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The Three Stooges: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Most Popular Comedy Team of All Time Paperback – November, 2004

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There have been funnier but no more durable comedy teams than the Three Stooges. They had to be durable to survive all the slapping, eye-gouging, and head-butting they inflicted on each other during their 50-year career. The Forrester brothers' fifth Stooges book traces the trio from vaudeville days with comedian Ted Healy, through the 200-plus movies that were instrumental to the survival of their studio (Columbia), to the sad spectacle of survivors of more than one version of the trio continuing the raucous act in their seventies. The justification for the book is "never-before-revealed facts" about such peripheral matters as Healy's death long after he and the Stooges had parted, and the possibility that the strokes that killed Curly and Moe Howard may have been the ultimate results of their comical violence. Its picture-on-every-page illustration policy also recommends the book. Stoogeless libraries, in particular, could soit'nly do worse than add this book. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


A marvelous book! It captures the essence of the Stooges so well ... with revealing information and research ... it's just magnificent! -- GARY OWENS (The Music For Your Life Radio Network)

I could not put this thing down! It's just incredible! I guarantee you'll enjoy it. Get this book! -- Marc Bailey, XETV-TV / Fox Television

Insightful and packed with amazing information. This is a treasure-trove of history, plotlines, biographies, dirty secrets, and rare photos. -- JAMES COX (The Midwest Book Review)

It could have been the O.J. Simpson story of its day ... but only recently did it surface in print! -- Jim Mueller, The Chicago Tribune

It isn't just funny stuff ... there's a lot of tragedy here. If you're into the Stooges, this is for you! -- PAUL BARSKY (Greater Media Radio)

The Forresters have done it again! This book is phenomenal, comprehensive and worth anyone's attention ... quality, insight and excellence. Bravo! -- VICTORIA ZIELINSKI (VH1/MTV Networks)

This is the first Three Stooges book that gives you both the sizzle and the steak. -- Gary Deeb, Gannett Television

What a great book! I picked it up and could not put it down! I love this book! -- MANCOW MULLER (Free Speech Radio Network)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Donaldson Books; First Edition edition (November 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971580103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971580107
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,628,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joel L. Gandelman VINE VOICE on May 1, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some say there were funnier comedy teams than The Three Stooges but the comedy team many women love to hate is undisputedly the most successful comedy team in movie
history. Their films STILL pack `em in at revivals, Stooge conventions brim with Curly imitators and each year yet more books are published on America's favorite knuckleheads (American's LEAST favorite knuckleheads can be found in Congress).
But the question is: with ALL of the countless hours on t.v. devoted to the Stooges, ALL of the videos and DVDs on them, ALL of the books and documentaries can you learn anything NEW from a book -- especially if the book was penned by writers who
wrote four other books on Stooges?

The answer is a RESOUNDING YES.

This is the DEFINITIVE The Three Stooges book, chock full of fascinating NEW INFORMATION on their lives, personalities, and even the "unknown" stage Stooges who performed into the 70s. As if that isn't enough, the authors convincingly suggest that rough-stuff comedy contributed to at least three of the Stooges' strokes, and that the Stooges' vaudevillian creator Ted Healy may have been beaten to death by a Hollywood star and a gangland bigwig.
Stooges fans will go nuts (as if they aren't already) over the superb collection of photos and illustrations, many of them never before published. Plus, this account brims with great new candid quotes from the Stooges and their associates.
And, unlike some other Stooges books, this one is a ABSOLUTE MUST addition to the library of ANYONE interested comedy and comedy history -- since gives the best account yet of the step-by-step evolution of the Stooges' comedy.
There are countless new facts, twists, and explanations in this book. Here are just a few of the new revelations I learned.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Eder on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wrote this years ago when it came out. I haven't changed a word.
I grew up with the Stooges; they made some difficult times in my life much easier. Laughter is truly a gift and Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, Joe, and Curly Joe have been making people laugh for over 80 years. Yet, they are falling victim to a media that is sensationalized. The Three Stooges were certainly not infallible human beings, but as all who met or corresponded with them know, they were truly a group of six nice people. Now many years after they are dead new biographies and TV movies claim inaccurate, exaggerated and often false views of the boy's private lives. The latest offender is Jeff and Tom Forrester's new book "The Three Stooges". Let's look at this book in detail.

First I will say that I think the book has one merit, I feel it helps clear up how many Stooges Ted Healy had and what year they worked with him. It may also have the most detail on his odd death, and for once has testimony to back it up. It also shows that Larry, Moe and Shemp (probably) did not work together until 1929. Another thing that should be good are the photos, and they are. However, with approximately four pictures of corpses in this book you can sense that the book is in bad taste. Another problem about the pictures are the captions often making sensationalized claims that are not proved by one testimony or shred of evidence.

The Stooges have never had a book (with the exception of Besser and Larry's respective autobiographies) that is heavy on text as opposed to pictures. Thus, no book has had much of an index or had chapter notes. However, until now, no claims were made that seemed hard to prove or out of character.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dana Thompson on February 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read every book available about The Three Stooges, and this is by far the best ever written on the subject. Fascinating, captivating, sometimes-shocking, and extremely well-researched text describes not only what it was like to be in on the inception of the team with Ted Healy in vaudeville, but also addresses Healy's untimely death/murder, the team's rocky road to solo success in radio and film, and eventual meteoric rise to super stardom in television and contemporary home entertainment. I was also amazed to discover that there were 18 different men to play the role of one of the "Three" Stooges throughout the team's lengthy career in showbusiness (most fans think there were only 6). This is also the most lavishly illustrated Stooge book ever, jammed-packed with rare photos of the Stooges both in and out of character, as well as posters, programs and newspaper clippings from throughout the team's entire career. I ordered my copy at, where the book comes autographed by the authors (Stooge historians Jeff Forrester and Tom Forrester), editor Joe Wallison, and 92-year-old surviving vaudeville Stooge, Mousie Garner. If you're a Stooge fan, you can also visit the website and get your name printed in the book's Fandom Honor Roll section like I did. This is the fifth Stooge book by the Forrester Brothers, and it is by far the best in the series. I strongly recommend this book to any Stooge fan, as well as anyone interested in Hollywood history and comedy in general.
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