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The Three Stooges

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The Three Stooges
Historical Group
Nationality: United States
Years Active: 1922-1975 (with several line up changes)
Occupation: Comedians, Film Actors
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
The Three Stooges were an American 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: "Moe, Larry, and Curly" and "Moe, Larry, and Shemp," among other lineups.

The film trio was originally composed of:

Moses "Moe" Howard (June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975, original surname Horowitz)
Samuel "Shemp" Howard (March 11, 1895 – November 22, 1955) (brother of Moe) and
Larry Fine (October 5, 1902 – January 24, 1975, original surname Feinberg), long time friend of the Howards.

Jerome "Curly" Howard (October 22, 1903 – January 18, 1952), sometimes spelled Curley, replaced brother Shemp, who had left to try out other projects. After 11 years during which Curly participated in about 90 short films, Shemp returned to the team following Curly's debilitating stroke in 1946.

After the deaths of Curly and Shemp in the 1950s, other men were recruited to fill the "third Stooge" slot. These were:

Joe Besser (August 12, 1907 – March 1, 1988), with the team 1956-9
Joseph "Curly-Joe" DeRita (July 12, 1909 – July 3, 1993, original surname Wardell), with the team 1959-70

Thus there were a total of six men known as The Three Stooges.

Literary commentEdit

The shorts with Curly Howard are the best known in pop culture, although Shemp starred in some iconically popular outings as well. The entries with Besser and DeRita have never been as well known. In the works of Harry Turtledove, most references to the Stooges allude specifically to the Curly line-up.

The Three Stooges in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

The Three Stooges in The War That Came EarlyEdit

While fleeing the Balmoral-Osborne Hotel de Luxe in Marianske Lazne, Czechoslovakia during a German bombardment of the town in September 1938, during the opening actions of the new European war, Peggy Druce observed two men near the front desk punching and kicking each other and poking one another in the eye. She was reminded of a Three Stooges two-reeler. One of the men was a Czech, the other a German.

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