Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Stooges were carrying on a physical-comedy tradition that passed from vaudeville to silent film to sound film and television. Much like Dr. Strangelove, The Three Stooges have an incredible ability to contort their faces to make extremely expressive facial expressions. The Stooges are caricatures of everyone who can appreciate slapstick humor. Their ironic skits are the parodies of life, that’s why people find them so funny. Although many of their skits represent the time in which they were made so only a certain crowd were able to really appreciate them in their entirety, but that just adds to the show’s caricature of human behavior. The humor isn't verbal but situational, and the jokes are primarily physical punishment dueled out back and forth between the three men as they stumble together toward some prize. Most scenarios end up with Moe frequently and accidentally being irritated by hapless idiot Curley and dim-bulb Larry who always seems to stay in the middle of trouble. One of these three stooges represents that friend everyone has who makes a complete fool out of himself, and all together they ridicule human tendencies with satirical slapstick.

What I like most about The Three Stooges is that they can express so many emotions without words at all; you could watch a skit without volume and have a complete understanding of what was going on, much like a theatrical performance. In this first still I have the sense that Moe (in the middle) is aggravated with Curley (on the right) and Larry (on the left) so to control them he sticks his finger up their noses. Larry seems to be confused and not sure what to do, Curley looks pretty angry, but also doesn’t know how to get out of this situation, this is one of those moments right before or right after a brawl where the three of them will be intertwined rolling around on the floor. The second image is a little corkier; their expressions are slightly hard to read because they are so exaggerated. As usual Curley is being punished for some stupid thing he most likely said or did and the other two are surrounding him with stern faces.

The Stooges played with serious issues in our history using humor, but also exaggerated the mundane life of the average person to create one of the greatest satirical skits known to man.


  1. I never really saw any of the Three Stooges episodes, but I am aware of their facial capabilities- pretty impressive. This is a good comparison to Dr. Strangelove- not only in the aspect of being in some cases filmed in black and ahite, but also in the sense that all the characters presented had a facial capacity to get emotion across to the viewer; which is an important part in any film- it allows those watching to understand what the actor/character is experiencing.

  2. I like how you were able to recognize how the actors are able to make themselves into caricatures. As well as their use of satire, irony and obviously comedy. It is nice to see how live action can still be understood and appreciated even without sound. I think today we take sound and inflections for granted and no longer pay enough attention to body language and expressions.