Welcome to Fun Friday…
my first recollection of The Three Stooges was as a child, watching their strung together shorts during lazy Saturday afternoon television viewing. Moe, the self-confident, short-tempered leader of the trio; Curley, the shaved-head affable energizer bumble; Larry, the curly-tossle-topped goof (it was always confusing to me why the one with the curly hair wasn’t called “Curley”).
The Three Stooges had a 40 year film career beginning in the early 1930s. Throughout their career, Moe and Larry were the constants, with various others filling out the third stooge role. As my familiarity with The Three Stooges grew, i became in awe of Shemp. One of the original trio, Shemp had perfect comedic timing and odd facial caricatures that always made me smile. Shemp, who was Moe’s brother, left the act to pursue a moderately successful solo career in 1933. Replaced by younger brother Jerry (aka Curley), The Stooges would go on to greater success. Shemp rejoined the group “temporarily” after Curley suffered a debilitating stroke in 1946. Unfortunately Curley never recovered and Shemp became a permanent replacement until his own death in 1955.
Shemp’s role on a couple of unfinished films was filled out by comedian Joe Palma. A permanent replacement was found a year later in Joe Besser. Besser left the act in 1959
to care for his ailing wife and was replaced by comic Joe (Curly-Joe) Derita (What’s with all the Joez). They continued to film and perform live until 1970 when Larry suffered a stroke. Moe continued the live act for five more years with several other comedians as his stooging companions until his
death in 1975.
Currently in production is a new Three Stooges film. Someone is trying to replace these whimsical weirdlings. Can it be done? Personally, i love Shemp. Moe, Curley, and Larry are exquisite. I can do with out the rest.
The Three Stooges made 206 short films, 14 feature length films, and 156 animated television shows. They were mesmerizingly
stoopid stupid. They are a timeless classic.
Who is your favorite Stooge? Do you have a favorite Stooge memory/film? What do you think of a new Three Stooges? And… why is it that your first name has to be Joe to fill a Shemp?