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Stooges Forever!

51l5qglmdrl_ss500_Back when he was still funny, Jay Leno used to observe that there was one essential difference between men and women: men love the Three Stooges, and women think they’re idiots.

Anyway, all of us idiots who love the Stooges are in heaven this week with the DVD release of The Three Stooges Collection: Years 1-3. If you’re a Stooges fan, you’ve probably already bought some of the previous haphazard collections, each tape or disk featuring a paltry few shorts seemingly selected at random (often with one Curly and two Shemps).

With this collection, they finally got it right.

The series plans to present all 190 of the Stooges shorts, made between 1934 and 1958, in chronological order. They’re reasonably priced (this two-disk set, running nearly six hours, retails for $24.95, so you should be able to find it for less than $20 without too much looking.) And they’ve all been remastered, too, something these films have been in desperate need of for years. Whoo whoo whoo whoo whooooo!!!

You can’t explain funny. I just watched a few clips of Moe whacking Curly about the head and torso, with Larry fearfully trying to avoid being noticed (fat chance) and my only explanation for why it makes me laugh so much is the gleeful extremity of it. In Freudian terms, these guys were all id and no superego. The ridiculous sound effects help, of course. And there’s something to be said for predictability: sometimes when you know exactly what’s going to happen, it makes it even funnier.

You can see some clips yourself, and read a nice appreciation of the Stooges (including a visit with Moe’s daughter Joan) in the Washington Post. You gotta respect a piece written by a fan who proposed to his wife at a Three Stooges festival.

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