The Three Stooges were Jewish, often used Yiddish in place of gibberish, and were the first in Hollywood to satirize Hitler in 1940 – nine months before Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator

The Three Stooges

For other uses, see The Three Stooges (disambiguation).

The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team active from 1922 until 1970, best known for their 190 short subject films by Columbia Pictures that have been airing regularly on television since 1958. Their hallmark styles were physical farce and slapstick. Six Stooges appeared over the act’s run (with only three active at any given time): Moe Howard (true name (t/n) Moses Horwitz) and Larry Fine (t/n Louis Feinberg) were mainstays throughout the ensemble’s nearly 50-year run and the pivotal “third stooge” was played by (in order of appearance) Shemp Howard (t/n Samuel Horwitz), Curly Howard (t/n Jerome Horwitz), Shemp Howard again, Joe Besser and “Curly” Joe DeRita.Continue Reading (48 minute read)

14 thoughts on “The Three Stooges were Jewish, often used Yiddish in place of gibberish, and were the first in Hollywood to satirize Hitler in 1940 – nine months before Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator”

  1. 80sBadGuy

    So that’s where I picked up schmuck at 4 years old.

  2. lotsanoodles

    Making fun of Adolf Hitler got the Stooges on the Nazi list of those to be rounded up and executed when they won the war. Also for being Jewish.

  3. No-Pizda-For-You

    They managed with basic slapstick humor to indict the wrongs of their time. Their brilliance is often overlooked by those who see just stooges.

  4. nowiforgotmypassword

    Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard

  5. MagicMushroomFungi

    [A clip from You Nazty Spy.](https://youtu.be/lZ-FOtCBhNc). I love how Curly is a natural as a natural Mussolini type.
    …..
    Born in 1952, the Stooges have a special place in my heart. Mostly from the Saturday afternoon movies and early tv. I even saw them live at the CNE in Toronto. Not Curly though. He was still alive but near death from a stroke (?).
    Which one ? Not Curly.
    Now let me tell you about Saturday afternoon theater matinees in my hometown circa 1960 and up…
    Two movies …8-10 cartoons at intervals… 6-8 “shorts (Stooges, L&H, A&C etc.)”
    25 cents … 500+ kidsplus teenagers necking and smoking in the balcony…a hundred cars dropping kids off…a hundred cars picking kids up …5 hours of mayhem…flattened popcorn boxes whizzing … Only two adult attendants plus the owner Tommy who chuckled at us all.
    And I lived directly accross the street from the theater.

  6. crossingguardcrush

    A German interviewer once asked Robin Williams why he thought there was less of a stand-up comedy tradition in Germany than the US.

    Without skipping a beat, Williams said, “Because you killed all your funny people.”

  7. NolanSyKinsley

    Speaking of Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”, the full extent of the atrocities committed by the Nazis were not known at the time of the filming or its release. Chaplin said years later if he had known of what the Nazis actually did, he would not have made the film.

  8. svudah

    Nevertheless, Chaplin was labeled “prematurely anti-fascist” by the FBI for criticizing Nazis prior to 1939, which later was used to strip him of his passport while he was on vacation, effectively banning him from America.

    https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-great-dictator-1940

    P.S. the thought process after WW2 was “only Communists were anti-fascist before 1939,” so Chaplin must have been a Commie. The exact same reasoning was used against anyone advocating for Black civil rights during the 1930s (partly why you know about Rosa, Martin, and Malcolm, but not the folks that set the stage for them). https://uncpress.org/book/9781469625485/hammer-and-hoe/

  9. BillWOcala

    why you…get over here

  10. OhioMegi

    I almost wrote a paper about The Stooges and their anti Hitler stance. If I remember, they were pretty vocal about it.

  11. sullylocks

    My all time favorites.. still get a kick out of them and my almost 5 year old loves them as well. You realize how deep it is when you get older.

  12. EgberetSouse

    Back in analog days there would be a Three Stooges revival every 6-8 years as a new generation of grade school boys discovered them.

  13. 3xTheSchwarm

    For the record Chaplin”s Great Dictator film began production first, but films take.longer to make.

  14. EntrepreneurOk7513

    They got screwed over by the production companies.

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