The Tragic And Twisted Tale Of The Three Stooges
Curly, Larry, Moe, murder, betrayal, brain damage…
The Three Stooges are arguably the most popular and influential comedy institution in Hollywood history. Yet Moe, Curly and Larry (and Shemp) did not receive the recognition and reward you might expect. In fact, as Empire reveals, their tale is one of exploitation, grievous bodily harm… and even murder.
IN 1940, THE IMMENSE POPULARITY OF THE THREE STOOGES WAS DEEMED SUCH A POTENTIAL THREAT to the credibility of The Third Reich that Adolf Hitler added them to his personal death list. What roused the Führer’s ire was a Stooges two-reeler called You Nazsty Spy!, a ruthless send-up of Hitler and his fascist regime released nine months before Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, a full year before America, still firmly isolationist, entered World War II, and produced in direct defiance of both the censorious Hays Code and the prevailing mood in Hollywood which was, with overseas markets already in jeopardy, to play nice and not rock the Nazi boat.
The image of The Three Stooges as fearless, anti-fascist crusaders, willing to put their livelihoods and their lives on the line in the noble cause of liberty, will come as a shock to anyone who thinks of them — if they think of them at all — as a fifth-rate Marx Brothers knock-off whose principal contribution to the art of comedy was the twin-fingered eye-poke. And, to be honest, that would include most of the non-North American population of the planet and anyone in possession of a vagina. What will also come as a surprise to non-Stooge fans (and, as with Marmite and S&M porn, there is no middle ground when it comes to Stooge fandom) is not only that they were once sufficiently popular to get Hitler’s dander up, but that said popularity has not waned one iota in the intervening decades. In fact, it’s safe to say that The Three Stooges, 35 years after last remaining original Stooge Moe Howard gouged his last cornea, are more celebrated today than they were at the zenith of their prolonged, checkerboard career.
Larry, Moe and Curly (the classic Stooge line-up) are stitched into the cultural fabric of America in a way that few entertainers are, rivalling Marilyn and Elvis for kitsch-cult supremacy. They are, it’s claimed, with some justification, the most popular comedy team in history, appearing in almost 200 shorts and feature films from the early 1930s to the early 1970s, hosting their own TV show and making countless stage and personal appearances.
If you want proof of just how ubiquitous the Stooges are, try, as Empire did, doing some research on them at the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Just remember to wear some comfortable shoes. Far from a one-stop shop at the third-floor cinema section, your hunt for all things Stooge will take you up hill and down dale to, among others, Fiction & Literature, Social Sciences, Biography, Autobiography, Local History and even Cookery. Yes, The Official Three Stooges Cookbook by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Robert Kurson was published in 1999. Books on the Stooges abound, running the gamut from craven hagiography to pseudo-academic analysis (check out Stoogeology: Essays On The Three Stooges, edited by Peter Seely and Gail W. Pieper), and the internet, of course, might have been invented for the sole purpose of disseminating Stooge data. A personal favourite among the superabundance of Stooge sites is Stuart Yaniger’s Three Stooges Wine Rating System which, instead of awarding stars or marks out of a hundred to wines in the traditional fashion, assigns them combinations of Stooges according to their character and quality. A typical entry reads thus: “Ah, a very pleasant bistro-styled ’95 syrah from McDowell. Not deep, but nice varietal character and good balance. It’s anywhere from a Larry Curly to a Double Larry, depending on the proclivities of the taster.”
If, as is highly likely, you’re now wondering exactly what all the fuss is about — a trio of resolutely low-brow buffoons, whose ultra-violent slapstick makes Tom & Jerry look like Bagpuss, fêted as cultural icons — then it’s probably best to start at the beginning.
So much more on the Three Stooges found at Empire Online.
President Obama Rewards Media Matters with a Political Nomination
He nominates the former CEO of the Soros-funded attack dog to help … administer elections.
With a quiet, almost unnoticed nomination just before Thanksgiving, President Barack Obama rewarded Media Matters for its help in attacking reporters and critics of the administration. At the same time, he virtually guaranteed that a federal agency that is supposed to improve the administration of elections will instead become a partisan battleground intended to help his political party.
On Nov. 19, the White House issued a press release announcing that it was withdrawing the nomination of Myrna Perez, a lawyer at the Brennan Center, to be a commissioner on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). It instead nominated Matthew S. Butler, the former CEO and president of the George Soros-funded left-wing advocacy group Media Matters, to replace her.
The EAC is a bipartisan agency created in 2004 by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the election reform law that Congress passed in the wake of the 2000 presidential election and the controversy over what happened in Florida. The EAC, which is governed by four full-time commissioners — two Democrats and two Republicans — is supposed to assist and guide state and local election administrators in improving the administration of elections for federal office. The EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource for information about the best practices in election administration. It is also responsible for the accreditation of testing laboratories and the certification, decertification, and recertification of voting systems, like the electronic voting machines many people use when they vote in their precincts.
The four commission slots have been empty for several years, as Republicans and Democrats fought over the need for the continued existence of this agency.
In fact, just on Tuesday, Dec. 16, the Senate finally confirmed three other nominees for the EAC. The common characteristic of its new commissioners — and past commissioners like Paul DeGregorio or Donetta Davidson — has been that most of them were experienced election administrators at the state and local level, or at least election lawyers familiar with the federal and state election laws that apply to the administration of elections. That is a necessity given the EAC’s responsibility for helping improve the election process.
That is not a characteristic shared by Mr. Butler, as you’ll see on the next page.
Continue reading this HERE.
In remembrance of the past summer….
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