Every straight man has a stooge – Abbott had Costello, Crosby had Hope – the foil, the fool, the flunky, the goat. But for much of their career, after splitting from a famous straight man, the Three Stooges had only one another to kick and slap around. Beginning in the 1930s these immortal three ran amok for decades in some 200 short films, busting guts and raking in cash. Now, with stupidity a proud national pastime on the boob tube and off, the moment is ripe for a nyuk-nyuk revival, starting with “The Three Stooges: The Movie,” Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s thoroughly enjoyable paean to Moe, Larry and Curly and the art of the eye poke.
The approval of the MGM pre-packaged bankruptcy has opened the door for the long-gestating comedy The Three Stooges to get made at 20th Century Fox. The studio has taken the project over from MGM and has scheduled a March 14 start date for the comedy. Bobby and Peter Farrelly will direct a script they wrote with Mike Cerrone. Conundrum partner Bradley Thomas will produce with Charles B. Wessler. The film will be exec produced by Earl Benjamin, the gatekeeper of the Stooges estate, and the stepson of Joe DeRita. DeRita was the sixth member of the troupe. He played the role originated by Jerome “Curly” Howard, who suffered a stroke and was succeeded by his brother Samuel (Shemp). After Shemp died suddenly, he was replaced by Joe Besser, who gave way to the vaudeville vet De Rita.