The comedy shorts made back in the 1930's & 40's were given a new audience when television started airing them. In January 1958, Columbia's television subsidiary Screen Gems, offered a package consisting of 78 Stooge shorts (mainly from the Curly era), which were well received. Almost immediately, an additional 40 shorts hit the market, and by 1959, all 190 Stooge shorts were airing regularly. Even though the Three Stooges preceded our day, they experienced a big comeback thanks to television and a very appreciative young baby-boom audience. We loved them. I still love them.
Back in our day, cartoons were not the only thing showing on our black and white Zenith. There was plenty of three stooge action being absorbed by young minds. Curly was our favorite Stooge, but the eldest Howard brother Shemp didn't do such a bad job. Though Moe always played the heavy, Larry Fine once wrote of him, the Moe was the nicest and best of the Stooges.
There was a made for television movie made about them that I didn't see until recently. I was happy to find that it is available to view on Hulu. Click on the knuckleheads above if you'd like to watch it.
Moe, Larry, and director Jules White considered their best film to be 'You Nazty Spy!' Moe played 'Moe Hailstone', an Hilter-like character, Curly played Herman Goering. Larry played an ambassador. The film was produced while America was still neutral toward the war, still isolationist. 'You Natzy Spy' was released in January of 1940, nine months before Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' The Stooge short was the first American film to spoof Hitler and Nazism. The comedy short caused the Stooges to be placed on Hitler's 'death list' because of its anti-Nazi stance. Just goes to show that Nazi's can't take a joke.
The following is part one of 'You Nazty Spy!' at youtube.
Mr. Ixnay: We've come here to offer you the greatest opportunity of your life.
Moe: You mean you'll let us paper the living room?
Mr. Ixnay: No, no, no. You're through with papering. My partners and I are going to make you Dictator of Moronica.
Moe: Dictator? What does a Dictator do?
Mr. Ixnay: A Dictator? Why, he makes love to beautiful women, drinks champagne, enjoys life and never works. He makes speeches to the people promising them plenty, gives them nothing and takes everything. That's a Dictator.
Curly: Hmph, a parasite. That's for me.