The Three Stooges - a starting point

Comments and Email

From: [email protected] 
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 10:13:03 EST 
Subject: Re: Moe 


In 1975, I was working for animation director; Ralph Bakshi, at his studio on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Melrose in West Hollywood. We had just completed STREETFIGHT (1973) and were in the middle of production on HEY GOODLOOKIN! (1975) for Warner Brothers. I was the in-house production assistant, which meant that any job that needed doing, from scheduling to taking out the trash, was mine.

Ralph found it amusing to load me down with animation scenes, piled high enough so I couldn't see where I was headed. Staggering down the narrow hallway one day, burdened with an immense stack of folders, I ran into somebody. Literally. A gruff voice immediately asked "Why dontcha watch where you're going?" That voice resonated through my brain, rekindling memories of days long past. "Get outa the way", I said. "And remind me to moider ya later!"

It was Moe Howard.

A Momentary Flashback When I was growing up in Forest Hills, New York, in the fifties, we had a ritual. Every day, at five-thirty, my sister and I would turn on WPIX Channel 11. Hosted by "Officer" Joe Bolton, The Three Stooges were a highlight of my day. Though I knew and loved the work of Chaplin, Keaton and Laurel And Hardy, The Stooges occupied a special place. Through the years, I had remained a passionate follower of all things Stooge.

Meanwhile... I apologized to Moe, who actually said "Next time, watch where you're goin", and then left me standing in shock while he went into Bakshi's office.

Moe had come to see Ralph about a bit part in our new film. HEY GOODLOOKIN' took place in the Brooklyn of the 1950's. It concerned a teenage gang leader; Vinnie and his adventures with his friends Crazy Shapiro, Eva and girlfriend Roz. It also concerned the rivalry between Vinnie and adversary Boogaloo Jones; leader of a rival gang.

Ar one point in the film, Vinne, who was an animated character, was supposed to sidle up to the newsstand run by Moe and snatch a paper. Moe catches him, grabs back the paper and gives Vinnie his patented poke in the eyes.

Moe came out of Ralph's office and I asked him if he minded answering a couple of questions. By now, our other two production assistants had realized what was going on. Avid Stooge fans, they too gathered around Moe to talk about his work. We went into the studio kitchen and sat around the table. My few moments with Moe stretched into an hour and a half as he patiently answered all of our many queries. Unlike some apathetic celebrities, Moe seemed genuinely enthusiastic when talking of his movies, some made almost 40 years previously.

Moe told us that the Stooges were often hurt on the set but carried on anyhow. He reserved his warmest compliments for his two late brothers; Jerome (Curly) and Sam (Shemp) both of whom he obviously loved and admired. Moe seemed a combination Stooge and hard headed businessman. He was the one, after all, who had negotiated all of the team's contracts. Moe regretted the fact that The Stooges did not share in the enormous royalties from television showings of the shorts. Aside from money, he was deeply satisfied with his years as Head Stooge.

Afternoon was fading and Moe had to return home to Toluca Lake before his wife; Helen, became worried about him. Our studio was on the busy corner of Melrose and Laurel Avenues in West Hollywood. It was a four way crossing with no stop lights. I asked Moe if he wanted me to help him cross Melrose where his Cadillac was parked. No, he assured me, he'd be fine.

Moe was in great physical condition for a man in his mid-seventies. Yet, as he crossed the street, he became old. and his stride decreased to an arthritic limp. As he shuffled across the busy intersection, cars screeched to a halt. When he reached the other side of the street, Moe turned, began jumping up and down and waved to those who had stopped. He then walked to his car, got in and drove away.

Moe Howard died before we were able to film his bit part, but he had given me one of the best afternoons of my life. For one brief afternoon, all the world was a Stooge. I will never forget him.

Allston, 1999

From: "Margie Schultz" <[email protected]>
Subject: Larry Fine
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 08:15:31 -0600


Just happened to see your web site and it is wonderful! For me it was especially meaningful as I spent a lot of time with Larry Fine while living and working in Hollywood.

One of my most treasured possessions is an autographed picture he gave me and of an evening we spent together many years ago.

Larry was living in an aprtment on Hollywood Blvd and it was just a few years after his wife passed away. I was working as a cocktail waitress in a trendy night spot called Panza's Lazy Susan. My boss asked me to give Larry a lift home as he could no longer drive.

When we reached his apartment, he checked his mail and found a fan letter from a child. He was delighted! Immediately upon entering the apartment he prepared an envelope with an autographed picture and a comic book to send to his little fan and gave me one too for my ( then 3 year old) daughter and invited us to come the following night for a home prepared dinner.

When I gave my daughter the comic book, she was quite upset to see a picture of Larry on the cover with a lobster hanging from his nose. I had no idea what an impression it made on her until that evening when we arrived at his door. he greeted us warmly and bent down to meet Debbie. With tearfilled eyes she looked at him somberly and asked "Is your nose all better now?"

Autographed Three Stooges picture
1065 X 1497 269KB JPEG picture

Both Larry and I got a chuckle out of that. Over the years we spent a lot of time together and we accompanied him when the 3 Stooges made an appearance for a charity function too. That day, he called Debbie up on stage which thrilled her.

Often we would go to dinner and then to see a comedian friend of mine. After the show we'd all go for breakfast and Larry loved to regale us with some of the best jokes I've heard in years.

After he had his stroke, he moved into the Mothion Picture Country Home where he still was active and won the prize for the best costume in a wheelchair costume parade.

Some great memories and a pleasure to see your page. If you would like to see the picture I have, let me know and I will scan it for you.

Best Wishes,
Margie Schultz

Favorite 3rd Stooge Poll:

David Hammerle <[email protected]> sent e-mail suggesting:
How about a poll to see who is everybody's favorite "3rd Stooge"?
(like we don't already know)

OK, To vote for your favorite 3rd stooge, click on the counter below his picture.

From: Steve Alberts <[email protected]>
Subject: Moe pic and letter
Nice of my relatives to never tell me 
that my family knew the Stooges.

Check out:

for a picture of topless Moe with my 
great-uncle Benny. Also included is a 
letter he wrote to Ben in the early 
70s, which I have to scan better at 
some point (check out the stationary, 

Your site is very cool. I also wanted 
more info on the later "joes"


Why do girls always fall for idiots?
Why do girls always fall for idiots?

Christmas News:

John Kricfalusi, creator of the original Ren & Stimpy Show, is designing a set of dolls of the Stooges which will be in the stores this Christmas.
Dolls Thanks for the tip from:
Steve "Big Shot" Worth
and the picture. Click it for a 394 X 310 version.

Personal insights:

This all began when I picked up from the TV theme site. That was before it became a sign-up service. The original plan was to pickup a few tunes to entertain the new grandson. Later I had the idea of making a web page that would show the a Three Stooges' picture while the theme played.

This all happened off-line before I had an Internet Service Provider (ISP). When I finally got an ISP, I uploaded the page but disabled the automatic playing of the Three Stooges theme. The more folks visited the more I tried to jazz it up. It soon turned into an example of "Build it and they will come" out of control.

When I was growing up The Three Stooges were aired regularly on TV with the morning cartoons. As I grew older, I had to have cable (Rember Cal and his dog spot?) to see them. Later, video tape was the final outlet.
But now! They're back on cable. The Three Stooges are on The Family Channel, every weeknight 6PM and 11PM EST/PST.

Oh my God! They killed the Three Stooges! Those bastards.
Yes, it's true. The Family channel has canceled the Three Stooges.

Has political correctness stolen the stooges from us? You know those folks who want to round off all the sharp corners of life. As in life, more often than not cutting corners means taking the table leg with it.
Will the Internet bring back The Three Stooges?
Do the stooges run an AOL chat room?
No -- but they do have a newsgroup. Check out alt.comedy.slapstick.3-stooges.
Wow. I just noticed this piece has become very dated. I'll try to find time between working on, furious and the Web Surfers Report to update it. Maybe before the Year 2000 problem destroys the Earth (but I doubt it.)

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