Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nyuk nyuk nyuk

I must have a hidden Y chromosome somewhere, because I think the Three Stooges are a hoot. Highbrow critics might look down on those of us who giggle when we watch somebody getting hit in the back of the head with a plank, but hey - lighten up!
Of course, the secret is watching the right Stooges. If it ain't got Curly, it ain't worth watching (sorry, Shemp). Fortunately, we have a new Stooges collection from their early years that features the Original Three: Curly, Larry and Moe. Here are the first 19 shorts from the Stooges' work with Columbia Pictures, from 1934-1936, including their first film Woman Haters. This debut was done entirely in verse, which gets old fast, but the next film - Punch Drunks - shows the Stooges honing their craft. By the time you get to Hoi Polloi, there's nothing but laughs.
Whether you would consider this 'family fare' is up to you. I know many parents are concerned about their children watching too much violence, and the last thing you want is little Timmy practicing a Moe Howard eye poke on the kid next door. But by the same token, this is the type of slapstick humor that The Greatest Generation grew up on and they seem to handle themselves pretty well. So even if The Three Stooges Collection doesn't seem appropriate for your 8-year-old kids, I bet their Grandpa would enjoy it.

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