When we were kids, television was still a new medium. The classic made for television shows we see as re-runs today were in their first run. Baby-boomer enjoyed comedy shorts, cartoons, and adventure serials that were made for the theater. Saturday mornings were not filled with Hannah-Barbera cartoons - but more about Warner Brother cartoons, comedy shorts, and cliff hanger serials from the silver screen days of our parents.
Most of us baby-boomer boys loved the slap-stick comedy of The Three Stooges. Their two-real shorts were released by Columbia in 1958 and introduced Moe, Larry, and Curly to a my generation. When the Three Stooges came to television, it birthed a new interest in the stooge franchise. The boomer generation loved the stooges and still do!
Moe Howard and Larry Fine were a constant down through the years - Shemp Howard was the first third stooge. Later Shemp trained his brother Curly Howard to take over the part of the third stooge when he began to get rolls in feature films. Shemp returned after Curly's death. Both Shemp and Curly had their own styles and enjoyable to watch - but Curly is most people's favorite stooge of all. The best shows were the ones made in the 1930's and 40's. When Shemp died, the shows were produced for decades more with other third stooges that never measured up to the likes of Shemp and Curly.
Moe Howard always played the impatient and bossy stooge. Larry Fine once said of his old friend and stooge partner that people assumed that Moe was as mean as his character. Larry said that Moe was a very nice fellow. Years ago I came across a site developed by a guy named Bob Bernet who corresponded with the aging Moe Howard. Bob was twelve years old at the time he wrote his first piece of fan mail. Years later Bob went to visit Moe at his home in Californ after he graduated high school in 1973. The correspondences are available at that site as well as some rare photos. Both Moe and Larry died in 1974, so the letters, stories, reflections, and images are very interesting. I really enjoyed the My Pal Moe site - you might too.
The Late Christmas Present
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