The Stooges had a huge connection to Pittsburgh over the years. Their careers were revived here in 1959 when iconic Pittsburgh TV personality Paul Shannon began showing their comedy films on his legendary show, “Adventure Time,” which led to them being booked in a small nightclub in Baden followed by weeks of sold-out bookings at the world-famous Holiday House in Monroeville. Next came six feature-length films, as did return trips to Pittsburgh for appearances at Kennywood and the Allegheny County Fair. Moe Howard always credited Paul Shannon with sparking this renewed interest in the Stooges. To show their appreciation, the Stooges cast Paul in their last full-length film, “The Outlaws Is Coming,” as Wild Bill Hickok.
With his iconic bowl haircut, quick temper and penchant for inflicting harm on his two hapless cohorts, Moe Howard was the de facto leader of The Three Stooges, one of the most beloved, albeit critically maligned, comedy teams of all time. Along with his brother, Shemp Howard, and Larry Fine, Moe first found fame as a member of vaudevillian comedian Ted Healy's "Stooges." But it was only after younger brother Jerome - renamed "Curly" - replaced Shemp and the trio became a solo act officially known as "The Three Stooges," that they achieved massive success on a national level. For Columbia Pictures, the Three Stooges would star in nearly 200 short films over a remarkable 24 year period. Both revered and reviled for their gleefully violent version of slapstick comedy, Larry, Moe and Curly became an indelible part of American pop culture. Over the course of a nearly 40-year career, there were several changes in the line-up - Curly's health problems brought back Shemp, who in turn was replaced by comedian Joe Besser, who eventually gave way to "Curly Joe" DeRita. Throughout it all, though, Moe remained the constant, keeping the Stooges on course and in the public eye, even if he had to crack a few skulls along the way. While contemplating the mainstream appeal and critical scorn heaped upon the Three Stooges over the years, Moe offered this simple yet elegant explanation - "Our comedy is based on upsetting dignity." That they did - and hilarity ensued.
Tokyo, April, 1966: Fans of the Three Stooges will recognize (and probably envy) the treatment that Stars and Stripes reporter Hal Drake is getting from from Moe Howard during an interview at the Imperial Hotel.
Back to the point, it’s a bit hard to focus on cool toys, comic books and movies when we’re looking at the possibility of our next president being a combination of Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin and Moe Howard.