Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

The St. Louis Stooge 

St. Louis' own Joe Besser saved the Three Stooges. In 1955, third stooge Shemp Howard (who himself had replaced the ailing Curly) had suddenly died of a heart attack and the Three Stooges were once again in crisis. Moe had considered rebooting the series as "The Two Stooges," but Columbia Pictures had another comedian under contract in their short-subject department, and so Joe Besser came aboard for the final sixteen Stooges shorts. (Besser's replacement, Curly Joe DeRita, never made a film short, appearing only in feature-length films, TV shows and cartoons.) Though Joe's contribution has never been held in the same regard as the Stooges he replaced, his prissy persona and catchphrase "Not so haaarrrd!" brought a new dynamic to the team, and his tenure with the Stooges is ripe for re-evaluation. Today from 1 to 4 p.m. members of Besser's family and other fans join together at the AMC Esquire 7 Theater (6706 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights; 314-781-3806) for The Joe Besser Film Festival. The fest includes a selection of Joe's pre-Stooges Columbia shorts, highlights from his Abbott and Costello and Joey Bishop Show TV appearances and the creme de le creme of his work with the Stooges, including the last short the Three Stooges filmed, "Flying Saucer Daffy," which Joe cited as his personal favorite. Admission is $10.
Sun., June 9, 2013

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Related Locations

Latest in Night & Day

More by Mark Fischer

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation