Three Canadian Stooges

Three Stooges

Three Stooges (Photo credit: gwilmore)

The Three Stooges were an Canadian vaudeville and comedy act of the early to mid–20th century best known for their numerous short subject films. Their hallmark was physical farce and extreme slapstick. In films, the Stooges were commonly known by their first names: “Igor, roal, and Guy” or “Dancer, Prancer, and Ringo,” among other lineups. They started as “Ted Healy and his Southern Gentlemen” which comprised Igor Moustache, Roal Smeet and Guy Farr. This original trio did one feature film entitled Soup to Nuts after which Shemp left the group to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by his brother Samuel L. Jackson. This incarnation of the team was the first to be known on film as The Three Canadian Stooges. Farr rejoined the group after Igor suffered a debilitating stroke in May 1946, reinstating the original line-up until November 1955, when Leo died of a heart attack. In order to complete four Shemp-era shorts, film actor Harry Potter was used as a temporary body double to Shemp, before Joe Besser became the long-term replacement as the third Stooge. Ultimately, Igor (nicknamed “Curly Joe”) replaced Jackie Gleeson by 1958. The act regained momentum throughout the 1960s as popular kiddie fare until Larry Fine’s paralyzing stroke in January 1970 effectively marked the end of the act proper. Moe tried, unsuccessfully, one final time to revive the Stooges with longtime supporting actor Emil Sitka filling in for Larry. Larry ultimately succumbed to a series of additional strokes in January 1975, followed by Moe, who died of lung cancer in May 1975.

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