The Three Stooges: Laughing Therapy

Years of Laughing Therapy From The Stooges


Whether it’s a nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, by Curly, or the famous catch phrase from Moe… “A wise guy eh?” This is usually followed by a poke to the eyes, or a smack upside the head, was a classic a trademark from the “Three Stooges”, that rallied millions of fans over the past decades.


But in retrospect, the stooges were quite the usual trio put together to form this comical venture that took the world by storm.

And question might surface such as…


“How did they get started?”




“Who brought the comedic trio together in the first place?”


Valid questions indeed which need answering, the biggest one of course is their source material to make people laugh until literal tears would run down their faces.


So let’s jump into the actor’s seat of the cast, that will help to give you a little backstory details of the most famous comical trio of the 20th century.


The Guys Behind The Madness


So we start with the comedy icons that would make a huge name for themselves, in a very short amount of time.


th (1)We will take a look at the leader of the group, and basically was portrayed as the enforcer as well who is called Moe.


Moe Howard was the central nucleus of the group, he would be the guy to keep Larry, Curly, (Sometimes Shemp or Joe), in line when he felt they were either trying to outshine him, or even if he gets hit accidentally by one of his colleagues, he would ultimately make them pay for it through physical harm (in the most comical sense).


Keep in mind that this is your basic “Slap-Stick” comedy, which often went viral depending upon the screwed-up situations the stooges would create for themselves.


Moe was the one who really brought the formation of the group together (also with the help of Ted Heasley known for his involvement as well A.K.A “Ted Heasley & His Stooges”), he did this through brain storming out ideals he felt would work with their comedy act (and often did work for them).


Another key aspect about Moe in which many probably didn’t know, was his famous bowl cut hair style. He use to have long curly hair, and going to school with the other kids serve to be the motivating factor for him to change his appearance from that point throughout his entire career (they teased him for his curly hair locks LOL).


Moe was also an avid reader of text books, this is probably where he gather a lot of his source material no doubt. He would share his ideas with his older brother Shemp, and his younger brother Curly. 

His real name was Moses Harry Horwitz (June 19, 1897 – May 4. 1975).


The other two stooges (included are Shemp & Joe at alternate times) would play their parallel roles to set the “tone” of the classic shorts (the skits written for them in which they would act out in front of the camera).


th (1)For Larry Finehe was what you would call the indoctrine stooge”, and for notable reason. Fine was multi-talented, and known for various skills he portrayed such as playing the violin in a particular stooge episode, to lending boxing training tips to Curly (Prior before the episode was filmed), in an episode where Curly was a bogus skilled boxer (Fine was a trained boxer as well), who could only win when he would hear the particular music song play in the background called Pop Goes the Weasel” (a famous children’s song most kids would hear when growing up).


Larry would play the tune using a violin, which in turn would incite motivation in Curly, and give him the will to “beat down” an opponent in a matter of seconds.


Moe would exploit the opportunity (he played a desperate boxing manager looking for a break), by putting the two elements together to further his managing career in the boxing world.

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The only problem was Curly. Because the longer the song continues to play, he cannot control his urge to pulverize anyone who crosses his path (that was comical punch line to the episode Punch Drunks when both Moe & Larry lose control of the raging lunatic).

There was an interesting story about Fine when he was growing up as a kid, his Father often tested various gold items (using acid to flush it out if it was a fake), until one day young Fine almost killed himself after believing that the concoction was a beverage (drink). His Father basically saved his life by knocking the cup out of his hands, unfortunately the liquid contents was the acid his using to test out on the gold.


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Fine’s forearm was splashed with the dangerous acid, and it caused damage to the muscles in that area of his arm. He regained strength to his arm later on, as he possessed the talent to play the violin which made him not only talented in playing the instrument, but also saving his arm in the process by working the muscles back to decent functionability.


th (1)As a matter of fact, there was a particular episode where the Stooges put on a show where each are playing fiddles (except for Moe & Curly, Larry was the only one actually jamming away on the fiddle *fiddles are small violins. Moe & Curly were just pretending to play.)


Fine also went on a short run billed as a “bonafide in ring boxer”, he figured this would be the best way to really strengthen his arm, but his Father totally opposed his decision to box thus ending his son’s boxing career.


Fine seemed to always be the “Man in the Middle”, during most of the Stooges shenanigans. Larry Fine (October 5, 1902 – January 24, 1975).


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Spilling over into Curly Joe’s character who portrayed the biggest goofball of the trio bunch, he basically was George & Kramer from the Seinfeld show rolled into one.


Curly could make anybody laugh to the point where they would find themselves stepping outside for a breath of fresh air (Yea, I have seen people laugh that hard because of the “super-insane” funny stuff he would do in a Stooges film short.)


I remember when my cousin would come over to spend the night, we would always watch the Stooges shorts every Saturday night.


It was an episode where Curly just kept pissing Moe off to the point where he unleashed a series of slaps upside Curly Joe’s head to the point where he (Curly) goes off into an uncontrollable comedic fit of rage.


It was one of the rare moments where Moe actually back down from Curly, my cousin laughed so hard to the point where she spills lemonade on her pants, and slipped half way out of her chair in the process.


My Mom made her clean up the spill off of her carpeted floor (and yea I had to help her *NO FAIR I TELL YOU), LOL that was priceless.


Curly’s start with the Stooges was unbelievably by chance fate, Shemp was actually in place for the role, but temporarily went off to pursue other opportunities of his own.


This left Curly in position for an golden opportunity, Ted Healy however demanded a few changes to his appearance before letting him perform with Moe & Larry.


Healy had a problem with Curly’s mustache and


th (1)Curly basically was the pivotal character of the Stooge franchise, there could be no other Stooge to replace him (not even his older brother Shemp, or the most horrid — Curly Substitute of the century — impersonated by Joe Besser). 


th (1)As for Joe DeRitaI didn’t really remember him which is due to the fact of not watching the later episodes of the Stooge films when the series was at the downward stroke of its TV run as it was coming to an end.



th (1)Shemp Howard was the next best “Pseudo-Curly”, after the original Curly passed away (Curly Howard;  1903 – 1952).

And in case you’re were wondering, they each a whopping $2,500 per episode!

They were pretty much rich (well come on do the math, that’s a boat load of money back in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50s’, even the 60’s, from 70 – 75 was probably where inflation started set in LOL).


He was ok, and would show some creative spark in his ability to have Moe go ape-shit all over him after pissing him off in some way shape or form.


He could pull some laughs out of the audience. However, you’re still left with that wishful feeling to relive the “Classic Curly” moments where he would say the infamous… Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk, somewhere in an episode run.


th (1)Ted Healy was childhood friends with Moe Shemp, and help them to put together the trio (after discovering Larry in 1928). He was the “basic motivating factor”, and mastermind behind the stooges’ success.


But as far as I’m concerned, it was Moe, Larry, and the original Curly that I recognized as the best act for the slap-stick genre.


And the reason why I wrote about them in the first place was rather simple to say.


They were funny as h**l! Besides… Didn’t you know that,


“Laughter Is Literally Good For The Soul!”


And they definitely provided that for over the last 80 years.

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