190 short subjects and 10 feature length movies were produced by the Three Stooges, and the advent of videos has made it possible for us all to collect every one of them. Several different video production companies have put our boys onto video tape, and a sampling of each is presented here.
The Home Video department of Columbia pictures was the first to produce a series of videos. They ran thirteen volumes (Volume I thru Volume XIII) between the years 1982 and 1985. The video backs depicted a scene from each of the three shorts represented on the video, and a short 2 liner written intro for each.
Then, in 1988, Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video once again began
running a series of Three Stooges videos. I call this series the "Three Star"
series, because of the three stars on the front cover of the box. A total of 18 videos
were produced over the course of the next three years - many representing new shorts not
released in the original Columbia series, though there were however, some duplicates. The
backs of these videos contained generic artwork with a short bio on each of the featured
Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video's most recent series was just
introduced back in 1993. So far, 24 videos have been released in this series of Stooges
shorts, but alas including many duplicates of those that had been released in the prior
two showings. Still images of scenes from the shorts were once again returned to the backs
of the videos, along with short bio's and detailed supporting cast. However, as an added
bonus, bits of trivia are also included, making this video run that much more
In 1995, along with the most recent Columbia/Tri-Star run, a re-release of many of their full-length feature films was introduced. Included with this release were six films including"..Meet Hercules", "..In Orbit", "..Go Around The World In A Daze", "..Stop!, Look!, and Laugh!", "...The Outlaws is Coming!", and "..Have Rocket Will Travel". The backs include scenes from the films, and a nice bio about each movie.
NOTE: Columbia's quality control missed the boat on this series as they made a major
error on the credits by stating: "Starring: Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Joe
Howard". Gee, I never knew Curly Joe was also Moe's brother! Needless to say, the
DeRita family was not pleased. There were rumors that these videos would be pulled from
the shelves due to the error, but that has not been confirmed. Get yours now while they
might still be available! Sure to be a true collectible.
The video market is literally FULL
of videos containing the shorts "Brideless Groom", "Sing a Song of Six
Pants", "Disorder in the Court", and "Malice in the Palace".
These four shorts accidentally made it into the public domain due to the expiration of a
copyright or some such thing, and as a result every corner video production company has
released them on their label - one such series shown here. These four shorts are more
plentiful on video then there are stars in the sky.
Also making several appearances on video has been the "Three
Stooges New Color Cartoons". This series of animated Stooges with clips of live
action video was produced by Normandy Productions in the 1960's for the Saturday morning
cartoon crowd. They have been put onto several videos by several different production
companies. 155 of the 156 cartoons were released from 1984-1087 by Embassy Home
Entertainment. The cartoons are a bit more difficult to collect as they are not
currently shown in syndication, so recording them from off-air is not possible. So, these
occasional videos are the only known means to get them.
The one feature film not produced
by Columbia was "Snow White and the Three Stooges". This film was produced by
CBS/FOX entertainment company. In 1985, Playhouse Video productions released this feature
film onto the video market for all us Stooge fans to enjoy. The back of the video box
contains scenes from the film, along with a nice short biography.
Many a Stooge video has been produced which goes beyond the short
subject material into the deeper depths of their lives. These two videos, "The Lost
Stooges", and "The Stoogephile Trivia Movie" provide glimpses of the rarest
of rare Stooge footage. Lost Stooges, narrated by Leonard Maltin, takes you back to the
early days of the Stooges with Ted Healy, along with their first appearance in
Technicolor. The Stoogephile movie, hosted by Jeff Forrester, is based on the book
"The Stoogephile Trivia Book", authored by the host. It's a nice biographical
walk thru time from the early 30's, up to their Walk of Fame Star in Hollywood.
A couple other biography-based videos that provide a nice view of
the lives of the Stooges include these two - "The Three Stooges 60th Anniversary
Special", and "The Making of The Stooges". Each chronicles the lives and
times of the Stooges from their early vaudeville days, up through their short subjects
with Columbia, and finally their feature films. They also include some rare footage
material to make the chronological trip a bit more fun.
For four decades, the Three
Stooges ran amuck in a riotous frenzy of eye-poking, ear-slapping, kicks, jabs, punches
and frying pans to the cranium. Now BIOGRAPHY offers fans of the Moronic Maestros a chance
to relive the Golden Age of Stoogery. Through rare recordings, exclusive interviews and
out-takes of behind-the-scenes antics, The Three Stooges tells the pure, uncensored Stooge
story - from the early Shemp shuffles to the shaving of Curly's head to the final days of
Curly Joe, "the Forgotten Stooge". Whether you're fascinated by the unrestrained
id, or just enjoy the good, clean humor of pliers applied to the nose, you'll find
something to love in the in-depth look at America's most beloved madcaps! Available from The
This is a newly discovered 1995 video. It is titled "The Three Stooges - Jerks of All Trades", and is availalbe from GoodTimes Home Video (I got it at WalMart). The back cover reads:
With their signature brand of zany, slapstick humor, the legendary Three Stooges have made audiences laugh for over half century. Now GoodTimes is proud to present a lost classic from The Stooges early years. This newly-discovered 1949 kinescope pilot is a real treasure chest of Stooges gems, featuring hilarious footage of The Stooges as bumbling painters and paperhangers about to do a complete "wreck-over" of a hapless copules' home. Filmed live before a studio audience, then lost for decades, this riotous video is a definite "must" for collectors - or any Three Stooges Fan!
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