Sunday, April 22, 2007

Three Stooges

The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act in the first half of the 20th century. Best known for their numerous short films, they originally featured the three-man line-up of brothers Harry Moses Horwitz (Moe) and Samuel Horwitz (Shemp) and long-time friend Louis Feinberg ("Larry Fine"). Shemp was later replaced by Jerome "Curly" (sometimes spelled "Curley") Howard, another brother, in 1932. When Curly suffered a stroke in 1946, Shemp returned until his death in 1955. He was then replaced first by a stand-in (Joe Palma), doubling for Shemp to fulfill Shemp's contracted four remaining films, then by bald-headed "sissy" comedian Joe Besser, and eventually by Joe "Curly-Joe" DeRita (Joseph Wardell). After Larry's death, Emil Sitka, a long-time fellow actor in Stooge comedies, was contracted to be the replacement Stooge for Larry, but no film was ever made with him in that role, although some publicity photographs exist of him with his hair combed similarly to Larry posing with Moe and Curly-Joe prior to Moe's death and the end of the act.

The Stooges' hallmark was extremely physical slapstick comedy, mixed with one-liners, the introduction of additional characters and outrageous plots.

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