The four original Stooges all appeared onscreen together just once

All three Howard brothers (Moe, Shemp, Curly) and Larry Fine were together for the first and last time on film.

Image: The Everett Collection

The Three Stooges are one of the most iconic and well-known comedy acts of early twentieth-century America. Some might say they are the best of ANY century in America.

The Stooges started as a vaudeville act with comedian Ted Healy. The lineup was Moe Howard, his older brother Shemp and violinist Larry Fine. Fine and the Howard brothers would act as bumbling assistants to Healy, who would react violently whenever they interrupted him. While it was all for the sake of a gag, there was an element of truth to this dynamic, at least on Healy's part.

Ted Healy was not an easy person to work with. He was abrasive and consumed copious amounts of alcohol. Shemp left the act to pursue a solo career because he was fed up with Healy. Moe suggested his younger brother, Jerry, could fill the spot. Jerry shaved his long red hair, adopted the name Curly and helped take the Stooges to a new level.

In 1934, Moe, Larry and Curly signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and officially became The Three Stooges. For the next twelve years, they produced wildly successful comedy shorts. These include classics like Hoi Polloi, Three Little Beers and A Plumbing We Will Go.

Sadly, by 1946, Curly’s health had deteriorated greatly and he suffered a stroke while filming the short Half-Wits Holiday.

Moe asked Shemp to rejoin the group while Curly recovered. It turned out to be a permanent change. Curly never regained his former strength and animated personality. Half-Wits Holiday was not his final appearance in a Stooge film, however.

Curly made a small cameo in the 1947 short Hold That Lion!

He played a sleeping passenger on a train who the Stooges mistook for someone else. Curly, with a full head of hair, barked and snored doing his signature, “Whoop, whoop, whoop.” The scene was recycled in the 1953 short Booty and the Beast. It's a memorable last appearance by many people's favorite Stooge.

Curly filmed another cameo as a chef in the short Malice in the Palace — but the footage was cut from the final film. He passed away in 1952.

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Lilly123 27 days ago
Still watch it, gets me primed for svengoolie
JQ 2 months ago
taramasco1 2 months ago
Iam so glad my MeTV picked up the three stooges as in this time of crisis and sadness everyone needs a release, thanks MeTV Buffalo NY keep airing every Saturday night
Runeshaper 3 months ago
It's AWESOME that all 4 were able to appear together! Still watch these stooges with my folks and we still laugh :)
Jeffrey 4 months ago
I want to thank Me-TV for last saturday (in the SE wis area); chopping the heck out of "pain in the pullman" the short started with the stooges already on the train. A good 15min hack job,,,Thanks
Keithm 4 months ago
when we were little kids out in Illinois Christine mcintyre who starred in many of the stooge shorts was a very good bowler and it turned out she was bowling with my mother on the number of times. She bowled with my mother several times and when we found out about that of course we put together a list of questions to ask her. Curly was forever forgetting his lines of course this is getting near the end of his career anyway. Larry was likable but a very neutral sort of personality. Moe was all business when it came to the group. Shemp, however was her favorite stooge. The part where she mistakes shemp four cousin basil was hilarious. Shemp told her don't go light on me make those slaps count. At the end of the scene shemp was almost ready to pass out! She really beat the crap out of him! Shemp was still her favorite overall he was always amazingly kind and polite is what she told us.
Sway Keithm 4 months ago
Nice story.
Three stooges fan here. Always enjoyed the shorts Christine McIntyre was in. Funny lady, good sport, and good singer (Voices of Spring). Now, i can see that she did seem to have a rapport with Shemp. he couldn't help it if he wasn't cousin Basil
BrittReid Keithm 4 months ago
Shemp made a great punching bag when he joined after Jerry.
Jeffrey BrittReid 3 months ago
Shemps funniest short was Brideless Groom
HerbF 4 months ago
There's actually a couple of still photographs of Curly with the other three from "Malice in the Palace" in existence. Curly was supposed to be the chef in the restaurant and wore a big fake mustache.
Keithm HerbF 4 months ago
Yeah his footage was cut because just looking at that picture I have it as well he really looked in pretty sad shape I would say I think he passed away probably about maybe two years after that was done cuz he passed away in 52 and that was only a few years after that short have been made
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