For over eight decades, audience have enjoyed the eye-gouging, hair-pulling comic chaos of The three Stooges. One of the most prolific comedy teams in cinematic history, The 3 Stooges starred in 190 brief subjects for Columbia Pictures in between 1934 and also 1959. A perennial favorite on syndicated tv throughout the 1970s and also "80s, The 3 Stooges" popularity continues into the 21st century with new fans discovering the lovable knuckleheads every year.

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The 3 Stooges obtained their begin in vaudeville in the 1920s where they honed their unabashedly lowbrow act into the many over-the-top physics comedy of every time. Return they"ll forever be remembered for your relentless usage of comedic violence, the trio"s frequently overlooked usage of language, cunning wordplay, and sometimes not-so-subtle society commentary nevertheless made for some of their most hilarious moments. Surprise within the slapstick and also sight gags room moments of pure wit the prove The 3 Stooges were anything but, as Moe Howard could say, lamebrains.

The story of The 3 Stooges, however, is much more than pratfalls, puns, and pie fights. These space the untold truths behind one of the many beloved comedy groups of every time.


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As detailed by Mark and also Ellen Scordato in "The 3 Stooges," Samuel "Shemp" Horwitz and younger brother Moses "Moe" Horwitz acquired their begin on the phase as a comedy duo referred to as Howard and Howard in 1915. Initially, the brothers were unsuccessful, and also the act broke up when Shemp to be drafted right into the Army. Shemp"s military service, however, was short-lived, and also he to be soon back on stage with Moe.


In 1922, Shemp and Moe joined comedian Ted Healy"s act. Healy, currently a successful performer, was a purveyor of broad, bawdy humor. Lugged on as foils because that Healy"s physical comedy, Moe and also Shemp were big hits v Healy"s audiences.

Healy carried comedian-musician luigi Feinberg into his act in 1925. Feinberg, better known by his stage name Larry Fine, completed the original lineup. Ted Healy and His Stooges broke into film in 1930 in the 20th Century Fox comedy, "Soup come Nuts." The now-Howard brothers and Fine made such an impression the they were offered a movie deal of your own. Healy, fearing the finish of his career, persuaded Fox to rescind The Stooges" contract. Once the trio found out around Healy"s actions, they angrily struck the end on your own.


The Stooges briefly rejoined Healy, but, in 1932, Shemp bowed out after a financial dispute. Moe lugged in younger brothers Jerome "Curly" Horwitz together his replacement, cementing the classic Stooges lineup. After appearing in numerous MGM films, The three Stooges left Healy for an excellent in 1934 as soon as they signed through Columbia Pictures.


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Although the classic lineup of Larry, Moe, and also Curly was the most popular and recognizable incarnation of The 3 Stooges, the comic trio struggled to maintain a permanent 3rd member. The original vaudeville troupe that Ted Healy and also his Stooges had Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, and also Larry Fine. Adhering to Shemp"s departure in 1932, brother Jerome Horwitz, adopting the phase name Curly Howard, joined the group. In between 1933 and also 1934, Healy, Howard, Fine, and Howard appeared in a grasp of movies for MGM.


As documented in "The Stooge Chronicles," by Jeffrey Forrester, Moe, Larry, and also Curly left Healy in 1934 to occupational for Columbia Pictures. Curly Howard, in failing wellness throughout the 1940s, left the group after enduring a huge stroke ~ above the set of "Half-Wits Holiday" in 1946. V Curly can not to perform, Shemp returned to the fold staying with The Stooges till his death in 1955.

Replacing the late Shemp Howard for a grasp of shorts in the late 1950s was comedian Joe Besser. In 1957, Columbia closed your short-film department ending The Stooges" long run at the studio. Besser declined an sell to make personal appearances v Larry and also Moe in order to treatment for his wife who had actually suffered a love attack.


The final comedian to take it up the mantle of 3rd onscreen Stooge to be Joe DeRita. Dubbed "Curly Joe" because of his resemblance to Curly Howard, DeRita continued to be with the act until the late 1960s.


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After parting methods with Ted Healy in 1934, "first stooge" Moe Howard ended up being the de facto leader the The 3 Stooges. According to three Stooges director Edward Bernds, Moe remained in charge both on and offscreen. "Believe it or not, in genuine life the was really much choose it was in the pictures," Bernds said Jeffrey Forrester, writer of "The Stooge Chronicles." "Moe to be the boss, the brains of the outfit. ... Moe was yes, really a sensitive, touchy guy, compared to the others. And also his feel were easily hurt, too."


According come "The Stoogephile Trivia Book," Moe Howard was additionally a shrewd businessman that wisely invest his show business earnings in actual estate. Amongst his holdings to be an apartment building, a drugstore, and a furniture store called the Howard Furniture agency located in Burbank, California.

Although plenty of assumed the Moe dropped on hard times ~ the Stooges lost their movie contract in the 1950s, Bernds defined that nothing might be additional from the truth. "A lot of of human being have much more or much less commended me for something ns did in the late 1950s, after the Stooges to be dropped indigenous Columbia," Bernds called Forrester. "I was directing a scientific research fiction picture, and also I provided Moe a bit component as a taxi driver. Well, currently everybody says, "Gee, it certain was great of you to obtain Moe some occupational when he to be down." Moe wasn"t down; he was a millionaire!"


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Larry Fine, the forever put-upon, wiry-haired center Stooge, to be born luigi Feinberg on October 5, 1902, in southern Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As recorded in "The three Stooges," by Mark and Ellen Scordato, Larry"s father, Joseph, emigrated come the United states from Russia come escape anti-Semitism. After arriving in the U.S., Joseph Feinberg married Fannie Lieberman. Larry was the first of their 3 children and also a born entertainer. At age 2, Larry would dance in the family"s jewel shop to entertain his relatives. When Larry was simply 4 years old, that severely burned his arm v acid after i m sorry he take it up the violin as rehabilitation.


Larry had none of Moe Howard"s service acumen. Entertainment was his sole interest. Together a young man, Larry make a half-hearted attempt to join the family"s jewel business, yet his penchant for clowning approximately often gained in the way of his work. Eventually, Larry"s father payment him $100 and two weeks" salary to quit. Larry took the money and also embarked top top a career as a vaudeville comic and musician.


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The youngest brothers of Moe and also Shemp Howard, Jerome Horwitz embraced the stage name Jerome "Curly" Howard and joined Ted Healy"s present after Shemp"s departure. Follow to "The 3 Stooges," Curly nearly missed his chance to become a Stooge because he was also handsome. His thick, wavy hair and also distinguished mustache simply didn"t fit v Moe"s bowlcut and also Larry"s unkempt mane. Figured out to do an impression top top Healy, Curly shave his head. The youngest Howard"s plan worked, and he to be welcomed into the act as Curly.


Arguably the most popular of The 3 Stooges, Curly has actually been alternately explained as "shy, reserved" and also "the life that the party" offscreen. Including his very first marriage, which was annulled at the behest the his mother, Curly wed 5 times. That married his critical wife, Valerie Nueman, in 1947.

Following his 1941 divorce native Elaine Ackerman, Curly sank right into depression and turned come food and alcohol for relief. Soon, his deteriorating lifestyle began to influence his work. Nevertheless, Curly married (and divorced) again. His union v Marion Buchsbaum lasted under a year.

While shoot "Half-Wit"s Holiday” in 1946, Curly experienced a debilitating stroke that necessitated his retirement from comedy. He would certainly make one last cameo appearance together the Stooges in 1947"s "Hold that Lion." having actually suffered several an ext strokes, Curly to be hospitalized because that the critical year the his life. Jerome "Curly" Howard died on January 18, 1952, in ~ the period of 48.


The 3rd of 5 brothers, Shemp Howard was born Samuel Horwitz on in march 17, 1895, in Brooklyn, brand-new York. His nickname came from his mother"s heavily accented joint of Sam which, come his brothers, sounded prefer "Shemp." In his 1977 autobiography, "Moe Howard and also The 3 Stooges," Moe lovingly psychic his enlarge brother together a cheeky troublemaker. "Shemp . . . Was an difficult crybaby, a stocking and also pants destroyer, a basic creator that disturbances," Moe wrote. "When chore time came, the would build a stomach-ache, a headache, a toothache, or any old ache the would get him out of his re-publishing of work."


Despite Shemp"s tough onscreen persona, he experienced from crippling phobias. Fear of water, dogs, heights, and also cars, wife Babe Howard described him as "afraid of everything." During people War II, Babe would regularly return home from her rounds together an air raid warden to discover Shemp cowering behind the piano. " was scared to fatality of his very own shadow," friend and fellow comic Mousie Garner recalled in the A&E documentary, "Stooges: The guys Behind the Mayhem." "He was always looking ago to watch if everyone was complying with him."


In the 1930s, Columbia Pictures" shorts room had end up being a dumping ground because that has-been comedians. Noted for its lack of creativity and low pay, Columbia came to be the last prevent for silent-era comedians unable to it is adapted to the talkies. The enhancement of The 3 Stooges in 1934, however, would transform Columbia"s brief film division into among Hollywood"s most profitable comedy factories.


The man most responsible because that The three Stooges" ascendance to film comedy stardom to be Jules White, head that Columbia"s quick subjects department. White, who had been a producer and director in ~ MGM, was acquainted with The Stooges from their occupational with Healy and knew he had actually a win team in the trio, and he made sure that his brand-new acquisition had the ideal writers, directors, and also supporting football player available.

As recorded in "The Stoogephile Trivia Book," The 3 Stooges shorts ran for 25 year under White v White himself directing and producing the bulk of the films. Having worked with some of the greatest comedians of every time, White conceded that the 3 Stooges to be something one-of-a-kind to "Stooge Chronicles” author Jeffrey Forrester. "I had dozens of good comedians," said White. "Some of "em were world renowned. Buster Keaton was, ns daresay, among the three best in the background of comedy. ... For this reason the Stooges were no the just ones i made images with. But television has actually boosted them to the sky, and also they"ve overshadowed anything else we"ve ever done ..."


As Larry Fine, Moe Howard, and also Curly Howard climbed to fame together The three Stooges in the 1930s and "40s, previous Stooge Shemp Howard to be enjoying his very own successful career together a comic actor showing up in numerous popular comic shorts collection and attribute films. Shemp"s post-Ted Healy solo work had the Joe Palooka boxing comedies and also his own collection of shorts. In the beforehand 1940s, Shemp showed up with the classic comedy team the Abbott and also Costello in the movies "In the Navy" and also "Hold that Ghost."


According to "The three Stooges," through Mark and also Ellen Scordato, Curly"s health got in a sharp decrease following a 1941 divorce. Drinking, depression, and also a series of undiagnosed strokes dulled his comedic edge and marked a downturn in the top quality of The Stooges shorts. In 1946, a debilitating stroke compelled Curly right into retirement.

With the most famous Stooge out of action, Moe knew he had actually to act conveniently to conserve the team and also his and also Larry"s livelihoods. The selection was clear. Shemp had to come back. In spite of his own successful comedy career, Shemp reluctantly returned to The 3 Stooges understanding that there is no him, Moe and also Larry"s act to be over. The price that Shemp"s loyalty was a 50% salary cut and much of his independence.


Although Moe had hoped that Curly"s exit would it is in temporary, his wellness worsened. Shemp continued to be with The three Stooges from 1946 till his fatality from a heart assault in 1955.


Shemp Howard"s death in 1955 to be a devastating blow to making it through Stooges Moe Howard and Larry Fine. Reeling indigenous the lose of their brother, friend, and colleague, The Stooges were stuck with 4 shorts in assorted stages the completion as result of Shemp"s death. To finish the films, gibbs Joe Palma, a dubious Shemp double, was carried in to finish the fallen Stooge"s scenes with regularly unintentionally laughable results.


Filmmaker Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell, best known for your cult fear classic, "Evil Dead," prospered up die-hard three Stooges fans and made a suggest of looking the end for Palma in the later Stooges shorts. In his book, "If Chins might Kill," Campbell defines how "Fake Shemps" became component of Raimi"s cinematic vocabulary. "... As adolescents watching The Stooges after school, we might tell anytime the fake Shemp made his appearances ... And also it amused united state to no end," Campbell writes. "We then started to usage the term "Fake Shemp" for any kind of actor in our Super-8 flicks who didn"t have any kind of lines, or was doubling because that someone else ...With "Evil Dead," we made decision to elevate "Shemping" come an official, on-screen credit group mainly since they soon made up the bulk of our cast."


Thanks come Raimi and Campbell, "Fake Shemp" or "Shemp" has since entered filmmaking speech as a catch-all term for any replacement actor whose appearance is disguised v camera angles, makeup, or digital trickery.


In 1958, The three Stooges proficient a revival once Columbia syndicated their brief comedies to television, and a brand-new generation of youngsters made The three Stooges one afterschool habit. Despite their newfound popular on the small screen, The Stooges ultimately struggled to make inroads right into TV.


The Stooges first attempted to break into TV in October 1949 with a pilot because that a suggest weekly collection titled "Jerks of every Trades." created for ABC television by Phil Berle, brothers of comedy legend Milton Berle, it featured Larry Fine, Moe Howard, and Shemp Howard together "bumbling internal decorators" that wreck their affluent client"s home. According to "The 3 Stooges Scrapbook," the never-broadcast present was shelved because of a contract stipulation the prevented The Stooges from performing in a TV display that contended with your Columbia shorts.

The three Stooges attempted to launch one more TV collection in 1960 with "Three Stooges Scrapbook." shoot in color and also featuring the lineup of Moe, Larry, and also Curly-Joe DeRita, the show failed to generate network interest. However, part footage native the pilot to be reprocessed in black and also white and also incorporated the 1962 Stooges feature, "The three Stooges in Orbit."


In 1969, Moe, Larry, and Curly-Joe perfect a pilot title "Kook"s Tour." The premise that the show discovered The Stooges retirement from performing and also traveling across the country pointing out the beauty, beauty of America"s outdoors. Quickly after perfect "Kook"s Tour," Larry suffered a stroke, and also plans for the series were canceled.


Although Curly-Joe DeRita"s headstone reads "The critical Stooge," the final member of the legendary comedy troupe was actually actor Emil Sitka. Sitka to be a featured player in the Stooges" shorts throughout the 1940s and also "50s. Showing up in such fan favorites as "Brideless Groom" and "Gents in a Jam," Sitka to be a flexible character comedian that at times managed to upstage The Stooges through his onstage antics.


"Emil was really good," longtime 3 Stooges producer Jules White told Jeffrey Forrester, writer of "The Stooge Chronicles." "He can play anything. It"s not straightforward to be able to play a gangster in one shot, and a governor in the next. Yet he could do it. And he go it an extremely well." follow to three Stooges writer Elwood Ullman, Sitka"s comedic skills made that one of just a few supporting players for whom the composing staff would certainly create certain characters.

Sitka make his first appearance in 1946"s "Half-Wits Holiday," the last quick featuring Curly Howard, and continued to job-related with The Stooges at Columbia throughout the 1960s. Following Larry Fine"s exit from The three Stooges in the 1970s, Moe Howard invite Sitka to come to be a full-fledged Stooge. In 1975, Sitka was scheduled to star with Howard and also Joe DeRita in an all brand-new Stooges feature film. Sadly, the task was canceled because of Moe"s decreasing health and also subsequent death from lung cancer the same year.


Following Joe Besser"s leave in 1958, Moe Howard and also Larry Fine invited comedian Joe DeRita to join The three Stooges. A vaudeville veteran, DeRita grew up in a show service family having actually performed alongside his mother and also sister as the DeRita Sisters and Junior start at age 10. As documented in "The 3 Stooges," DeRita began working in the movie in the 1940s, showing up in functions for Warner Brothers, MGM, and also Paramount, as well as in his own collection of shorts because that Columbia Pictures.


DeRita"s first outing as a Stooge to be a devastating appearance in ~ a vacation Inn in Bakersfield, California, in October 1958. Audience reaction come this brand-new incarnation that The Stooges was overwhelmingly negative. However, the relax of the Stooges" shorts ~ above TV easily reversed the troupe"s fortunes. Hoping to appeal come the Stooges" new fans, DeRita shave his head and embraced the persona the "Curly-Joe." v his passing same to pan favorite Stooge, Curly Howard, DeRita uncovered his niche in the act. Transparent the so late 1950s and also 1960s, DeRita appeared onscreen through The Stooges in six attribute length films, in the animated series "The new Three Stooges," and in two unsold TV pilots.

With the blessing that Moe Howard, DeRita created his very own comedy troupe called The new Three Stooges in the at an early stage 1970s. Recruiting previous Stooges stuntman frank Mitchell and also Ted Healy alumnus Mousie Garner, the trio made just a few personal appearances before breaking up as result of DeRita"s failing eyesight.


Beginning in 1949, 3 Stooges" fans might get a fix of your favorite knuckleheads at the newsstand many thanks to Jubilee Publishing. According to "The Stoogephile Trivia Book," the very first four-color incarnation of The Stooges featured the standard lineup of Moe, Larry, and also Curly and also lasted simply two issues. Nevertheless, the Stooges changed to publish in 1953 courtesy the St. Man Publishing. Special Shemp together the 3rd Stooge, this 3 Stooges comic it s long 48 concerns with several special 3-D editions. Dell Publishing lugged the Stooges earlier in 1959. Lasting till 1972, the Dell three Stooges comics followed the misadventures that Larry, Moe, and Curly-Joe. In 2021, American Mythology Publishing brought Stooges into the 21st century with the all new comic series, "The 3 Stooges Thru the Ages."


Although the Stooges were never able to get a live-action TV collection off the ground, lock did find success ~ above the tube together cartoon characters. Premiering in 1965, the animated collection "The new Three Stooges" featured quick live-action introductions by Moe, Larry, and also Curly-Joe v the team lending their very own voices to their cartoon alter egos.

Perhaps the most bizarre variation of The three Stooges premiered in 1977. Originally a segment the the CBS Saturday morning program, "The Skatebirds," "The Robonic Stooges" revolutionized Larry, Moe, and also Curly right into bumbling cyborg superheroes. Special the voice talent of Paul Winchell, Joe Baker, and Frank Welker, "The Robonic Stooges" gained their own 30-minute display in 1978.


In the 80 years due to the fact that their an initial Columbia short, The 3 Stooges have become an indelible component of the American pop society landscape. Return Stoogemania has had its peaks and valleys, the comedy team remains well-known into the 21st century with new fans discovering their standard shorts via TV and also streaming video every year. Images of Larry, Moe, and also Curly elegant merchandise varying from T-shirts, dolls and phone cases to a line of premium coffee.

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The three Stooges even have their very own museum. Located in Ambler, Pennsylvania, The Stoogeum is a large repository that Stooge memorabilia containing initial props, costumes, and an individual effects belonging to The Stooges. Committed to preserving the tradition of The three Stooges, The Stoogeum is likewise headquarters of The three Stooges fan Club, i m sorry boasts 2,000 members across the globe.

Perennially well-known with men, The 3 Stooges and their patented over-the-top slapstick are even making inroads v women, a demographic that has traditionally disliked the trio"s low-brow humor. "In the past, it simply wasn"t ladylike to say you preferred them," 3 Stooges convention organizer Phyllis Reighter said Tulsa World. "Some females felt it was a brand the comedy that stated you were much less educated. It was beneath them. But now, lock are beginning to come out of their shells."