Long before comedic legends like Jim Carrey and Melissa McCarthy dominated the comedy scene of Hollywood, it was the American comedy troupe “The Three Stooges” that first pioneered comedy as we know it today. The first to use slapstick comedy as a tool to make people all over the world laugh, these vaudeville performers rose to fame during some of the nation’s toughest, darkest times, utilizing elements such as pain, pies and misunderstandings in their series of shorts in order to shape their unique form of physically centered comedy, providing much needed relief during the Great Depression and World Wars.
Following the 2012 DVD release of all of the comedy troupe’s shorts, fans old and new were once again able to fall in love with the notorious antics of the group. Today, they are known as one of the most popular comedy acts of the 20th century. The Stooges’ unique style of comedy was pivotal in shaping the many generations of comedians that followed this iconic trio, and will indefinitely continue to shape the many more generations of comedians to come. Want to test out your Three Stooges knowledge? New to the Three Stooges craze, and want to learn more about the iconic comedic troupe? Check out these slap-happy facts about this truly legendary comedic group.
Moses Harry Horwitz
Born Moses Harry Horwitz, Moe Howard is widely recognized as the leader of The Three Stooges comedy team. Raised in Brooklyn, Howard was just one of the five sons born to his Levite-Lithuanian Jewish family. Howard first discovered his interest in acting after serving as an errand boy for Vitagraph Studios, in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Vitagraph Studios would later provide him with acting jobs. Eventually, Howard would go on to join an acting troupe, which performed on a Mississippi River showboat.
Howard’s career in show business began following his decision to drop out of high school, in order to join a vaudeville comedy act. Howard’s brother Shemp, and Larry Fine also joined the group; together, they were known as “Ted Healy and His Stooges.” In 1931, The Three Stooges signed on with Columbia Pictures. By 1957, the stooges made 190 short films.