Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The Three Stooges started in 1928 as part of a raucous vaudeville act called "Ted Healy and His Stooges" (also known as "Ted Healy and His Southern Gentlemen", "Ted Healy and His Three Lost Souls", "Ted Healy and His Racketeers", and "Ted Healy and His Three Stooges".)
Moe Howard (born Moses Harry Horwitz) joined Healy's act in 1921, and his brother Shemp Howard (Samuel Horwitz) came aboard in 1923. In 1928, violinist-comedian Larry Fine (Louis Feinberg) and xylophonist-comedian Fred Sanborn also joined the group. In the act, lead comedian Healy would attempt to sing or tell jokes while his noisy assistants would keep "interrupting" him, causing Healy to retaliate with verbal and physical abuse.
In 1930, Ted Healy and His Stooges (including Sanborn) appeared in their first Hollywood feature film, Soup to Nuts, released by Fox Film Corporation. The film was not a critical success, but the Stooges' performances were singled out as memorable, leading Fox to offer the trio a contract minus Healy.
The team appeared in 220 films. In the end, it is the durability of the 190 timeless short films the Stooges made at Columbia Pictures that acts as an enduring tribute to the comedy team. Their continued popularity worldwide has proven to even the most skeptical critics that their films are funny. American television personality Steve Allen went on record in the mid-1980s saying, "though they never achieved widespread critical acclaim, they achieved exactly what they had always intended to do: they made people laugh."
An extensive biography and filmography of the trio appears on tensive biography and filmography of the trio appears on Wikipedia.
Here's a look at a comic sequence, one of their most violent, from the 1943 movie They Stooge to Conga.
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