My dad’s love of ‘The Three Stooges’

Yesterday was a dreary, rainy day, so I put on my ‘Three Stooges’ hoodie as I headed to work. It was the first time I’d worn it to work since I had received that fateful phone call from mom during the middle of my shift, telling me through tears that my father had died. So I couldn’t help but think about dad and how “The Three Stooges” was another bonding moment for us, much like those college bowl games were, but this bond was deeper and longer-lasting.

Every Sunday afternoon, “The Three Stooges” would air shorts for an hour on a local network affiliate in L.A. It just so happened that it was the time my dad would sit down for a cup of coffee before heading out to church. I don’t remember how it started, all I remember is that for years, watching “The Three Stooges” together was a Sunday ritual that had more meaning to me than any church service.

As a kid, I enjoyed the zany hijinks of Moe, Larry and Curly. They are like children who never grew up. For dad, they held a key to a bittersweet time in his childhood. Having been born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he was subjected to the aerial bombings delivered by the Nazis before he was a teenager. He remembered running to the bomb shelter with his family. And in between the fear of another bombing and the fear of another lashing across the hands from the ruler in Sister Mary’s iron fist, he and his school pals would escape their miserable childhood by going to the movie theatre. There, they would watch all of the movies that we consider American classics today. But each film would start with a ‘Three Stooges’ short, and I think that may have been the kids’ favorite part.

My love of the Stooges has not dissipated as I have become an adult, if anything, I appreciate their comedic talent more than ever. I’ve been watching the shorts over the past couple of months, as dad declined and passed away, and they offered me much needed levity and made me feel close to my father. Maybe dad is enjoying a few good “nyuk, nyuk, nyuks” and pies to the face with the Stooges wherever he is now.

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10 Comments

Filed under Memories

10 responses to “My dad’s love of ‘The Three Stooges’

  1. Hello, I thought I would let you know I too love The Three Stooges, along with the Marx Brothers, their crazy movie Duck Soup being one of my all time favourites. Somehow it feels like this connects us on our journeys, and my soul can actually feel the pain of the loss of your dear dad. Writing this blog must be very healing for you, although very painful at times. You honour both yourself and your family, but most of all your father by committing to this project, and I truly salute you. Go gently.

  2. Thank you for the kind reply Kate! This project is indeed a form of therapy for me.

  3. Keep up the great work! Your Dad I’m sure is very proud of what you are doing.

  4. Pingback: Dad loses his job, but doesn’t tell us | The Memories Project

  5. Steve Rosenberg

    No offense…but I have 4 sons…and when I hit the road, I hope they have a lot more than just the 3 Stooges and shared ‘yuk yuks’ that they will think of when they reminice about me. Our talks, our shared time as a family celebrating holidays or good times, huggin them and rough-housing on the floor or the couch, teaching them to drive or how to improve on the delivery of a joke, or just following through with something I said I’d do as a father…these are the things I hope they will remember. Steve

  6. I think memories can be wonderful. I have so many memories stored in my memory bank. Life is so short and loosing a loved one can be so sad,but hang on to those memories for as long as you can. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks Beatrix, you are right, memories are very special and can help us heal after losing a loved one.

  8. The Sunday ritual of laughing and enjoying just “being” with each other (and the Stooges) is clearly more valuable than a church service. Can you recall the church service that day or if it had an impact on your life? Laughter is awesome medicine, communing with your family is priceless. When I go, I’ve asked everyone to throw a big party, laugh their arses off at all the nonsense I’ve said and done, the goofiness I’ve always had, and have a fun time at my expense! Go Stooges!

  9. I agree, seapunk2. The simple moments with our loved ones sometimes end up being the most important moments. Thanks for commenting!

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