Recently I was at the library searching for some books to check out when I spotted a book on the Three Stooges entitled The Three Stooges: The Triumphs and Tragedies of The Most Popular Comedy Team of All Time. Being a lifelong fan I promptly checked it out, always hungry for this kind of stuff. Over the years I’ve gotten familiar with the history of the Stooges, but as I was reading this book, I found that there’s even more to their rich history than I previously imagined.
The book offers details on the humble beginnings of the Stooges and their rise to fame with Ted Healy, who helped create the concept of Stooge comedy along with Shemp Howard, who worked with him along with Larry Fine and Moe Howard during the Stooges’ early days. After Shemp departed on a successful solo film career, the legendary team of Moe, Larry and Curly was assembled before they later separated from Healy to blaze their own path to stardom. In the meantime Healy kept the comedy going with his own army of Stooges, many of which are pictured on the back cover.
The rest of the book chronicles the careers of the Stooges through their triumphs and tragedies over the years as well as the tremendous sacrifice and struggle they made to keep the laughs coming. It is a bittersweet story I never knew existed.
I am left with a deeper appreciation for the Three Stooges, not only the ones we still laugh at today but also the lesser known performers from yesterday who have unfortunately faded into obscurity.
This is required reading for any Stooges fan.