I would like to say a word on behalf of an overlooked minority group, a mysterious, practically unknown subculture of beings who lurk on the outskirts of decent society. Who are these unnamed outcasts? Mutants, aliens, mimes? No, more shocking than that – they are females who like The Three Stooges, that’s who. “Stoogettes” for want of a better label.
How can it be? Women who actually like The Three Stooges – impossible you say? Say it again and I’ll tear out your tonsils!
Thanks to widespread propaganda by comedians everywhere, it has become a comic cliché to assume that women can’t possibly appreciate the subtle nuance of Moe dragging Curly by the nose with a pair of pliers or ripping handfuls of wavy hair from Larry’s semi-balding scalp, but these images hold a special place in the hearts of many women who were raised in an era before cable, satellite, VCRs or DVDs. In other words, before the dawn of civilized history.
Join me now, if you will, and come back to a nearly prehistoric time and place when dinosaurs roamed the earth and suburban cave dwellers with strange rabbit-eared television sets had only three channels of viewing options to choose from. That’s right I said three, count ‘em, three measly channels. With bad reception.
Imagine flipping the dial (remote controls were as futuristic as a flying cars), with programming choices limited to local news (with crop reports), religious sermons and The Three Stooges. Need I say more?
With such a blockbuster lineup The Stooges were like manna from heaven. Soggy crops, dry sermons or Moe crushing Curly’s head in an industrial vice – could the choice for superior entertainment be any more obvious?
In an age of snowy screens and cheesy cardboard backdrops, The Three Stooges offered knockout, eye-popping entertainment. Literally. They were the equivalent of the wits of the Algonquin Round Table to the school-age children of that era, boys and girls alike. There wasn’t a kid around at that time who didn’t get into trouble at least once for trying to poke out a siblings’ eye, Moe Howard style. The more daring delinquents attempted the pliers routine on somebody’s nose and got a hairbrush to the backside for being too violent. Ah, the ironically good old days!
Like fine wine, vintage gags ripen with age and repeated viewings. What can compare to the culinary artistry of Shemp pouring maple syrup over a powder puff he has mistaken for a flapjack; a roasted chicken that jumps up off the table thanks to a mysterious mechanical device inserted in its gizzard, the party cake covered in crawling ants. Mmm Mmm good!
And let’s not forget the sophistication: Curly, a gown draped diva, lip-synching soprano arias; Moe the artist adorned in smock and beret with the impressive pig-latin persona “OMae”; the threesome masquerading as socialites, impressing V.I.P.s with the debonair greetings, “charmed,” “enchanted,” “embalmed.”
Not to mention the fact that bathroom humor was limited to leaky plumbing and bathtub slapstick, making The Three Stooges classier than any current primetime sitcom. Proof the end of civilization might be near.
Today The Three Stooges seem like Rhodes Scholars compared to the likes of Beavis and Butthead and the Jackass contingency which just goes to show that several decades of advancements in technology and more than 500 channels later there’s nothing better to watch on TV. Or perhaps you simply can’t improve upon a masterpiece. Technology notwithstanding, if you can find superior entertainment on the tube these days than Moe shooting people in the behind with a carpet tack gun please present your case.
And as for the myth that women can’t appreciate the humor of The Three Stooges – when I was presented with an engagement ring, I held a magnifying glass over the diamond as I had seen the Stooges do in one of my favorite episodes. I thought it was funny. My boyfriend didn’t.
I guess some men just can’t appreciate the humor of The Three Stooges. Nyuk Nyuk.