My earliest memories of the Stooges are from their 1960s-era children’s show, which featured live antics interspersed with cartoons. By the time I was out of elementary school, I discovered that KPLR featured an hour and a half of the Three Stooges every week after Saturday Night Live. (If I could stay awake later than that, I’d watch “Wrestling at the Chase” after the Stooges; if I couldn’t, I’d catch the re-broadcast at 10:00 Sunday morning.) By the time I was in junior high I was a full-blown Stooges fanatic. I read Moe Howard’s autobiography and kept strict track of which shorts I’d seen (and how many time) and which ones I hadn’t.

In July of last year I started a chronological viewing of all the Stooges shorts on DVD; last night I finished the last of the Curlys and tonight I move on to the first of the Shemps. I hadn’t seen an of the Ted Healy shorts until recently when I found a cheap seven DVD set of obscure Stooges material. The casual fan might have been disappointed with this set, but I wasn’t. It had some of their earliest shorts, Swing Parade of 1946 (a feature), clips and cartoons from the 1960s TV show, and “Kooks’ Tour” (which they were working on at the time of Larry’s stroke). I recently bought five of their 1960s movies with Curly Joe DeRita, but I’m saving them until after I work my way through the Shemps and the Joe Bessers.

Any idea why Have Rocket, Will Travel is not available on DVD?

Did you know there’s going to be a new Three Stooges theatrical movie this April? I could understand if someone wanted to make a bio-pic, but there no way a new Stooges act will catch on!

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I remember watcching the Stooges on Channel 38 (WSBK) when I was a kid. They used to show them for an hour during the immediate after-school timeframe.  I have a few DVD's of their shorts, as well as DVDs of Soup to Nuts and Snow White and the Three Stooges.  Never seen any of Kooks' Tour.  Always suspected it might be a little painful to watch them at the very end. 

I just recently seen The Three Stooges Meet Hercules and was surprised to see among the chaos Moe and Larry "acting". Did they ever appear in non-Stooges films as did Shemp?

My Dad's best friend used to work for Pan Am Airlines as a traveling trouble-shooter. He was based in Beirut (which may explain why we lost touch with him at some point).  One year, back in the 60's, when he came home to visit, he got together with my Dad for a backyard barbeque.  But he spent half the day inside-- watching THE THREE STOOGES on TV!!  That still makes me laugh.  (I don't think his wife appreciated it.)

I've got the 5-song Christmas EP on my computer right now (been meaning to clean it up and run it off on CD).  Moe, Larry & Curly Joe DeRita... one of the funniest novelty records I ever had as a kid.  Especially their version of "Jingle Bells".

Hey, if anybody's got this on CD already and would like to do a trade, let me know. I'm pretty good when it comes to cleaning up old scratchy vinyl, but you can never predict how good or bad it'll go, and sometimes there's only so much you can do.

I was never clear on who was in the act first: Shemp or Curly? 

And, yes, there is a new Three Stooges movie to debut later this year. I saw the trailer for it a couple weeks ago. 

I think it's a bad idea just because The Three Stooges are a product of their times. I can't see how their schtick could work in this day and age, even if you had the original team -- which you don't.

Shemp was in the act first, when they were in vaudeville, and when they first worked with Ted Healy. However, Shemp didn't get along well with Healy and left the act, to be replaced by his brother Curley.   Shemp later returned to the act when Curley had to leave owing to ill health.

Shemp was part of the act before Curly, in vaudeville and then with Ted Healy, but he had been repaced by Curly by the time they split from Healy and started making shorts for Columbia. After Curly suffered a stroke, Shemp again joined the act in 1947.

And Philip, I have an answer for you, too. The short answer is "yes," but I'll have to look up the details.

There's an episode of WINGS where Casey Chapell (Amy Yasbeck) finds Brian (Stephen Webber) watching THE THREE STOOGES on TV.  After watching a few minutes, she looks at him and says, "We can't sleep together anymore."

Thanks, fellows.

Larry David, Bruce Mahler and John Roarke did an updated version of the Three Stooges on the old Fridays TV show. The drug humor is a little irreverent, but considering the Stooges brewed beer during prohibition, it's not that much of a stretch, really.

Curly was in the musical revue Roast Beef and Movies, a rare film apart from the Stooges, in 1933. (This short is included in the 7-DVD “Collector’s Edition” I mentioned above.)

Joe Besser appeared in four films before his tenure with the Stooges, and two after.

Curly Joe DeRita was in The Doughgirls (1944) and The Bravados (1958).

Moe Howard was in Space Master X-7 (1958), Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title (1966), and he had a small role in a 1973 horror movie titled Doctor Death, Seeker of Souls.

And as Philip alluded to above, Shemp Howard played Knobby Walsh in Vita phone’s “Joe Palookla” shorts from 1934-1937 and was in 37 other films without the Stooges between 1938 and 1949.

I later realized that I saw Shemp in the Abbott & Costello movies Buck Privates, In The Navy and Hold That Ghost! Reportedly Lou Costello thought him to be a scene-stealer.

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