with the ones that try to harm them or otherwise do them wrong.
  • They possess a degree of invulnerability and immortality, as they are able to shrug off injuries that would kill a normal human.
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