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The Official " OLD Three Stooges" thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fozzieisfunny, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. fozzieisfunny

    fozzieisfunny Well-Known Member

    I know about the 2012 Farrelly Brothers' Three Stooges movie, and I'm really not happy about it.... But, I do absolutely love the OLD Three Stooges, which are a whole different story. If you're a fan too, you might want to post on this thread. We can talk about every time period of The Three Stooges' lives ( even their childhood!). Well, what are you waiting for? Start typing! Or else, there might be a slap from a certain Stooge in your future..
  2. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    The Three Stooges are still the kings of slapstick comedy. My favorite short has to be "A Plumbing We Will Go", which featured the infamous scene of the three tangled up in a mess of pipes.

    Those last few shorts they were forced to make after Shemp died (with "Fake Shemp" Joe Palma) were really awkward and pathetic. It's bad enough Moe lost his other brother; couldn't Columbia just let him and Larry grieve in peace? :(

    And as for the 2012 movie, well... at least the Farrellys looked like they did a fair bit of research with that one, and they have some experience with slapstick, what with directing Dumb & Dumber and all.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I feel Shemp is very underrated, and this is coming from a big Curly fan. I'm sure it has something to do with licensing and likeness rights (I don't know how much of the made for TV biopic was true in that aspect), but you never see Shemp stuff. No T-shirts, bobblheads... stuff like that. I like seeing the Shemps mixed in with Curlys when they're in some sort of marathon or something.

    Now, I really know this is the common fan thing to say, but I just don't like the Joe Bessers. He's funny in his own right when he's on his own, but you can tell no one was happy on those shorts. Joe was often left to his own devices, and Moe and Larry were the ones to duke it out. Curly Joe, however, I respect. Sure, he's not as funny as Shemp or Curly... he has his own style, and he had very good chemistry with the original two. I'd say the live action bits of those cartoon shows were actually quite funny and well done in their own right. Which brings me to the cartoon.

    I have a love/dislike relationship with these. Some have some real genuine Three Stooges style verbal humor (yeah, we all remember the eye pokes, but they had some great dialogue), some are just generic, at the time style kiddy cartoons. It's certainly a step up from Cambria's ...achem...other project... the infamous Clutch Cargo (even use the same music sometimes). Safari So Good is quite lousy, dropping their humor for a weak Looney Tunes wanna be (though I do like Tarzan as a Beatnik... too bad Beany and Cecil did better with that concept). But Get that Snack Shack off the Tracks has some great Stooge humor. And true to Stooge form, most of the endings are them running away. Stock animation, even.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  4. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Supposedly Moe wasn't allowed to abuse him, which may explain why.

    Have you ever seen The Robonic Stooges that followed? It feels really morbid (and not in the good way) in that apparently the Stooges' corpses were reanimated and rebuilt with bionics a la The Bionic Man, or more appropriately, Inspector Gadget. But hey, at least it isn't a Scooby-Doo knockoff like so many other HB shows at the time.
  5. fozzieisfunny

    fozzieisfunny Well-Known Member

    My Thoughts on all The Replacements for Curly:
    Yeah, I like Shemp better than Curly, and feel he is TOTALLY underrated.
    As for Joe, he sucks.
    As for Curly-Joe, he's decent but at times sucks.
  6. fozzieisfunny

    fozzieisfunny Well-Known Member

    Yeah.. It's quite sad, in fact. Larry and Moe were so sad that they lost yet another one of their fellow Stooges, so Moe finally figured out a plan: They make the Two Stooges, since the third one always ends up dying, much to Columbia's dismay. Sure, Columbia let The Three Stooges at the company until the day he died, but sometimes I felt they could've given the Stooges a bit more peace..
  7. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen any of their shorts in a long time, but at their best they combined the funniest quips and puns with amazing physical comedy and timing. My favorite one was the one where they work as riveters on the top floor of a new skyscraper (can't remember the title). I seem to remember it ended with them parachuting off the building and then driving their car with the parachute covering it.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I'm not exactly big on The Three Stooges, but I do like them well enough. I liked them a lot more when I was in middle school, but even then didn't watch much of their shorts. I had one VHS release, Simply Hilarious, which had four shorts, and I mainly only remember the first two (Disorder in the Court and Brideless Groom) as well as some coming attractions at the end of the tape. For my 15th birthday, I got a VHS boxed set of Three Stooges videos (including a rerelease of the Simply Hilarious video), and have only watched a handful of videos in that box set (including one with a lot of rare Three Stooges stuff, like the pilot for an unproduced series).

    I used to think that all of the shorts were in the public domain. I think it was Yesterdayland that mistakenly gave me that info. But then I learned that only four of their shorts (the four included in Simply Hilarious) are in the public domain.

    I watched the 2012 movie (not in theaters), and I don't think it's terrible, more-or-less "so okay it's average". There's so many times when we're tricked into thinking it'll go in one direction before it goes in another, which isn't exactly a bad thing, but I feel I was able to predict some of that before it happen. For example, in the opening scene where a father has to choose between adopting the Stooges and Teddy, we think he's going to adopt Teddy before he decides on Moe, only for Moe to be sent back in exchange for Teddy (and not because Moe caused trouble, but because he wanted the father to adopt Larry and Curly as well). And then at the end, when after saving his life the Stooges ask Teddy to give them the money needed to save the orphanage, only for Teddy to refuse because they let him be adopted by the man who just tried to kill him.... But then the orphanage not only ends up being saved but Teddy decides to adopt a kid from there.

    Wait, so this is an official thread for the "old" Three Stooges... Is there a thread for the 2012 movie?

    A few years ago, I read that the actors didn't realize how successful their shorts were until after they were canceled, as the studio convinced them that although they were selling well live-action shorts were on the verge of becoming unprofitable (I remember in the made-for-TV biopic a scene where an executive tells them that as long as he's in charge they'll always be employed... although I taped the biopic I only watched it once, I wonder if that line was in response to convincing them that shorts weren't selling too well), so that they wouldn't ask for raises or better contracts, while in actuality, the shorts were in such demand that Columbia threatened theaters that they would not send the shorts unless the theaters agreed to also show the studios B-movies. Considering that, were the actors playing them really as stupid as their characters? Considering they made shorts for nearly two full decades, I would have thought they'd figure out how successful they were much sooner.
  9. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Charlie Sheen in "2 1/2 Stooges".

    Actually Shemp was part of the act before Curly, who was brought in when Shemp was offered a better-paying contract with the " Joe Palooka" series. The Stooges had an underlying tension with their comic partner/straight man Ted Healey who always got top billing and ridiculously higher pay, which bothered Moe to no end.

    It was nice to see all three Howard brothers ( Moe, Curly, and Shemp)
    in 1947's "Hold That Lion". Too bad Curly's poor health didn't allow him appear more often.

    Nothing will ever beat " Disorder in the Court".

    Thank you gents, for all the belly laughs and eye pokes.
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I have to admit, out of the other 70's shows this one had potential, but somehow, it went unused. It was like trying to make the Stooges into the Super Globetrotters, and ending up being a strange mix that wasn't so much bad as strange in a not that good way. Not a bad show, but just weird and it never really managed to make anything of itself.

    Of course, there was almost another cartoon series. Muppet Babies writer and Moe Grandson Jeff Scott actually pitched a cartoon called "The Wee Stooges" (take a wild guess what that would have been). He even wrote some scripts, but all that's been released are titles listed in his filmography in his "How to write for Animation" book. One episode was titled (get this) "The Last of the Moe Haircuts."
  11. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I can understand why Moe, and Larry hated doing those, I mean Shemp was dead, and the studio was trying to keep him alive.I mean sure there are ways to keep people alive with memories but that way is just plain wrong. I mean Moe and Shimp where brothers none the less, and having someone else play your dead brother would hurt, I mean it would hurt me.
    I love Moe, Larry Currly and Shimp. I think those four where the funniest, and I honestly feel that when Shemp passed away the Stooges should have retired.
  12. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    But Moe tried to keep the Stooges going almost until the day he died. The last official Stooge project (1969's "Kook's Tour") was shelved because Larry had a stroke and couldn't perform anymore. Moe thought he could recruit Emil Sitka (usually cast as a mad scientist in the Columbia shorts) to replace Larry, but no dice.

    But you can't keep a good Moe down. After Larry's stroke, Moe appeared on talk shows, lectured at colleges and film festivals, wrote his autobiography, and kept the Stooge spirit going until the end of his life.

    Bless the man with the sugar-bowl haircut.
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  13. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Yea Moe is kind of like Jim Henson in that regard.
  14. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    In 1986, Stoogemania had a relatively brief theatrical run, with mainly negative reviews by the box office critics.

    Stoogemania involves Howard F. Howard, a casual Three Stooges fan who suddenly starts seeing the Stooges everywhere he goes, and a very unusual "Stooge epidemic" has swept the nation.

    A sanitarium known as Stooge Hills is created in response to the epidemic; even though virtually everyone is cured, the outpatients decide to watch a few Stooges short subjects in an attempt to prove the Stooges shorts are no longer funny, only to have the outpatients come to terms and admit that they still enjoy the Stooges' comedy.

    Back in 1983, Jump 'N the Saddle band released their comic novelty one-hit wonder, "The Curly Shuffle":

  15. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Count me in as another Shemp supporter. Though I certainly love Curly. You can tell he was such an inspiration for many phsyical comics.

    Still, I don't think Curly would have worked well without Moe and Larry around. He would have come off as annoying without the other two to play off of. One of the few films he made without the Stooges was a bizarre MGM short called Roast Beef and Movies. In it, he was teamed withe George Givot and Bobby Callahan. An odd teaming, to say the least. Just one of many examples of how Hollywood studios would randomly throw comics together in hopes of creating a bright new team. Never mind if they had zero chemistry.

    Shemp, on the other hand worked quite well on his own. I definitely recommend checking out some of his non-Stooge work.

    For me, the quality of the Stooges' films took its biggest nose dive around 1953. Producer Jules White talked Columbia Pictures boss Harry Cohn into canning fellow producer Hugh McCollum. White and his brothers took full control of the Stooges films and the other Columbia shorts after that. Creative behind the scenes team members like Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman left soon after. The latter day Shemps and the Bessers were very cheaply made, and were sometimes riddled with stock footage from previous shorts. In fairness, theater audiences didn't know the difference.

    Fake Shemp only came about because of contractual obligations (the 1955-56 season of Stooges shorts specifically requested eight films that specifically starred Moe, Larry, and Shemp). It was certainly never meant to be permanent. I can't help but wonder if viewers unfamiliar with the Fake Shemp story were ever fooled by Juels White's cover-up.

    I agree that Joe Besser was funnier on his own (check out his work on The Abbott and Costello Show). Despite what Besser claimed in his later years, I don't believe he actually liked being part of the act. A few people (Emil Sitka's son, and even Larry Fine being among them) have mentioned this in private. I way, he never quite seemed to fit in. To be fair, he was only with the act for less than two years. Still, it always looked as though there was some difficulty in meshing his style with the Stooges. And again, the films themselves from this period weren't that good. Need we be reminded of those talking horse shorts?

    Moe once claimined in an interview that his initial choice to replace Shemp was actually Mantan Moreland. Columbia apparently nixed the idea, for obvious reasons. Can't say whether or not this story is true. If it is, than I can respect Moe for trying to create an integrated comedy team. It's a fun "what-if" story, but it would have been way too controversial at the time.

    Curly-Joe DeRita was good enough to keep the act going for another decade or so. His laid back style matched that of the aging Moe and Larry. The films from the DeRita era were more kiddie-driven, but most have a few bright spots in them.

    Yes, Moe was still trying to keep the act going as late as the 1970s. Following Larry's stroke in 1969, Moe brought longtime Stooge costar Emil Sitka in as a replacement. Around 1970/71, Moe's grandson Jeffrey Scott (yes, Muppet Babies' Jeffrey Scott) wrote a script for a potential Stooge feature called Make Love, Not War. I've ready a pretty detailed summary of the script. It's very much a product of that darker, edgier tone of comedy people were leaning towards at the time. Probably good that it was never made.

    In '74, Grade-Z filmmaker Sam Sherman tried getting the Stooges to appear in his next R-Rated drive-in flick. This blog post covers the story of the Stooges' involvement very thoroughly. Interesting that Sherman briefly considered bringing Besser back into the act. Also pretty sad that he was willing to film Moe on his deathbed. :eek:


    As mentioned in the article, the Stooges were replaced by the two surviving members of the Ritz Brothers. If anyone's curious, their scenes from the film are on YT. Fair warning, the Ritzs are definitely an acquired taste. But I would recommend some of their musical bits on YT.

    That fried egg sandwich bit feels very 70s Sesame-ish. Can't say I recommend checking the entire film out unless you want to cure your insomnia.

    As for the 2000 TV movie, biopics are generally about 30% accurate. I always assumed the lack of Shemp merchandise had to do with favoritism on the part of the ethe part of the general public.

    Clearly I know too much about the Stooges and old school comedy. I need to get out more... :o
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  16. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    After working with the Stooges, Joe Besser found work as a cartoon voice artist, includinhg such roles as Babu in Jeannie and as part of the Scooby Doobies on Laff-a-Lympics (Jeannie and Babu made a guest star appearance on the "Mystery of Persia" episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies), and Scare Bear in Yogi's Space Race and Galaxy Goof-Ups.
  17. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    It looks like The Impossibles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Impossibles_(TV_series) may very well have influenced TRS, in addition to Frank Welker's Curly-inspired portrayal of Jabberjaw, while Larry and Moe had both died in 1975.

    Even Joe DeRita himself had attempted to revive the Stooges in the 1970's (at Moe's suggestion) with vaudeville veterans Mousie Garner and Frank Mitchell; unfortunately, DeRita's health issues led to his retirement from show biz and abruptly ended the attempted revival.

  18. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen Stoogemania (also known as "Party Stooge") yet, but I've heard it's not very funny. Paul "Mousie" Garner (one of Ted Healy's replacement Stooges) had a cameo role in it. Garner was briefly considered as Joe Besser's replacement in 1958, but Moe ultimately felt he wasn't an accetable enough Stooge.

    Not to mention Jilson the super on The Joey Bishop Show. Besser was to have played one of the gas station attendants alongside Arnold Stang in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but his contractual obligations with Bishop prevented that from happening.

    From what I understand, the revived Stooge act relied heavily on music. Joe apparently asked Moe to participate, but his wife felt that his health wasn't up for it. Moe later wanted to use some of the act's material for a scene in The Jet Set/Blazing Stewardesses. It was ultimately replaced with the Ritz Bros' dance number.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Since The New Scooby-Doo Movies is on Boomerang, I caught the Stooges episodes. Now, the Curly in question is Curly Joe, and (what sounds like) Daws Butler does an alright job and everything, but I can't help get confused that he left a couple "Nyuk Nyuks" in there. I'm sure I never heard Curly Joe copy Curly's catchphrase (I need to watch some of those Curly Joe episodes again, he definitely didn't do any nyuk nyuks in the cartoon series, live action wraps included). And I also get the feeling that his Larry should be higher in pitch and his Joe lower. Like if he swapped the pitches for both, he would've been dead on.

    Still, it's hilarious that it took until Billy West to do a dead on Larry. Moe and Curly anyone can do, but Larry...that's subtle. And apparently, that's how he got hired for Ren and Stimpy. The Larry impersonation.
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  20. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    My guess is Daws wasn't sure which "Curly" to go for, so he sort of combined the two. DeRita did a few half-hearted "woo woo's!" in Have Rocket, Will Travel. Moe would throw in a "nyuk nyuk!" every now and then.

    Joe Baker (a British actor, believe it or not) did an okayish Larry on the Robonic Stooges. But the writers rarely gave him any lines. Still, no one can top Billy West.

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