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This whole monstruousity was originally conveived February through March 2001 by the members of The Big Note - a Frank Zappa YahooGroup. After an arduous gestation period, this site was birthed on April 11 2001. True to the essence of collaborative effort, these people are held responsible.

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Stooges History

submitted by SOFA


Curly died in 1952 of a series of strokes.
Shemp died in 1955 of a heart attack after attending a prizefight.
Larry died in an old folk's home around 1973.
Moe died of old age around 1975, I believe.

Joe Besser died in the early 1990's.
Curly Joe DeRita died just a few years ago. He was in his 90's.

So in all, how many Three Stooges were there? They've all just been named, unless you want to count Emil Sitka...

(Let's complicate this)The Stooges (they weren't called that then) first appeared supporting their boss, Ted Healy, in the 1930 film "Soup to Nuts." There are four comic "stooges" in that film: Moe, Larry, Shemp, and a fellow who does a sort of silent Harpo-esque turn, by name of Fred Sanborn. When the boys left Healy for good in 1934, he hired replacement comics and they were known as Healy's Stooges for a while. Some of these guys have been reported to have formed a stage or club act called The Three Stooges, but it didn't last long. The only memorable name from that gang is Paul "Mousie" Garner.

When Shemp died in 1955, they still owed Columbia four shorts on their contract. So, a Columbia utility player named Joe Palma - whose face you have seen in many, many Stooges shorts - was recruited to stand-in for Shemp. They gave him Shemp's haircut and positioned him to face away from the camera, and shot new inserts for old shorts (which is what they were doing right before Shemp died anyway). Thus, Joe Palma was briefly a quasi-stooge.

Before they became "The Three Stooges," Moe, Larry and Shemp (later Curly) were variously known as "The Racketeers," "The Southern Gentleman" (ha!), and (after they left Healy) "Howard, Fine and Howard - Three Lost Souls." And then, yes, there was Emil Sitka.

Further trivia for fans: The first Stooges short for Columbia, "Woman Haters," has always been shown as a reissue print, credited to "The Three Stooges." However, when it was first released in 1934, it wasn't that way; it was "Woman Haters, a Musical Novelty, with Marjorie White, Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Jerry Howard."

Mousie Garner later performed with Spike Jones and His City Slickers. And much later (1994) he appeared in the film Radioland Murders, in which Michael McKean, Billy Barty, et al. recreated Spike's act.
As far as I know, none of these people ever worked with FZ.

Frank Zappa

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