Revision 2.4 Last updated: 17-Feb-97
This list is maintained by Dave Bushong (mailto: email@example.com) and is available on-line at http://www.3-stooges.com/text/faq.html
alt.comedy.slapstick.3-stooges Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Which episode is it...?
This has to be the most frequently-asked question in all of its forms. In particular, people want to know which episode is the "B I Bickey Bye" episode (did you know that this song was not a Stooge original?).
There is a summary of all 190 episodes in a five part series beginning in http://www.3-stooges.com/text/shorts1.html These were compiled by Mitchell D. Shapiro (firstname.lastname@example.org) who graciously put them in the public domain.
The five parts contain:
Part 1 Introduction
Part 2 1934 - 1940 (Moe, Larry, Curly)
Part 3 1941 - 1947 (Moe, Larry, Curly)
Part 4 1947 - 1952 (Moe, Larry, Shemp)
Part 5 1953 - 1959 (Moe, Larry, Shemp), (Moe, Larry, Joe)
2. Weren't the Stooges related?
Yes, some were. Moe, Shemp, and Curly were brothers of a family of five brothers. Neither of the other two brothers got into show business.
3. Where can I find WAV files, images, or more info about the Three Stooges?
I searched for Stooge WWW pages while updating this FAQ. It came up with a couple of thousand references for the Stooges. Instead of listing all of them here, I'll tell you how to find them. Point your browser to http://www.altavista.digital.com and then enter "three stooges" If you want to narrow it down after that, follow the instructions they give.
Also, you can check the Three Stooges Collectors Showcase at http://www.3-stooges.com which maintains a comprehensive and up-to-date link page to many other Stooge resources.
If you don't have Web (WWW) access, you can get a lot of these things via anonymous FTP. The best way to find these resources is to do an "ARCHIE" search using the keyword "stooge".
You can read "The Stooge Chronicles" (out of print, originally by Jeffery Forrester, now edited and updated by Dave Bushong) which details the lives of the six Stooges and Ted Healy by browsing: http://www.3-stooges.com/text/tsc1.html
Here are some other sites
that people have suggested: http://www.concentric.net/~dave83/3stooges.shtml
4. How many Stooges were there?
Short answer: Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, Joe, Curly Joe. 6. Moe and Larry were there for the Stooges' entire film career, but the position of the "third Stooge" was filled by several people. After Curly left the act, Shemp played the part, and after Shemp, there was Joe, and finally Curly Joe. That makes six. However, in vaudeville there was more than one act calling themselves "Stooges" or even "The Three Stooges". Furthermore, our Stooges were once part of an act called "Ted Healy and his Three Southern Gentlemen" that consisted of Ted Healy, Moe, Larry, and Shemp. That's right: Shemp. Soon Shemp moved on to other things, and
Curly took his place in 1932, before they ever made their first Columbia short.
The long answer? Even more complicated. The name "Three Stooges" was in dispute in the 30's, and there were no less than twenty so-called 'Stooges' groups doing vaudeville and other engagements, enough such that Columbia (actually, Columbia's lawyers) placed ads in several papers at the time announcing that the name "The Three Stooges" and "Stooges" were trademarks. Violators were subject to civil suits.
5. What were their real names?
Moe was born Moses Horwitz, and his brothers were Samuel (Shemp) and Jerome (Curly). Larry was born Louis Feinberg. Joe "Not So Haaaaard" Besser used his given name; Joe DeRita's real name was Joseph Wardell. Moe was called "Harry" while he was growing up.
6. Are they still alive?
No. Joe DeRita was the last living Stooge, and he passed away in 1993.
7. How many episodes did they make?
The Stooges made a total of 190 "short subject" episodes with Columbia - 97 with Curly, 77 with Shemp, and 16 with Joe. In addition to these, there were feature-length films (at least 20), and cartoons (156 as "The New Three Stooges"). They had short parts in other movies and TV shows, ranging from a five-second non-speaking part in "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", to semi regular appearances on the Ed Wynn show and the Frank Sinatra show. They tried a TV series (Moe, Larry, Shemp), but the pilot was the only episode that ever aired.
8. Why don't women like the Stooges?
That's not completely true. Women, in general, aren't into physical humor, such as slapstick, the way men are. "There are times that the Stooges have some funny lines, and I laugh at that, but I just don't think that getting hit in the head with a hammer is funny," says a borderline female Stooge fan friend of mine.
At the most recent Three Stooges Fan Club Convention, in Trevose PA, roughly 20% of the crowd was female.
9. There is a Three Stooges fan club?
Yes. The president is a guy named Gary Lassin and was recently interviewed by A&E during a "Biography" episode about the Stooges. The Three Stooges Fan Club Inc., P.O. Box 747, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437.
Stooge Memorabilia and souvenirs can be purchased from Soitenly Stooges! Call 1-800-3STOOGES for a catalog of Three Stooges merchandise. If that number doesn't work, try (708) 432-9270.
Another place is the StoogeStore, 10220 Calera Road, Phila, PA 19114.
Also try http://www.advotec.com/advotec/stooges
A list of other Stooge memorabilia sources can be found at: http://www.3-stooges.com/sources/sources.html
10. Where can I buy videos of the Stooges?
Try VideoFinders (1-800-343-4727), or "Critics' Choice Video" (1-800-367-7765). If any store wants to be added to this list, send me email, and some email addresses of some satisfied customers. I'd like the list to be more than just two.
11. What books can I get about the Three Stooges?
Several books have been released by Maurer, until recently the copyright owner of the Stooges. "The Three Stooges Scrapbook" lists a short history and biographies of the Stooges, along with a filmography. "Moe Howard and the Three
Stooges" is an autobiography of Moe, with some information not contained in other books. "Curly - An Illustrated Biography of the Superstooge" is a biography of Curly (and is one of the saddest books I've ever read).
12. What are the words to the "B-A-Bay" song?
This song, sung in "Violent is the Word for Curly", was called "Swingin' the Alphabet". It happens to be, officially, the first "music video", in that the sound track was recorded in a studio, and the actors would lipsync to the playback during filming. The words to the song, here spelled somewhat phonetically, are:
B A Bay, B E Bee, B I Bicky By, B O Bo, Bicky By Bo B U Bu, Bicky By Bo Bu.
Then it repeats for successive consonants,
C A Say, C E See, C I Sicky Sy, C O So, Sicky Sy So C U Su Sicky Sy So Su
and so on. The rule is that you put each consonant in the position of being joined with each vowel.
13. Who was Ted Healy?
Ted Healy was the comedian who gave the Stooges their start in vaudeville. Ted had the rare gift of perfect comedic timing, and many vaudeville comedians tried to imitate Healy's style. After some years together, the act broke up and The Three Stooges went out on their own.
There is disagreement as to the cause of his untimely death in 1937 -- some attribute it to complications arising from injuries sustained in a brawl. Beth Healy tells us that "my grandfather's death was ultimately attributed to kidney failure and not to the injuries he sustained in the now-infamous celebration of my dad's birth."
Turner Home Video has released a video of "The Lost Stooges" that chronicles this period of time, mainly with MGM.
14. Is it OK to post binaries to the newsgroup alt.comedy.slapstick.3-stooges?
As of February, 1997, there is a newsgroup that is better suited for binary postings.
For all binary postings, use alt.binaries.multimedia.3-stooges Please limit postings in alt.comedy.slapstick.3-stooges to text postings related to the Three Stooges. In addition, it is entirely appropriate to post a text message here saying that you just posted a binary to a.b.m.3-s
15. What about flames (attacks or derogatory comments to others who post)?
Believe it or not, flames are discouraged, except for those which quote famous (or not-so-famous) Stooge lines. For example, it would be acceptable to threaten to "tear out your tonsils" or to "gouge your eyes out". Calling someone an "asshole" because he or she doesn't know the name of the "Dr. Howard! Dr. Fine! Dr Howard!" episode is considered bad manners.
You will probably get your adam's apple torn out if you do this. Use a different term, such as "mallet head", "porcupine", "ignoramus", "puddinhead", "lamebrain", or "moron".
On the other hand, it is considered fair game to flame someone who spams the newsgroup (see below).
16. What happens if you post a "Make Money Fast" or some kind of commercial post to this newsgroup?
I'll tear your tonsils out. I'll gouge your eyes out. I'll MOIDER you. Look, I'll explain it so even YOU can understand it: don't do it.
17. Which is your favorite Stooge?
Leslie Haire conducted a not-so-scientific poll on the newsgroup during June, 1995, and came up with the following numbers:
Results of the Three Stooges
First Place: Curley - 11 votes
Second Place: Larry - 5 votes
Third Place (tie): Shemp and Moe - 4 votes each
Tie for Fourth Place: Joe Besser - 0 votes, Joe DeRita - 0 votes
Total number of votes: 24
18. Does anyone like Joe Besser episodes?
Adam Schultz (email@example.com)
Beth Healy (73043.2053@CompuServe.COM)
Bob Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bruce Laliberte (email@example.com)
Carol Bowen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Leslie Haire (au930@FreeNet.Carleton.CA)
Mark Mudgett (email@example.com)
Mitchell Shapiro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Roberta Quadro (email@example.com)
and others for providing the information in this FAQ.
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