Entry updated 28 August 2023. Tagged: Film.
The Three Stooges were a US comedy team who debuted in vaudeville (music-hall) as part of Ted Healy and His Stooges in 1922 and went on to make 190 or more short films for Columbia Pictures, characterized like their stage act by often violent and abusive farce and slapstick. Long-running members were Larry Fine (1902-1975) and Moe Howard (1897-1975), with the third Stooge role variously taken by Howard's brothers Shemp Howard (1895-1955) and Jerome "Curly" Howard (1903-1952), by Joe Besser (1907-1988), by "Curly" Joe DeRita (1909-1993), and by others. They became immensely popular as a result of 1960s Television syndication of the short movies, for which they received no royalties or residuals.
A number of their films made varyingly Absurdist use of sf themes and Clichés. Relevant Columbia shorts include Cactus Makes Perfect (1942); A Bird in the Head (1946); All Gummed Up (1947), remade with additional footage as Bubble Trouble (1953); I'm a Monkey's Uncle (1948), remade with additional footage (and the sf content now only a hoax) as Stone Age Romeos (1955) – see previous link; Fuelin' Around (1949), remade with much of the same footage as Hot Stuff (1956); Dopey Dicks (1950); Spooks! (1953); Outer Space Jitters (1957); Space Ship Sappy (1957); and Flying Saucer Daffy (1958). Feature-length movies of sf relevance, again from Columbia, are Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959); The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962); and the financially successful Time Travel excursion The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962).
The Hanna-Barbera anthology series The Skatebirds (1977-1978) included a segment titled The Robonic Stooges, featuring Robot versions of the Three Stooges. The Stooges reappear without explanation as religious temple functionaries in a late volume of Dave Sim's Cerebus the Aardvark Graphic Novel sequence, Latter Days (graph 2003). [DRL]
- Ramsey Campbell. Six Stooges and Counting: A Personal Tribute (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing/Electric Dreamhouse, 2023) [nonfiction: hb/Neil Snowdon]
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