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The Three Stooges Slapstick

The Three Stooges
The Three Stooges Columbia Pictures
The Three Stooges Columbia Pictures

Slapstick

Three Stooges revealed
Three Stooges revealed

The Three Stooges’ trademark is their physical comedy. They loved to slap faces! Ted Healy, who started The Stooges, was the first comedian who actually slapped his cohorts around. After The Stooges left Ted Healy’s act, Moe took over the role of leader and did most of the belting, smacking, tweaking and slapping.

You would think that the Stooges would have been hurt in the process, but Moe developed a technique of keeping his fingers loose so that The Boys would not get injured. It was up to the other Stooges then to do the follow-through and make it look as if they had really been smacked. Below are some of the most common slaps, tweaks, and stunts.

Three Stooges Video Playlist

In The beginning

The Three Stooges were founded by a vaudeville performer named Ted Healy
The Three Stooges were founded by a vaudeville performer named Ted Healy

The Three Stooges were founded by a vaudeville performer named Ted Healy in 1925

In the early days of television, movies had to be at least 10 years old (or older) to be shown on the tube. Hollywood was afraid this new-fangled TV thing would put them out of business. So, in the few hours a day that TV was even on, the morning hours were filled with 1930s fare – grainy black-and-white early talkies, serials and shorts – singing cowboysBusby Berkeley musicals, the Little Rascals, and Ted Healy‘s Stooges.

Healy started the Stooges vaudeville act in 1922, and toured the country with them, ending up on Broadway in New York. They started making movies in 1930. From the beginning there were lawsuits over who owned the rights to the stooges. Cast members came and went. More lawsuits came and went. Healy lost a few, but generally won more than he lost. Even his own Stooges sued him.

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