The Three Stooges

On Tuesday night I watched the new Three Stooges movie directed by the Farrelly Brothers.

I’ve been a big Stooges fan since I was a little kid and watched them on VOK (Voice of Kenya) in Nairobi. It was the publication of Moe Howard’s autobiography Moe Howard and the 3 Stooges: The Pictorial Biography of the Wildest Trio in the History of American Entertainment that really sealed it for me, though. That book humanized the trio and I began to like them not just because they were funny, but for the story of who they were. Since then I’ve read everything I could find about the Stooges including not one, not two, but three biographies of Larry Fine, the Stooge in the middle. (One Fine Stooge: Larry Fine’s Frizzy Life In Pictures is the best, by the way).

I attended a 9:40 showing at a multiplex on Akron’s west side. I was the only one in the theater in which the Stooges film was shown. That was pretty weird. I’ve been to a few showings at such multiplexes where very few people showed up. But this was the first time I’d watched a movie in a theater completely alone. Would they have shown it at all if I hadn’t been in there? Is this a koan?

I liked the movie but I didn’t love it. I wanted to love it. But I couldn’t. Here’s what was good about the movie. Larry David was terrific as Sister Mary-Mengele, a nun who bears the brunt of most of the Stooges outlandish behavior. All of the actors who play the Stooges do a tremendous impressions of the real guys, particularly Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe. He really has the voice and the mannerisms down. And there were some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. I’m usually not the type who LOLs at movies even when there’s an audience in the theater with me. But I actually laughed aloud several times during my private screening.

But maybe I came to the film with too many fanboy hopes. See, if I were to make a Three Stooges movie, I would recreate some of the iconic Stooge moments. I’d have Curly trap himself in a maze of pipes while trying to fix a leak. I’d have Moe do the Niagara Falls routine. I’d have them do the maharaja routine. I’d hire Samuel L. Jackson in a cameo to do Dudley Dickerson’s “This house has sho’ gone crazy” line. I’d get someone to say “Hold hands you love birds.” I’d also put in some references to Shemp, Joe Besser and Curly Joe DeRita. There is one scene in the movie where a rat makes Shemp’s trademark “Eep-eep-eep” sound. But that’s as close as we get. Maybe I’d have them get a sandwich at De Rita’s Delicatessen or have them meet a character who does Joe Besser’s effeminate mannerisms and make something out of how that would play in the 21st century.

The Farrelly Brothers seem to understand that part of the key to the Stooges’ humor is all about the lower classes making fun of the upper class. But they never really take it far enough. The representatives of the upper classes are bad people because they’re plotting a murder. In the Stooges’ films the upper classes were always just twits because they were twits. Not that the Stooges were intrinsically better. I think what I like best about the Stooges’ films is that in them everybody is an idiot, even the main characters (the Stooges) you’re supposed to identify with.

It’s funny to see the Stooges portrayed as they were in the 1930s having to come to terms with contemporary American society — like having Curly try to use an iPhone and Moe getting cast on The Jersey Shore. But even these feel a bit half-hearted. Why not do a whole movie about this? It’s never really explained why the Stooges alone dress, talk and act like people from the 1930s while everyone else exists in 2012. I kept wondering if these bits were left over from some unused version of the script in which the Three Stooges time travel to our era.

All in all, it’s a good movie, but not a great one. Am I weird for thinking there actually could be a great movie about The Three Stooges?

81 Responses

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  1. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 27, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    It just occurred to me (o.k. so it was 20+ years ago) that the Three Stooges are a reasonable metaphor for the three Abrahamic traditions – Davidism, Fishianity, and Muslimism.

    The House of David) (Hebrew = ???? ??? ??? — Royal House of David) refers to the tracing of one's lineage to the imperial line – same as other primitive and/or tribal cultures.

    Greek fish = IXEUS = Jesus

    Muslim = A person who submits their brain, in a jar, to some 'guru' – as does a cathaholic.

    If you cannot find your own way, then by all means, remain lost.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 27, 2012 at 11:49 am |

    mysterion says basically the same thing every other post.

  3. 96 Tears
    96 Tears April 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

    Mysterion traces his tribe back to ? and the Mysterions.

  4. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

    I trace my tribe back to Neanderthal-human interspecies mating.

    National Geographic

    The genetic information turned up some intriguing findings, indicating that at some point after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, they mingled and mated with Neanderthals, possibly in the Middle East or North Africa as much as 80,000 years ago.

    Read more HERE

    Assuming, for the moment, that my mother's mother's mother's mother was a "jew," then there is indeed the Neanderthal-human interspecies mating I wrote of earlier. I think it is a reasonably safe assumption.

  5. Highly Evolved
    Highly Evolved April 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |

    I'm confused, are you making a derogatory remark about Neanderthals?

  6. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    Neanderthals wore jewelry and had ritualized burials. There is a preponderance of archaeological evidence to support that claim. I wear a wedding ring, therefore I am of [at least partial] Neanderthal descent.

    Early humans (Homo Sapien Sapiens) did not*.

    Thus the dumb religious ones mixed with the smart 'natural' ones – that left their dead to be cecycled by birds and other scavengers – and we got Abraham in the Near East and the whole tribal inter-fighting mess.

    *There is a saying regarding Solomon's Temple: "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absense." more

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

    "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence." – Mysterion

    Another typical apologist cliche.

    The absence of evidence is a justifiable reason for doubt. If you don't understand that, then you might believe that the efficacy of homeopathy is more statistically significant than just the placebo effect.

  8. Jinzang
    Jinzang April 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

    Conditions with overall positive evidence for homeopathy. From the BHA website. Not that the evidence ever changed anyone's mind. People are tribal and go with what their tribe tells them to believe.

  9. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm |


    When faced with evidence, resort to denial.

    THAT is why reasoning and critical thinking need to be developed at a young age (in progressive elementary schools) and maintained through maturity (in liberal high schools and colleges) and in later life (by using your analytic crap detector).

    All crap is to be burned at the Dung Gate at high noon!

    Have you burned your dung today?

    Exodus 29:14, Leviticus 4:11, Leviticus 8:17, & Leviticus 16:27.


  10. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

    And drink your cocoa!

    Yep, the same Fry's family!

    More on John Cadbury

    Some good folks are still in the cocoa business!

    February 2009

    If your Valentine's Day plans involve picking out a box of chocolates for someone special, your best choice for your loved one’s heart might be dark chocolate. The cacao bean contains more than 400 chemicals, and many of them can affect human health. One group of chemicals, the flavonoids, are responsible for many of the protective actions of dark chocolate, reports the February issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.

    Flavonoids are present in many healthful foods, like apples and cherries, but dark chocolate is the richest source. So it’s no surprise that chocolate has attracted the interest of scientists from around the world, giving the research an international flavor. Most studies have concentrated on cardiovascular health; here are some representative findings:

    Antioxidant activity. Among other beneficial actions, flavonoids protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which puts the “bad” into “bad cholesterol.” Dark chocolate reduces LDL oxidation while actually increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

    Endothelial function. The endothelium, the thin inner layer of arteries, is responsible for producing nitric oxide, a chemical that widens blood vessels and keeps their linings smooth. European studies have shown that dark chocolate improves endothelial function in healthy people, that flavonoid-rich cocoa can reverse the endothelial dysfunction produced by smoking, and that dark chocolate may improve coronary artery function in heart transplant patients.

    Blood pressure. Studies from Italy, Argentina, Germany, and the United States show that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, though the effect is modest. The benefit wears off within a few days of stopping “treatment” with a daily “dose” of dark chocolate.

    Blood clotting. Most heart attacks and many strokes are caused by blood clots that form in critical arteries. Researchers in Switzerland and the United States found that dark chocolate reduces platelet activation, a step in clot formation.

    More research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings and to learn if they translate into sustained health benefits. And remember that there is a dark side to dark chocolate: calories.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

    I eat a bit of 90% every day, Mysterion. How about that?

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  13. Mysterion
    Mysterion April 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm |

    Dark, very dark.

    The unsweetened is even better – bitter.

    4 cocoa truths for a novel repast:

    1) unsweetened dark chocolate is bitter

    2) the cause of bitter is attachment to sweet

    3) detachment from sweet leads to nirvana

    4) nirvana is darker than dark chocolate but, if entered carefully, lasts longer.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 28, 2012 at 3:58 am |

    And what about dark dark meat?

  15. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 4:06 am |

    "A total of 156 RCTs [Randomized Controlled Trials] in homeopathy (on 75 different medical conditions) have been published in good quality scientific journals. 41% of the RCTs have a balance of positive evidence, 7% have a balance of negative evidence, and 52% have not been conclusively positive or negative."

    "The above figures have similarities to data obtained from an analysis of 1016 systematic reviews of RCTs (and therefore of many more than that number of RCTs in total): 44% of the reviews concluded that the interventions studied were likely to be beneficial (positive), 7% concluded that the interventions were likely to be harmful (negative), and 49% reported that the evidence did not support either benefit or harm (non-conclusive)."

    "In his [Henry Beecher's] 1955 landmark article 'The Powerful Placebo', he reviewed 15 placebo-controlled trials and concluded that, on average, the magnitude of the placebo effect was 35.2%"

  16. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 4:14 am |

    61,000 more scientific articles about placebos written by real doctors and medical researchers.

  17. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 4:21 am |

    3,300 articles specifically addressing the "placebo effect".

  18. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 4:34 am |

    One of the most accurate criticisms of Christian Science is that it only seems to heal illnesses that would typically be healed by time and nature. Homeopathy also seems to be in that category.

  19. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 5:11 am |

    "In 1853, Mary Baker Glover married Daniel Patterson, an itinerant dentist who proved to be unreliable and unfaithful. He abandoned her in 1866, and, after years of living apart, she divorced him in 1873 on grounds of desertion.

    Struggling with chronic illness compounded by personal loss, Mary Patterson was preoccupied with questions of health. Like many in her day, she avoided the harsh treatments of conventional nineteenth-century medicine and its dangerous side effects. She sought relief in various alternative treatments of the day, from diets to hydropathy (water cure). During Patterson’s long absences, she studied homeopathy in depth and became intrigued by its emphasis on diluting drugs to the point where they all but disappear from the remedy. At one point, she experimented with unmedicated pellets (now known as placebos) and concluded that a patient’s belief plays a powerful role in the healing process. While investigating such new cures, she continued to seek comfort and insights in the Bible, still drawn by the healing record contained in its pages."

  20. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles April 28, 2012 at 5:12 am |

    There is also this factor to consider, possibly among many:

  21. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 5:31 am |

    "In her later writings she consistently described herself as having practiced homeopathic medicine quite extensively, and she pointed to her experiments with homeopathy as being crucial to the development of her understanding of healing as something that occurs quite independently of "materia medica," whether full strength or in homeopathically attenuated solutions. Thus in the third edition of Science and Health (1881) Mrs. Eddy describes how she cured a woman of dropsy, first using homeopathic remedies in the prescribed attenuations but then successfully substituting unmedicated pellets."

    From Page 109, in "Mary Baker Eddy
    " by Gillian Gill

  22. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 5:37 am |

    There is also this factor to consider, possibly among many:

    Homeopathy Is 'Dangerous and Wasteful,' Bioethics Expert Argues

  23. Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper April 28, 2012 at 5:53 am |

    "A case of dropsy, given up by the faculty, fell into my hands. It was a terrible case. Tapping had been employed, and yet, as she lay in her bed, the patient looked like a barrel. I prescribed the fourth attenuation of Argentum nitratum with occasional doses of a high attenuation of Sulphuris. She improved perceptibly. Believing then somewhat in the ordinary theories of medical practice, and learning that her former physician had prescribed these remedies, I began to fear an aggravation of symptoms from their prolonged use, and told the patient so; but she was unwilling to give up the medicine while she was recovering. It then occurred to me to give her unmedicated pellets and watch the result. I did so, and she continued to gain. Finally she said that she would give up her medicine for one day, and risk the effects. After trying this, she informed me that she could get along two days without globules; but on the third day she again suffered, and was relieved by taking them. She went on in this way, taking the unmedicated pellets,–and receiving occasional visits from me,–but employing no other means, and she was cured."

    Science and Health, page 156 by Mary Baker Eddy

  24. Jinzang's Homeopathic Dr.
    Jinzang's Homeopathic Dr. April 28, 2012 at 7:08 am |

    Hey Dr. Pepper, we get it, you don't like homeopathy.

    Next topic please.

  25. Salt 'n' Pepper
    Salt 'n' Pepper April 28, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  26. Kale
    Kale April 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |


  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 30, 2012 at 11:21 am |

    Wow! I see Jinzang is commenting again here. I may even start to read this blog once more.

    "But there is a downside, sometimes people repress this sense of doubt and project it outwards on others. When in the grip of this projection, you are the "good Buddhist" and everyone else is lazy, degenerate, clueless, or whatever."

    A great point by master J, but I'll bet he doesn't see this as applying to B.W. as usual. Being a good buddhist is like practicing true zen while imagining others practice or teachings are degenerate, clueless, lazy, etc. Love the stooges.

  28. Mysterion
    Mysterion May 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm |


    a.k.a. AUM or OAM

    don't forget the SVAHA*
    swah-ha as in swastika.

    *I translate it as "be well" others have different ideas.


    It's PFM.

  29. Mysterion
    Mysterion May 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm |

    BTW, click on my Haiku Kanji characters and listen to that (authentic sound of the sun) AOM – which the Egyptians, being of a different tongue, pronounced "AON in the era before the dynasties."

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    visachris May 16, 2012 at 1:19 am |

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