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The Three Stooges, or was it 8 Stooges?

Updated on October 13, 2015


Is this the three you remember?

Maybe this three?

Or, maybe this threesome?

I know. You can't really see the faces, but, the one on the left is different from all the above.

Okay, how about this three?

And, finally, could this be the three?

This is Shemp Howard know as Shemp.

Shemp was the oldest of three brothers that included Moe and Curly. He and Moe were the original Stooges on the Ted Healey Show in 1923 known as Ted Healey and his Stooges. Shemp was born in 1895 and passed away in 1955.

This is Moe Howard known as Moe.

Moe and Shemp would add Larry Fine in 1928 to become the Three Stooges. Moe was born in 1897 and passed away in 1975.

This is Larry Fine known as Larry.

Larry would participate in most of the groups to come. He was born in 1902 and passed away in 1975. Larry, Moe and Shemp would make the first Three Stooges movie Soup to Nuts in 1930.

This is Curly Howard known as Curly.

Shemp would take out on his own and brother Curly would replace him in 1932. The threesome of Curly, his brother Moe and Larry Fine would be the threesome that most people would remember through the years.

Curly was born in 1903 and would pass away in 1952.

This is Joe Palma on left known as Fake Shemp. This is the only picture that reveals a decent view of his face. The reason is explained below.

Curly Howard made more than 100 film appearances with the Stooges before having a massive stroke in 1947 forcing him to retire. His brother Shemp would come back to rejoin the group. Shemp died in 1955 and brother Moe and Larry Fine would ask Joe Palma to take his place in 1956. Joe took part in 45 of the Stooges films as an extra and would fill in as Shemp in just four films.

The odd thing was that he would always work with his back to the camera while wearing a Shemp wig. I saw all four of those films and never realized it was not the real Shemp Howard. He actually had one line and sounded a lot like Shemp. I watched clips of those films this week and it was so obvious that he was hiding his face during filming.

Joe was born in 1905 and would pass away in 1994. He would always be known as "The Fake Shemp".

This is Joe Besser known as Joe.

Joe would take Joe Palma's place in 1956 as "Joe". We now would have Larry, Moe and Joe. He would stay with the group until 1958 when he quit to be with his ailing wife. Joe was born in 1907 and passed away in 1988.

This is Joe DeRita known as Curly Joe.

Curly Joe would replace Joe Besser in 1959. He was given the nickname "Curly Joe" because he favored Moe's brother, Curly so much.

Joe was born in 1909 and passed away in 1993. His headstone reads: Curly-Joe DeRita "The Last Stooge".

This is Emil Sitka. If he looks familiar to you Three Stooges fans he should. He appeared in 35 of their films as different caracters including the most popular one being a judge. He also has the distinction of appearing with each of the six Stooges, Shemp, Moe, Larry, Curly, Joe and Curly Joe.

When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, Emil would be asked to join Moe and Curly Joe as the 7th (or 8th if you count the Fake Shemp) Stooge. They took publicity pictures as seen above and were preparing for a film in 1974, but, Moe died in '75 and it was never made.

So, were there 6 or 7 or 8 Stooges. The debate will endure. Six were prominent members of the group, another was undercover and still another never got off the runway.

Give me your vote.


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    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      I would have to bet he was going to replace Larry. Why change after all these years? Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Sikki X. 

      8 years ago

      I wonder if Emil was actually gonna portray Larry or if he was gonna be cast as Emil the new Stooge?

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      He actually started out with them, but may be hard to find something to view with him in it. I remember just one.

    • HumDrummer profile image


      8 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Great detail! You nailed it! Speaking of the Marx Brother's above... You need to do something on the Unseen Marx Brother... "Gummo".

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Love your humor, Shinkicker! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Shinkicker profile image


      8 years ago from Scotland

      Cheers discovery2020. The Eight Stooges is certainly an attention-grabbing headline.

      Thanks for the insight.

      But please don't tell me there were 5 Laurel and Hardy's or 14 Marx Bros. LOL I couldn't handle that.

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      My golfing partner also disliked them for the same reason. There evidently are those who did as their legend has remained for 84 years. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I will log this in my trivia dictionary under useless but interesting information. Personally I never liked this bunch of guys as I disliked all that hitting. The bully after the weakminded.

    • discovery2020 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from GARLAND, TEXAS

      Thanks, Woodamarc. They were very special. There were 17 more that claimed to be "Stooges", but, in actuality were members of the "New Three Stooges" which never went over.

    • woodamarc profile image

      Marc Woodard 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Loved the stooges as a kid. I knew nothing of the fake Shemp. I remember Curly and Shemp in separate films. I always preferred Curly. Good Times. Now I'm inspired to go watch one. Thanks for sharing the history.


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