Three Stooges VHS Tapes

2013-10-20 15.28.13

Shortly after graduating high school I moved out into my first apartment. It was there where I learned what being broke was like. The majority of my income went to rent, car insurance and gas, and Taco Bell. What few dollars I had left (if any) at the end of each month went to movie and video game rentals. When we didn’t have enough money to rent ninja movies we had to fall back on the few VHS tapes we owned.

These were a few of those. I grew up a fan of the Three Stooges and picked these up at various thrift stores. The first tape you see here contains a few episodes of the Three Stooges cartoons. Most of them were spectacularly bad.

I don’t remember what was on the tape on the right, but if I remember correctly it contained some TV clips from the Stooges later in their career. Also horrible.

“Simply Hilarious,” however, was awesome. There were a few episodes that fell into public domain and were released over and over, and this tape contained four of them: Disorder in the Court, Brideless Groom, Malice in the Palace, and Sing a Song of Six Pants. All four shorts contain Moe and Larry. The first one has Curly, while the other three contain Shemp.

I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve seen these episodes. A hundred? A thousand? My friends and I watched this tape so many times that we literally knew every word to every episode. I have seen every Three Stooges short now many times, but these four episodes specifically, I have memorized. Whenever I hear the phrase “any color” I always respond with “henna color at all?” Whenever one of my kids makes a wrong guess I say “you’re wrong, quiz kid.” My favorite pretend threat is “I’ll squeeze the cider out of your Adam’s apple.” I occasionally break out into an off key rendition of “The Voice of Spring” in the shower. Any time I see a wig or a toupee I shout, “a tarantula!” All of these jokes came from these episodes. These lines and more became a part of my every day vocabulary.

All of these episodes are on Youtube now. I’ll add my favorite below and you can find the others on Youtube.

Now, “hold hands you love birds!”

The Three Stooges Mask

My Uncle Joe has a Three Stooges Room in his house. One of the things he has hanging on the wall in that room is this mask.

That’s my daughter Morgan there in the middle. My Uncle has had the mask forever, and if you look through enough of our vacation photo albums you can find a picture of just about everybody in our family wearing it at one time or another. I have pictures of me wearing it, my wife wearing it, my son wearing it, and now my daughter.

Surrounded by Curly and Larry, there’s a bit of plastic hair at the top giving the wearer the illusion of having Moe’s famous bowl haircut, although the effect is slightly ruined in this shot by my daughter having her bangs in her face.

The average length of time between putting on the mask and the wearer getting poked in the eyes or having his or her nose twisted is about four seconds, at which point the mask comes off and goes back on the wall until the next visit when someone else will no doubt try it on and have their picture taken.

Hair Trendsetters the Three Stooges’ Aqua Net TV Ad

I would have loved being in the boardroom meeting for this 1960’s Aqua Net TV ad brainstorm.

Executive #1: “We need a spokesman that will reach our target audience.”
Executive #2: “Women and girls who want to look beautiful.”
Executive #3: “Maybe we should shoot for a lighthearted approach?”
Ad Man: “How about the Three Stooges?”

Thanks to edwardscove for uploading this great commercial on YouTube!

Three Stooges Books

Is everyone excited about the new upcoming Three Stooges movie? Is anyone excited? Are you excited? I’m trying to stay positive about the whole thing, but … pretty much everything except for the original shorts has been pretty awful. The Three Stooges movies were pretty awful, The New Three Stooges television show was pretty awful, the made-for-television 2000 film about the Stooges was pretty awful … so even through the trailer for the new Three Stooges movie looks pretty funny, I’m still viewing it with reserved optimism.

As a kid I used to watch the Stooges every night on “Comedy Court,” a half hour show that followed Benny Hill and showed two Three Stooges shorts. Both my Dad and moreso my Uncle were/are fans of the Stooges, which is probably where my love for the group came from. Over the years I’ve collected several Three Stooges-related books. Here are a few of my favorites.

My all time favorite Three Stooges book is Moe Howard & The 3 Stooges, written by the man himself, Moe Howard. This book contains a ton of behind the scenes pictures of the Stooges both on and off the set. It is filled with trivia and anecdotes, and tells the story of the Stooges starting with Moe and Shemp hitting each other as small children and going all the way through the Stooges’ retirement and eventual passing. If you’re remotely a fan and can only afford to buy one book covering the Stooges, this is the one I would recommend. New copies of this out of print book command a premium, but used copies can be had for $5-$10. (Amazon Link)

My second favorite Three Stooges book is The Three Stooges Book of Scripts, compiled by Joan Howard Maurer, Moe’s daughter. The book contains scripts for only a few Stooge shorts (my favorites are “Men in Black,” “Punch Drunks,” and “Three Little Pigskins”), but also contains several pictures of personal artifacts (photographs and notes) and more anecdotes. It’s presented more like a reference book than a book you would read from cover to cover like Moe’s autobiography, but it’s still a great book to have around. According to Amazon a sequel (Volume 2) was released, which appears to have all the same scripts with new information added. If you can track down a copy of either one at a reasonable price, I’d pick it up.

This is The Official Three Stooges Encyclopedia, which I believe I got as a gift several years ago. The good news is, this encyclopedia contains a lot of facts about the Stooges and the shorts they starred in. The bad news is, if you’re a Stooge fan at all, you probably know everything contained between this book’s covers. The worse news is, everything in this book can be found via Google. Perhaps if you live in Shmowland or Slap Happia and don’t have Internet access you will get some use out of this book, but anyone else should probably pass.

Stoogemania contains puzzles, pictures, and a price guide to some collectibles. This book was released before any of us had heard of the Internet, and I can’t imagine rebuying it now. (Link)

There are a few other Three Stooges books I’d like to pick up. I have heard good things about the Three Stooges Scrapbook, One Fine Stooge: Larry Fine’s Frizzy Life In Pictures, and The Three Stooges: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Most Popular Comedy Team of All Time. If you’ve read any of those (or would like to send me your old copy!), please let me know.