The Three Stooges: An Illustrated History, From Amalgamated Morons to American Icons

The Three Stooges: An Illustrated History, From Amalgamated Morons to American Icons

Michael Fleming

Language: English

Pages: 320


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

More people today can name the members of the Three Stooges than can name three justices of the Supreme Court. The Stooges are comedy icons whose enduring appeal and slapstick legacy have made them one of the most famous and beloved comedy troupes in the world. Michael Fleming's The Three StoogesTM is the first complete, authorized biography of the men who made pie fights part of our national cultural heritage.

A juggernaut of wise guys, headlocks, and unforgettable insults, this book tells the whole history of the Stooges, starting with their origins in the golden years of vaudeville, when the boys from Brooklyn honed their craft. Moe, Curly, and Shemp Howard were born Moses, Jerome, and Samuel Horwitz--and were believed for many years to be the three least accomplished sons of their Lithuanian immigrant parents. Ultimately, of course, the Three Stooges reinvented the rules of slapstick comedy: never be caught unprepared in a pie fight, never slap one wise guy in the face if you can slap three in a row, and never underestimate the value of a good poke in the eye.

Signed in 1934 by Columbia Pictures to a renewable contract that had them making at least nine short films a year, the Stooges learned firsthand about the sharks swimming through Hollywood's early waters. And after nearly a quarter century of producing the short films for which the Stooges are so well known and loved, the studio declined to renew their contract in 1954, and the pioneering pie-throwing professionals lost their jobs. Fittingly, though, Moe & Co. were destined to have the last laugh: the advent of television revived their careers after the decline of vaudeville and Hollywood shorts, and a new generation of belly laughs was born.

From the Stooges' humble origins to movie stardom to comedy legends, there's something here for every level of fan--from folks who watched them on television as a kid to Stooge scholars and certified "knuckleheads." Featuring over two hundred photographs, many of them rare; interviews with Stooge friends and families; and a complete filmography with every "woob-woob" and crashed society cocktail party lovingly detailed, this book will be treasured by all Stoogedom.

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Adler. Produced and directed by Jules White. This one is more of a sitcom episode than a Stooge short, and it makes strong use of Besser’s unusual comic skills. His girlfriend, an oversize blonde, is distraught because her diamond ring is missing from her locker. They suspect Elmo Drake, the burly trucking foreman who had a passkey to the lockers and who heard her boast about the rock. There are some good gags that take place in the shipping plant, such as when Besser uses rope to wrap a package

take kindly to Jews. They immigrated to the United States eager for a new life. They wound up with a new name as well. Not an uncommon occurrence in the processing of immigrants during the rush to emigrate, a mistake was made in their naturalization papers. By the time they settled in a poor section of Brooklyn, the name on their mailbox was Horwitz. Jennie became a real estate agent and developed a real flair for selling properties even though she could barely speak English. Solomon was a very

picture, with Moe having his part creased by an errant bullet. A villain was dispatched by having his head stuck in a dry-cleaning press and his tail scorched with a hot iron. The sharp blade of a tree saw would routinely be ruined from a run across Curly’s cranium. Power tools were employed for the cruelest forms of punishment. But nobody ever got hurt, unlike a lot of other programming during the sixties. “Kids watch the Popeye films constantly,” Moe said in an interview during the Stooge

Larry’s beloved Mabel had died in 1967, and Fine, after living for a time above the garage in the home of his daughter, Phyllis, retired to the Motion Picture Country Hospital. There he entertained the showbiz veterans and had a visitor list that included James Cagney. Larry, who was a free spender to the last, got to continue living in the lavish way he had grown accustomed to. One of the best-known entertainers America has ever produced, he had $776.45 in the bank when he turned over his estate

valiant but bumbling upholsterers, pledge to return the necklace to its rightful owner. Shemp sits upon an iron, cools his tail in a water-filled bucket. Unfortunately, an electric fan has fallen in, and it chews his tail to ribbons. Hugs and Mugs, 1950. SLAP COUNT: 17 EYE POKES: 4 CONKING HEADS: 1 Dopey Dicks, 1950. With Christine McIntyre, Philip Van Zandt, Stanley Price. Written by Elwood Ullman. Produced by Hugh McCollum. Directed by Edward Bernds. Opens with a door sign: “Sam Shovel

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