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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stoogiologist Cautiously Watches ‘Three Stooges’ Revival

From left, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, and Sean Hayes in a scene from "The Three Stooges." (AP /20th Century Fox, Peter Iovino)

On Friday, the film the Farrelly brothers say they’ve been waiting their whole lives to make hits the theatres.

The “Three Stooges,” brings back the trio of numbskulls who delighted generations of fans with their brand of extreme slapstick.

In it, our hapless heroes try to save their childhood orphanage — and inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and onto the reality TV show “Jersey Shore.” Which means they get to say “Joisey.” Ba dum bum.

But fans are divided about the new film, according to Gary Lassin, chief Stoogiologist, President of the Three Stooges Fan Club and curator of the world’s only Three Stooges museum, The Stoogeum, in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

Potty Humor Has Some Fans Cringing

“When the Stooges made their films they were geared for audiences of all ages [not] teenage boys with toilet humor,”

– Stoogiologist Gary Lassin

“About half the hardcore fans think this is just blasphemy that they’d even try to make a film like this, the other half are very excited about the prospect of the film coming out tomorrow,” he said.

Lassin says it’s the prevalence of potty humor in the new movie that has some fans worried.

“When the Stooges made their films back in the 30s and 40s, they were geared for audiences of all ages and they weren’t targeting teenage boys with toilet humor,” he said. “So that is one of the concerns of the fans.”

If Anyone Can Do It, The Farrelly Brothers Will

However, Lassin has confidence in the Farrelly brothers.

“As skeptical as many people are about this film, if anyone could pull it off it would be the Farrelly brothers. Their heart is in the right place, they really are true Stooges fans,” he said.

But he adds that the goal they’ve set out to complete is nearly impossible.

From left, Larry Fine, Curly Howard and Moe Howard are shown in a scene from a "The Three Stooges." (AP/Columbia Pictures)

“The task is very difficult to try to recreate the aura and the feeling of films that were made in a much more innocent time, 70 and 80 years ago,” he said.

What Is Stoogiology? 

Lassin says that at the Stoogeum where he works, “We study anything and everything Stooge,” from what other movies the actors made, to who the actors were behind the scenes.

Lassin said that he sees value in studying the Stooges because their work went beyond the slapstick humor.

“Most people when they think of the Stooges they think of the physical comedy… But if you take another look at the films, you’ll see that there was really a lot more going on– they were making some social commentary, there was a lot of clever wordplay,” he said.

Guest:

  • Gary Lassin, curator of the world’s first and only Three Stooges museum, The Stoogeum, in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

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