Because life is sometimes surprising...
July 11, 2013 4:24 PM   Subscribe

The Shemp Surprise.

I was always more of a Curly man, myself, but alas, there seems to be no similar compilation video of, say, the Curly on-the-floor backspin (the original breakdancer, he was!) or the Curly rapid-fire face-palm, or the Curly "ahh-woo-woo-woo-wooo"... too bad. We'll have to make do with this little tune, The Curly Shuffle. Or else dive in for a full 49 minutes of Stooges action with The Best of the Three Stooges
posted by flapjax at midnite (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I spend most of my time with humans under age 10. They really seem to enjoy me being suprised like this! I was never a big Three Stooges girl but what do you know- I have styled myself after Shemp!
posted by slothhog at 4:34 PM on July 11, 2013

I was always more of a Curly man

You, me and Bill Raftery.
posted by yerfatma at 4:41 PM on July 11, 2013

I call your attention to:
posted by AJaffe at 4:46 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Kramer owes Shemp. Big time.
posted by orme at 4:47 PM on July 11, 2013 [6 favorites]

This video gave me the excuse to look up the Wikipedia page on Shemp Howard. A summary:

The Stooges got their start basically as pretend hecklers in Ted Healy's vaudeville act. Shemp, along with brother Moe Howard and Larry Fine, were the original trio, and when they broke away from Healy he was with the group, and was even in the Three Stooges' first film appearance, Soup to Nuts.

Then Shemp broke away and focused on a (successful!) solo film career for a while, and Jerry "Curly" Howard took his place. Shemp had many roles during this time, appearing in Charlie Chan and Thin Man movies, in film adaptions of Joe Palooka comics, with both Abbott and Costello and W.C. Fields, and once even with John Wayne.

Then Curly had a stroke in 1946. The Three Stooges would be out of work without a third, so Shemp reluctantly rejoined the three until he recovered. He did not; he died six years later, and Shemp rejoined the Stooges permanently -- or at least for the next three years, until his own death in 1955.
posted by JHarris at 5:12 PM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

I once thought of creating a martial art based on these guys and their signature moves, called Stooge-Fu.
posted by jonmc at 5:21 PM on July 11, 2013

I do this every time I get the check at a restaurant. My wife doesn't think it's as funny as I do.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:28 PM on July 11, 2013 [7 favorites]

My parents each obtained one autograph of note during their lifetimes: Dad got "Lucy Ball", and Mom got "Shemp Howard".

We kids were only familiar with the Curly version (and only my brothers, naturally, really liked Les Stooges), so when she told us about the autograph we were unimpressed. However, when re-runs of the Stooges brought us Shemp, he quickly became our fave.

I still like him best.
posted by allthinky at 5:30 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Really needs to be a word. "I shemped when I saw it."
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:27 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Nice to see Shemp getting some love. He always was the most underrated Stooge.
posted by MrBadExample at 6:30 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why I oughta ....
posted by madamjujujive at 6:49 PM on July 11, 2013

I am now and always have been a Shemp man. There was a depth and nuance to his performances that were lacking from the other freres Howard.

Vive Le Shemp!
posted by KingEdRa at 6:49 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

The 7 Stooges (a.k.a. the Three Stooges + Iggy et al.), Now I Wanna Be Your Dog
posted by jonp72 at 7:21 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Oh, my word! That 7 Stooges song is the most perfect thing ever.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:01 PM on July 11, 2013

I'm going to use that move to increase my body-language vocabulary.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:10 AM on July 12, 2013

I never really realized Shemp had a bit before now. I just always saw him as the replacement Curly.

But I like his bit. I like it a lot.

But then, I never really thought Larry had a shtick, other than to be the vaguely reasonable one with the funny hair, but Wikipedia tells me that, in the early shorts, he tended to just say peculiar, stream-of-consciousness stuff, often improvised on the spot, which got him slapped by Moe so many times he had a callous on his face. That's not just a shtick, that's commitment.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:57 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love that there is a wikipedia article titled Fake Shemp.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:45 AM on July 12, 2013

If you're interested in the history of The Three Stooges (can't believe I just wrote that), Moe's autobiography is a good place to start.
posted by yerfatma at 9:35 AM on July 12, 2013

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