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THE AGE-OLD QUESTION ABOUT THE THREE STOOGES


lilypond
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Probably this has been addressed here before, but has it been your observation that, almost exclusively, men tend to love "The Three Stooges",  and women less so?    I thought about this again tonight, when an ad came on for them --  maybe on MeTV?  --   and my husband IMMEDIATELY started laughing uproariously at their brief antics.  And I've noticed that both he and my son react the same way.   Both are normally fairly reserved.

By contrast,  I can't think of one woman I've ever known who's said,  gosh, I can't get enough of the Stooges, or if only they'd run a marathon of Curly, Larry and Moe.   Perhaps there are plenty, I've just never encountered them.

Anyway, I started glibly theorizing that it's the elemental aggression of those three madcaps that men love--  pow, two fingers to the eye!   It is kind of comical, but I can't see anything beyond that.   I wonder if animation makes a difference--   I'm pretty entertained by Roadrunner cartoons (hostility) and Daffy Duck cartoons (enraged frustration).

Are you a woman, or do you know a woman, who loves the Three Stooges?   Are you a man who can't stand the Three Stooges?    It would be fun to know how this breaks down.   
 

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Female and always loved the Three Stooges. It wasn’t the cartoon violence, but rather the camaraderie that attracted me to them I think. Also, it seems that Stooge fans, generally speaking, aren’t fans of the Marx Brothers and vice versa.  

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Jay Leno made this observation years ago, men loving the Stooges, women demanding, "Turn those idiots off!"

For me they are a nostalgia act. I remember them on morning television with the cartoons on "Slam Bang Theater'" a local independent station's kid show hosted by Icky Twerp.  

I also remember meeting a rare kid whose mom wouldn't let him watch them, for fear I suppose of his possibly attempting to mimic their behavior, especially with regard to the eye-poking and skull-sawing. Maybe that's why women didn't approve: their bad influence. Toxic juvenility.

Too many who speak of them miss the dialogue-based humor and amplify the slapstick. There is also the situational humor, and the old Vaudeville acts. Their version of the "Niagara Falls" routine (where the punchline gag is a convivial greeting in place of the expected battery) is probably the most well-known. Then the "B-A-Bay" musical number. There was much more than just hair-pulling and nose-twisting.

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4 hours ago, lilypond said:

Anyway, I started glibly theorizing that it's the elemental aggression of those three madcaps that men love--  pow, two fingers to the eye!   It is kind of comical, but I can't see anything beyond that.   I wonder if animation makes a difference--   I'm pretty entertained by Roadrunner cartoons (hostility) and Daffy Duck cartoons (enraged frustration).

No, women think that every movie and TV show is "real", and have difficulty with silly comics that don't belong to the real world, like the Stooges, Monty Python or the Marx Brothers, because "I don't get it, why would they do that?"

In the Stooges' case, however, it's historically been "But they're hitting each other, how can you laugh at that?  😲"

(Growing up, I had to break the sad truth to Mom that it was only stage slaps and brushing their eyebrows, with comic "whack"'s and "poink"'s added by the sound effect department...Eventually I got her to watch said B-A-Bay song from "Violent is the Word for Curly", but she still preferred Abbott & Costello.)

Although the "elemental aggression" is technically what gives Moe an almost lovable burlesque quality--Just before the song, as the three are passing themselves off as college professors, a bookworm-girl in the audience asks Prof. Larry about Einstein's theory of relativity...Cue blank stares and tweeting birds from Prof. Larry.  Moe quickly steps in to answer the question:  "Well, what do you think?  We're gonna have trouble with this one..."  As the girl continues standing, waiting for an answer, Moe changes the subject:  "Ladies--sit down--ladies, I'm going to test your--siddown!--I'm going to test your memory and reflexes with a quick--SIDDOWN!!"  The girl sits down.  😂

4 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

Too many who speak of them miss the dialogue-based humor and amplify the slapstick. 

And lose track of just how convoluted and surreal most of the slapstick is--
Abbott might slap Costello as the punchline to a one-liner, but nothing as naturally timed or choreographed as Moe seeing Curly mess things up on the other side of the room, and respond, "Oh yeah?  Well, if you were over here, I'd give you THIS:  (slaps Larry)!  🤛"

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8 hours ago, lilypond said:

By contrast,  I can't think of one woman I've ever known who's said,  gosh, I can't get enough of the Stooges, or if only they'd run a marathon of Curly, Larry and Moe.   Perhaps there are plenty, I've just never encountered them.

You've "encountered" one now.

BTW, I also very much love the Marx Brothers.

HarpoSooBW.jpg.de8ec8f4e43220cc391ca3657e7d9ef7.jpg

(but I loathe Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy...go figure)

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I have loved the Stooges for as long as I can remember and have no doubt that as a babe my father was probably bouncing me on his knee while watching the Stooges. I love the slapstick and the crazy storylines. In my lifetime there have been many who prefer the episodes with Curly, some with Shemp and most cannot stand the episodes with Joe Besser. I admit there are a few Joe episodes that are downright unwatchable, but there are also a few that are pretty darn funny. I think the Curly episodes kind of veer towards the slapstick. The Shemp ones I find have more plot to them. In one of their shorts, regular Christine McIntyre appears as a girl in trouble, seeking the help of the Stooges who are posing as private eyes. She busts into their office and tells them that strange men are following her. Shemp replies, "They'd be strange if they didn't".  Corny, but I love it.

Stooges are in Africa shooting a Hollywood movie and the porters have taken off. Wondering where they can be Curly says, "Maybe they're safari away, we'll never find them". Definitely cringe worthy, but I Iove lines like that. 

I have all the episodes, movies and cartoons on a DVD box set. I watch them on a Boston channel on Sunday mornings and have been for many years and also tune into them on MeTV on Saturday nights.  I have known a lot of women who love the Stooges beside myself. So there.

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21 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

... and most cannot stand the episodes with Joe Besser. I admit there are a few Joe episodes that are downright unwatchable, but there are also a few that are pretty darn funny. I think the Curly episodes kind of veer towards the slapstick. 

I have seen several of the Abbott and Costello TV show episodes with Besser in the 19th century boy clothes and his schtick works much better there. 

Curly's era was closest to the Vaudeville period, and the pie throwing silents. And he had a gift for the physical stuff. 

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Wow, what thoughtful, insight-laden responses!   I have to dash, unfortunately, but could not resist checking in--  did not think I'd get many replies.   Will be back later with some questions and comments.

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As a kid I was really into the Stooges, Curly, in particular. I did a lot of "nyuk-nyuk-nyuks" and "woo-woo-woos."

Sometimes, in fact, if I was in some kind of stressful situation, I thought, "What would Curly do here? Oh, I know . . ."

Curly Howard GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

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8 hours ago, EricJ said:

No, women think that every movie and TV show is "real", and have difficulty with silly comics that don't belong to the real world, like the Stooges, Monty Python or the Marx Brothers, because "I don't get it, why would they do that?"

In the Stooges' case, however, it's historically been "But they're hitting each other, how can you laugh at that?  😲"

(Growing up, I had to break the sad truth to Mom that it was only stage slaps and brushing their eyebrows, with comic "whack"'s and "poink"'s added by the sound effect department...Eventually I got her to watch said B-A-Bay song from "Violent is the Word for Curly", but she still preferred Abbott & Costello.)

Although the "elemental aggression" is technically what gives Moe an almost lovable burlesque quality--Just before the song, as the three are passing themselves off as college professors, a bookworm-girl in the audience asks Prof. Larry about Einstein's theory of relativity...Cue blank stares and tweeting birds from Prof. Larry.  Moe quickly steps in to answer the question:  "Well, what do you think?  We're gonna have trouble with this one..."  As the girl continues standing, waiting for an answer, Moe changes the subject:  "Ladies--sit down--ladies, I'm going to test your--siddown!--I'm going to test your memory and reflexes with a quick--SIDDOWN!!"  The girl sits down.  😂

And lose track of just how convoluted and surreal most of the slapstick is--
Abbott might slap Costello as the punchline to a one-liner, but nothing as naturally timed or choreographed as Moe seeing Curly mess things up on the other side of the room, and respond, "Oh yeah?  Well, if you were over here, I'd give you THIS:  (slaps Larry)!  🤛"

I've always loved that co-ed number! LOL. 

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

As a kid I was really into the Stooges, Curly, in particular. I did a lot of "nyuk-nyuk-nyuks" and "woo-woo-woos."

Sometimes, in fact, if I was in some kind of stressful situation, I thought, "What would Curly do here? Oh, I know . . ."

Curly Howard GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Curly was my favorite Stooge. I didn't care for any of the Curly replacements later on. (I don't include Shemp as he was part of the group early on).

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I remember watching them as a kid on our local station. So it's nostalgia for me. I remember the host cautioning the kids not to try out the eye poking! LOL. A lot of it is vaudeville schtick. Me tv runs 2 hrs of the shorts on Saturdays at 6. But they always show the same ones. Seems like they only bought the air rights to a certain amount.  I'm especially fond of the society party ones that turn into pie fights. SPREAD OUT!!!!

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4 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

I have loved the Stooges for as long as I can remember and have no doubt that as a babe my father was probably bouncing me on his knee while watching the Stooges. I love the slapstick and the crazy storylines. In my lifetime there have been many who prefer the episodes with Curly, some with Shemp and most cannot stand the episodes with Joe Besser. I admit there are a few Joe episodes that are downright unwatchable, but there are also a few that are pretty darn funny. I think the Curly episodes kind of veer towards the slapstick. The Shemp ones I find have more plot to them. In one of their shorts, regular Christine McIntyre appears as a girl in trouble, seeking the help of the Stooges who are posing as private eyes. She busts into their office and tells them that strange men are following her. Shemp replies, "They'd be strange if they didn't".  Corny, but I love it.

Stooges are in Africa shooting a Hollywood movie and the porters have taken off. Wondering where they can be Curly says, "Maybe they're safari away, we'll never find them". Definitely cringe worthy, but I Iove lines like that. 

I have all the episodes, movies and cartoons on a DVD box set. I watch them on a Boston channel on Sunday mornings and have been for many years and also tune into them on MeTV on Saturday nights.  I have known a lot of women who love the Stooges beside myself. So there.

I bought the box set too! I have yet to watch all of them. (Waiting for my retirement years). I love the "regulars" that appeared in many of the shorts, too (Christine; Dent; etc.) 

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12 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

Jay Leno made this observation years ago, men loving the Stooges, women demanding, "Turn those idiots off!"

For me they are a nostalgia act. I remember them on morning television with the cartoons on "Slam Bang Theater'" a local independent station's kid show hosted by Icky Twerp.  

I also remember meeting a rare kid whose mom wouldn't let him watch them, for fear I suppose of his possibly attempting to mimic their behavior, especially with regard to the eye-poking and skull-sawing. Maybe that's why women didn't approve: their bad influence. Toxic juvenility.

Too many who speak of them miss the dialogue-based humor and amplify the slapstick. There is also the situational humor, and the old Vaudeville acts. Their version of the "Niagara Falls" routine (where the punchline gag is a convivial greeting in place of the expected battery) is probably the most well-known. Then the "B-A-Bay" musical number. There was much more than just hair-pulling and nose-twisting.

I watched Slam Bang Theater every morning before school.  Didn't care for the slapstick all that much.  The alphabet song is probably my favorite.  Second is probably the original short where they create a plumbing fiasco.  I typically liked the shorts where they were in some historical setting, or in some fictional foreign land.

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13 hours ago, lilypond said:

Probably this has been addressed here before, but has it been your observation that, almost exclusively, men tend to love "The Three Stooges",  and women less so?    I thought about this again tonight, when an ad came on for them --  maybe on MeTV?  --   and my husband IMMEDIATELY started laughing uproariously at their brief antics.  And I've noticed that both he and my son react the same way.   Both are normally fairly reserved.

By contrast,  I can't think of one woman I've ever known who's said,  gosh, I can't get enough of the Stooges, or if only they'd run a marathon of Curly, Larry and Moe.   Perhaps there are plenty, I've just never encountered them.

Anyway, I started glibly theorizing that it's the elemental aggression of those three madcaps that men love--  pow, two fingers to the eye!   It is kind of comical, but I can't see anything beyond that.   I wonder if animation makes a difference--   I'm pretty entertained by Roadrunner cartoons (hostility) and Daffy Duck cartoons (enraged frustration).

Are you a woman, or do you know a woman, who loves the Three Stooges?   Are you a man who can't stand the Three Stooges?    It would be fun to know how this breaks down.   
 

As a man I can say I have always disliked the Three Stooges in everything they did.  This also applies to similar slapstick comedy.

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I remember watching and being a fan of the Three Stooges and the Little Rascals for as long as I can remember- probably from the age of 4.  As I've grown i became a fan of most of the other comedy groups and duos including Marx Brothers, A & C, L & H and of course Buster (my favorite) and Chaplin.  I think some of these are easy to follow for people of all ages and others, especially the Marx Bros which is very wordy isn't for everyone.  Even with Martin and Lewis, sure younger audiences don't care for Dino's singing, but it opens the door for women fans.

I'm just embarrassed that I had never heard of Buster until my freshman year of film school, but once i was shown The General and Our Hospitality in a film history class on the big screen, that opened the door for me.

And i did show my then 3 year old son The General last year and he loved it (probably just as much for the train as for the slapstick) but now i think i need to show him the stooges and the rascals.

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13 hours ago, Kikiki said:

Female and always loved the Three Stooges. It wasn’t the cartoon violence, but rather the camaraderie that attracted me to them I think. Also, it seems that Stooge fans, generally speaking, aren’t fans of the Marx Brothers and vice versa.  

Then again, both my wives loved the Marx Brothers.  And my daughters both love Laurel and Hardy.  But none of them cared for the Stooges.  I was a Stooges freak until about the age of 12 when their antics got stale to me and seemed childish to enjoy.  I've posted this before, but it seems time for a reprise.....

Out of all the Stooges shorts I've seen there's only one bit from a short(which one, I can't recall) that I still think is funny.----

The trio is looking for somebody.  They have a description that he lives on a certain house at the end of a street.  But they discover the end of the street is a cul-de-sac.  So they don't know which place is his, so they decide to stop the first person that comes along and ask.  And the first person along turns out to be a woman who, in the '40's parlance, is really "stacked".  So the three walk up to her and Moe speaks, saying, Pardon us ma'am, but we were wondering...."  At which point the lady slaps all three in succession in one direction, and the slaps all three in succession in the opposite direction.  Barks a sharp "Fresh!" at them and walks off.  They watch her walk into a building and when the door closes there's a sign on the door which reads, "Madam Zorba: mind reader".  All three do a double take and Moe turns to Larry, accuses him with, "It was YOU!"  and Larry returns the accusation and then all three are accusing each other and then all three are involved with the typical Stooges slap, poke and punch session. 

Sepiatone

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33 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Then again, both my wives loved the Marx Brothers.  And my daughters both love Laurel and Hardy.  But none of them cared for the Stooges.  I was a Stooges freak until about the age of 12 when their antics got stale to me and seemed childish to enjoy.  I've posted this before, but it seems time for a reprise.....

Out of all the Stooges shorts I've seen there's only one bit from a short(which one, I can't recall) that I still think is funny.----

The trio is looking for somebody.  They have a description that he lives on a certain house at the end of a street.  But they discover the end of the street is a cul-de-sac.  So they don't know which place is his, so they decide to stop the first person that comes along and ask.  And the first person along turns out to be a woman who, in the '40's parlance, is really "stacked".  So the three walk up to her and Moe speaks, saying, Pardon us ma'am, but we were wondering...."  At which point the lady slaps all three in succession in one direction, and the slaps all three in succession in the opposite direction.  Barks a sharp "Fresh!" at them and walks off.  They watch her walk into a building and when the door closes there's a sign on the door which reads, "Madam Zorba: mind reader".  All three do a double take and Moe turns to Larry, accuses him with, "It was YOU!"  and Larry returns the accusation and then all three are accusing each other and then all three are involved with the typical Stooges slap, poke and punch session. 

Sepiatone

I don't remember that one!

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15 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

Jay Leno made this observation years ago, men loving the Stooges, women demanding, "Turn those idiots off!"

For me they are a nostalgia act. I remember them on morning television with the cartoons on "Slam Bang Theater'" a local independent station's kid show hosted by Icky Twerp.  

I also remember meeting a rare kid whose mom wouldn't let him watch them, for fear I suppose of his possibly attempting to mimic their behavior, especially with regard to the eye-poking and skull-sawing. Maybe that's why women didn't approve: their bad influence. Toxic juvenility.

Too many who speak of them miss the dialogue-based humor and amplify the slapstick. There is also the situational humor, and the old Vaudeville acts. Their version of the "Niagara Falls" routine (where the punchline gag is a convivial greeting in place of the expected battery) is probably the most well-known. Then the "B-A-Bay" musical number. There was much more than just hair-pulling and nose-twisting.

I remember the "Niagara Falls" routine as told to Lou Costello when he was locked up in a prison cell with "Mr. Fields" as the storyteller.

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9 minutes ago, johnpressman said:

I remember the "Niagara Falls" routine as told to Lou Costello when he was locked up in a prison cell with "Mr. Fields" as the storyteller.

I saw that, too. A&C also did a variation on the theme with the Susquehanna Hat Company bit. 

 

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I'm a 68-year-old male and drive my wife nuts with my Stooges antics. I am constantly doing the "see this" with my first, then pretending to bop her on the head. I also do pretend nose pulls, eye gouges, and ear tweaks. My wife usually replies "I hate when you do that."

Whenever I'm in a rush, I do the "whoo whoo whoo whoo" thing that Curley did. One time at work, the copy machine wouldn't work, so I started doing Curley's barking routine "Ruff ...Ruff" at it, and our secretary cracked up.

I am also a fan of the Marx Brothers, so much so that when I saw Il Trovatore at the Met, I had to restrain myself from laughing hysterically.

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45 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

I saw that, too. A&C also did a variation on the theme with the Susquehanna Hat Company bit. 

I guess they borrowed part of that routine that from Eric Blore.

 

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My wife loves the Three Stooges with Curly.    She grew up in Italy and the Stooges were shown over there (in English).

Thus we typically watch them Saturday on ME-TV starting at 6:00 PM PT.         (just before Svengoolie).

Of course this month is Shemptember so no Curly.

 

 

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