Friday, February 10, 2012
Ed here: I always quote my friend Max Collins whenever I talk about Shemp Howard. Shemp was the only one of the Stooges who seemed to be dimly aware that life should't be like this--he just didn't know what to do about it. Even when I was eight I sensed a certain melancholy in Shemp. He seemed overwhelmed by everything, the way a lot of the vets in our neighborhood just back from the big war did. Mo and Larry just punched it out like machines; hilarious machines but machines nonethless. Shemp is my favorite Stooge; he was also the only one who had an independent successful movie career. Here's a great website: Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict.
THE LITTLE STOOGE WHO COULD
The third of five Howard brothers, Shemp was born Samuel Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York in 1895. His unusual moniker “Shemp” came when his mother couldn’t yell “Sam” in her thick Lithuanian accent, and instead it came out as “Shemp,” so that’s just what everybody called him. Now during his early days Shemp had no ambitions to be in show business. However, that wasn’t true for his younger brother Moe, who wanted nothing more then to enter vaudeville. As a result of his desire, Moe was continuously coming up with new dance hall acts and recruiting Shemp as his partner. Moe was a natural on stage, but Shemp was just along for the ride in an attempt not to let his younger brother down. However, after dropping out of both high school and failing at being a plumber, not to mention a discharge from the army after it was discovered that he was a bed wetter, which saved him from the trenches of WWI, Shemp really had nothing else left to do. As a result, by 1917 Shemp and Moe were working the vaudeville circuit as part of a blackface act but by 1921 the act broke up when Moe joined comedian Ted Healey as part of his roughhouse act. As Ted Healy and his Stooge, Ted and Moe became a popular vaudeville act, and the foundations of The Three Stooges began.
Ted Healy and his Stooges - Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Shemp Howard and Ted Healey
It was in 1922, when Shemp went to one of Ted and Moe’s performances that Moe saw his older brother sitting in the audience and started to yell insults at him from the stage. Shemp, in total sync to his brother’s sense of humor, got out of the audience and jumped on stage and he, Moe and Ted improvised the rest of the act together. The result was a roaring success and after the performance Ted Healey asked Shemp to join the act. At first Shemp was reluctant to join Healey and Moe, especially as a result of the protests of his mother. Jennie Howard was against any of her sons being in show business, and having already lost Moe to vaudeville and with youngest brother Jerome (aka Curly) following in Moe’s footsteps, she didn’t want to lose Shemp to show business as well. She had far bigger aspirations for her boys then to just be Stooges. However, when Ted Healey, who was always a con man, gave a hundred dollars to the synagogue the Howard’s attended, Jennie reluctantly agreed. Thus Shemp became the second Stooge. Three years later, in 1925, a third Stooge, violinist Larry Fine, joined the act and the four were finally christened Ted Healy and his Three Stooges.
for the rest go here: http://popcultureaddict.com/movies-2/shemp-htm/