Tuesday June 18th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL
Tomorrow is going to be a jam packed day, so I wanted to make mention a day early that it will the anniversary of the birth of Moe Howard of The Three Stooges. I always get confused on how to refer to dates like that. If someone is dead it can’t be their birthday, but it’s still a date of birth.
Whatever the case, Moses Harry Horwitz was born on June 19th, 1897. By all accounts, he was a wonderful man. I have seen several interviews of people who knew him, but not once did I ever see anyone say even one unkind word. I sensed a great love and respect for him from everybody.
Like most males, I instantly fell in love with the Stooges as a boy. My whole generation was an unexpected fan base due to their mass exposure on UHF television. Like millions of other young boys my age, I saw them every afternoon when I came home from school. They were superstars.
None of us knew or cared about their back story then, we just loved it when Larry got a clump of hair pulled out by the roots or Curly would take a monkey wrench blow to the skull or a metal bear trap to the derriere. Shemp would do in a pinch, but he wasn’t our favorite. Curly was king.
As I got older and got into the entertainment game myself, I developed a whole new respect for how truly great they were and what a fantastic career they had. It was basically a family business with Moe being in charge for decades – nothing like his cruel, heartless on screen bully persona.
He held the act together, and they lasted for decades despite a few personnel changes along the way much like most bands have to endure. Sometimes losing a key member ends the band’s run as it did with Led Zeppelin when John Bonham died. They decided they didn’t want to continue.
Moe kept it going after the deaths of both Curly and Shemp – who were both his real life blood brothers. That can’t be easy, but Moe managed to pull it off without a hitch. They took advantage of their TV popularity and made full length movies for the generation of kids just before mine.
I was a little late for those, but I did see them on TV. What boy didn’t love the Stooges? None that I ever knew. Girls couldn’t stand them, but too bad. Before puberty hits, the Stooges capture a boy’s heart way more than girls do. Then one day we wake up and our hormones are in charge.
Still, those moments of laughter with The Stooges are precious memories to this day. I vividly recall sitting next to my grandfather as we were both doubled over in front of the television while Moe ran a saw blade over Curly’s scalp and bent the teeth. These are moments that are forever in a boy’s mind, and what makes them even more special is that their work lives on through time.
Curly and Shemp were dead years before I was born, but I saw their work and it made me howl with laughter. As I got older I learned to appreciate Shemp, and as an adult I appreciated what all of them accomplished. The greatest honor is to continue to make people laugh after one is dead.
I tried my best to entertain when I was here, but it would be unbelievably special if I could amuse a generation or more that haven’t been born yet. That means I have to create products that can last that long, and live shows don’t cut it. Somehow, I need to record product and duplicate myself.
I’d always heard The Stoogers weren’t fabulously wealthy in their day, and that the studio got most of the revenue. That’s typical of the business, but nobody can ever take away their fabulous legacy to untold MILLIONS. Moe Howard was a high class act, and I will always be a loyal fan.
|The Great Moe Howard 6/19/1897 - 5/4/1975|
|Moe was MUCH nicer off screen than on. It was all an act - one beloved by millions and still is today.|