Just Say Moe: New Version of The Three Stooges Coming in 2012

The Newest Nyuksters

Will a new version of an old favorite work?


Are you ready for the knuckleheads to return to the national spotlight in 2012?

No, I’m not referring to the run up to the federal elections.

The Three Stooges® are back, starting April 13. That’s when the Farrelly brother’s long-awaited film of the trio hits theaters. Keep in mind, this is not a biopic of the stooges who played the on-screen characters (which was done in a 2000 TV movie).

The new film brings Moe, Larry, and Curly back in a comedic romp for the first time since Hold That Lion in 1947. Curly, who had struggled with health problems for a number of years, appeared in a mere cameo role, and was replaced by his brother Shemp. (Later “appearances” using the likeness of Curly were recycled from prior Stooges’ films.) Hold That Lion, was also notable in that it was the 100th Stooges’ film.

The newest Stooges trio features Chris Diamantopulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly. The boy’s latest misadventure involves plenty of trademarked silliness, as well as the typical barrage of slapping, punching, and eye-gouging.

According to the filmmakers, The Three Stooges® film is basically three twenty-some minute shorts tied together with a conclusive ending. The newest incarnation of the comedic trio was over a decade in coming. Numerous scripts were written and several major Hollywood big names were attached to appear, such as Sean Penn, Jim Carrey, and Benico DelTorro.

The original Stooges productions featured a regular ensemble of supporting performers, most notably Vernon Dent, Babe London, and Emil Sitka.

The new Stooges’ production hosts a variety of celebrity guests, such as Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Larry David, and Jennifer Hudson. Not to be outdone, they also include cameos by some of the Jersey Shore cast, who seem to be at least fourteen minutes into their proverbial, Warholian, fifteen minutes of fame.

The Three Stooges® were originally a vaudeville comedy act turned film stars. In all, there were 220 films, 190 of them were short subject films done at Columbia Pictures.

There were a number of incarnations of The Three Stooges®; the most notable were the original, which included Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, and Larry Howard.

Story lines of The Three Stooges films were relatively simple, featuring conflicts that the boys somehow made worse with their stooge-ness.

The group has generations of fans, many of them diehard. It remains to be seen whether those fans will accept the new film. This writer’s speculation is that the newest film will draw considerable attention in the weeks leading to its release then do okay business at the box office and continue to do well in rentals and streaming but it won’t be one of the more successful comedies of 2012.

If those longtime fans don’t support the new film, it will be quickly forgotten. If the film does well, it could open the floodgates for more in the future. That, obviously, remains to be seen.

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