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Apostate

This woman loves the Stooges. Probably because I'm easily amused and find slapstick thigh-slappingly hilarious.

Leo Leahy

Good post. I also was a devotee of the Three Stooges and seem to remember that the credits to at least some of the Stooges episodes carried a National Recovery Administration "Blue Eagle" logo, with the motto, "We do our part," which indicated adherence to New Deal fair labor standards. The Supreme Court overturned the National Industrial Recovery Act, which authorized the NRA, in 1935, because it delegated too many powers to the president, but many of its labor provisions were codified in the Wagner Act of 1935.

According to Wikipedia, the Philadelphia NFL franchise was named "The Eagles" in 1933 in recognition of the New Deal NRA symbol.

actor212

Interesting. I hadn't thought of the Stooges as a mirror of the Great Depression, but your post makes sense, and then considering how people flocked to movie theatres to escape the Depression, their antics make even more sense now.

Indeed, the entire oeuvre is more a mirror than I thought: the Stooges weren't the Stooges because they did what was familiar to them. Often, they were thrown into situations where they were totally out of their league, and forced to deal with it.

Like most people during the Great Depression, dealing with the unthinkable: losing everything.

Like now.

By contrast, the Honeymooners (another of those early morning TV shows, Lance) was about a normal man in a normal life fighting to get out of that life, the Stooges were about normal (if cartoonish) men getting out of abnormal situations.

Uncle Merlin

Interesting comparison actor212! I have always enjoyed both the Marx Bros. and the Stooges.

I was aware that they did reflect a very hard time as my Mom had started very early telling me all about it and how she and her widowed Mom got through it. She told me she wanted me to understand what life was like because she felt the suburbs were we lived in the 50's & 60's were artificial to her, and she couldn't raise me without the truth the way she experienced it.
Mom hated the Stooges too, the "violent" slap stick, she really liked the Marx Brothers. Which I found odd since she really liked "Laurel & Hardy" and "Buster Keaton" & "Harold Lloyd" and they all dabbled in dangerous slap stick. I guess she saw it that they all were the victims of the slapstick of their situation,ie: Harold Lloyd being flung out onto a flagpole at 14 stories swaying over the sidewalk below, but the Stooges inflicted slapstick onto each other.

But if you look at the Marx Bros. vs the Stooges there is a difference of setting, the Marx Bros were always in a Fancy Hotel, or at a Ball or Nightclub, always rubbing elbows with the "Rich" like Elsa Maxwell, never shuffling down a street in old rags looking for work. The Marx humor was escapist it was set to draw you away from the depression, and now that you point it out Lance the Stooges weren't escapist at all, they used the horror of the depression as their backdrop.

Lance did your Mom allow you to play with cap guns and water pistols?


EmployeeoftheMonth

I also loved watching the Three Stooges. What I also watched and which had a more upsetting effect on me was "The Little Rascals". It was also a view of America during the 1930s, but I think a harsher, crueler portrayal of the realities of the Depression due to the cruelties and difficulties fell squarely in the laps of kids. Kids, the same age as me watching them 35 years later. There were cruel, Dickensian orphanages, mistreated single mothers, rich kid bullies as the kids were forever outside the bakery, restaurant, etc. looking in to what was denied them and always out of reach.

R

I'd be willing to watch them in this mode, but not as entertainment.

I don't think it's because I'm female, though. I think it's because I was the kind of kid who disliked the Cat in the Hat, and Sam I Am, and for much the same reasons. They were selfish jerks. (Though the Stooges' victims, at least, tended to be jerks too.)

actor212

But if you look at the Marx Bros. vs the Stooges there is a difference of setting, the Marx Bros were always in a Fancy Hotel, or at a Ball or Nightclub, always rubbing elbows with the "Rich" like Elsa Maxwell, never shuffling down a street in old rags looking for work.

Well, they did (Monkey Business & Room Service come to mind), but usually as a motivation to con someone.

Kathleen Maher

Original defense, Lance. The Stooges with dignity: I never would have thunk it.

Mixter

Another Stooges-loving woman here. And, I never thought about the Stooges in this fashion, but golly, you're right on the money! Excellent post.

Mixter

Lance

Thank you, Mixter, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I've always suspected that there are women who appreciate the Stooges, but you're rare birds. The blonde's long dormant hatred of them was revived by this post. Naturally, of course, now I want to show the Mannion boys my favorite Stooges shorts.

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