The Three Stooges in popular culture

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The Three Stooges' comedy routines have inspired generations of tributes in other media. The following information is a partial list of such tributes. Depending on the form of media used, there are direct and indirect references to the Three Stooges. Beginning with the Stooges themselves as the trio did make small guest appearances in movies or in small bumper clips for their cartoon series. Clips from the Stooges shorts are sometimes featured in the actual footage of a movie, TV show, or advertisement, or the line from the short Men in Black (1934 film), “Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard” is used. Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard (Or Curly Joe DeRita) appeared as cartoon versions of themselves.

The indirect references are harder to spot. These are the ones that fans of the shorts would instantly recognize, but another viewer not familiar with the series may not recognize. A careful viewing of all the original shorts reveals that each of the Stooges had their own signature haircut, catchphrase, and action. The easiest reference would be simply talking about the Stooges, or accusing another character of acting or reminding them of the Stooges.

Each Stooge had his own signature insult or catchphrase. While very rarely did any of the other Stooges insult Moe or injure him, Moe did come up with the most insults of the entire group. He frequently called Larry a porcupine. He used other insults such as mongoose, dope, hyena, applehead, soft-boiled egghead, grapehead, frizzletop, and birdbrain. While the catchphrases for each Stooges such as Moe's use of "Remind me to kill you later", Curly's with "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk or woo, woo, woo", Shemp Howard's noise babbling, and Joe Besser's "Not so hard!", are nearly always paired with the signature haircut of the same Stooge.

For their haircuts, Moe had a bowl cut, Larry was bald on the top of his head with his remaining hair frizzled out, Shemp had a more loose hairstyle (It frequently fell into his face), while Curly, Joe, and Curly-Joe were all bald. Characters may appear in groups of three, sporting the signature haircuts.

Each Stooge developed their own signature action and reaction. Moe would frequently eye-poke the others, to which they developed a signature hand block. He always slapped one of the others. Curly had a shuffle where he would spin on the floor. Larry played the violin. Joe would always give a soft punch to the arm while using his catchphrase. So characters may also act like the Stooges using their signature phrases and actions.

The hardest references to spot are the ones where only the names may be used such as a group of three being called Moe, Larry, and Curly. Places and buildings might have one of the Stooges names or the actors’ names. And perhaps the hardest of all, a character having a slight Stooge-like tone such as the elephant in Rabbit Fire.

Film[edit]

In the film list, the action varies depending on the scene. If the Stooges themselves were used, clips from their shorts were shown such as in Lethal Weapon and Flubber. However, in some cases, due to copyright demands of Columbia Pictures, most often these scenes are edited out or the scene only uses the voices and sounds from the clips. Several scenes use the famous line “Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard” from the 1934 short, Men in Black, which can be heard in the background. Most often characters would be seen acting like Curly such as barking at people, using both hands to repeatedly clean the face, or using his catchphrase of “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.”. Although the simplest reference used is when one character refers to another as the Three Stooges.

The Stooge antic that is most often used in movies is the eye-poke. This was the usual punishment Moe delivered to all the other Stooges. Usually, Moe would “hit” the target, but other times, they would use a hand-block to stop him. The hand block involves holding the hand perpendicular to the face, against the nose. The fingers are blocked from “poking” the eyes.

(A careful viewer of the shorts can see that Moe never really pokes anyone in the eyes. A combination of the face twitching, the head moving, and a loud noise, disguises the fact that Moe is actually hitting the eyebrows or forehead.)

Year Title Reference
1961 - 1968 Comedy Movies Russian comedians Yuri Nikulin, Georgy Vitsyn and Yevgeny Morgunov starred in several comedy films as the famous trio Trus (Coward), Balbes (Fool) & Byvalyj (Experienced)- which had a style somewhat analogous to that of The Three Stooges.
1978 Grease Three of the members of the T-Birds were goofing around with face slaps and eyepokes until Danny (John Travolta) tells them to settle down.
1980s The Evil Dead film series There are a number of Stooge-inspired moments, including the blood flowing in the basement in Evil Dead (an homage to the 1940 short A Plumbing We Will Go), the hero's fight with his own severed hand in Evil Dead II, and the fight with the skeleton hands and with the little Ashes in the third movie in the series Army of Darkness.
1981 Gas A gas station attendant who is being interviewed by a news reporter does his impression of Curly for the camera
1981 Stripes John Candy impersonates Curly during the mud wrestling match with the bikini-clad and nude women.
1984 This Is Spinal Tap The heavy metal rock band Spinal Tap replacement drummer is named Joe "Mama" Besser, a reference to Joe Besser's role as a replacement Stooge as well as the insult "Yo mama".
1985 Stoogemania The story of an obsessed Three Stooges fan. It includes clips of their classic Shorts.
1986 Short Circuit During John Badham's movie, the robot named Johnny 5, while watching television, sees the original Three Stooges in their first short for Columbia Pictures, Woman Haters, made in 1934 at Stephanie's (Ally Sheedy) house. He later reprograms three of the Nova Robots into a version of the Three Stooges, almost in their likeness. Johnny 5 even does Curly's "nyuk nyuk" laugh once in a while.
1987 Three Men and a Baby When they set up a trap for the drug dealers and two get caught, one of the drug dealers ask the two masked "parents" (Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg), "Do you know who we are!?" Tom responded sarcastically "Two thirds of The Three Stooges...", making Steve giggle and laugh, while leaving the room.
1987 Lethal Weapon series In the first film, when a drug buy goes bad, Mel Gibson's character Riggs does a Curly bit to distract the sellers, pulling his handgun and placing them under arrest. Later in the director's cut version of the film, Riggs is asked by a young prostitute, "What have you got in mind?", to which Riggs tells her "Well, I want you to come home and watch television with me." The prostitute responds, "You serious?", which Riggs replies "Yeah. 'The 3 Stooges' are on in 20 minutes."

In the sequel Lethal Weapon 2, Riggs does a version of "inny minny miny mo" where he changes the mo to "Hey Mo" in Curly style and shoots out the bad guys aquarium. Aside from this, there's also a scene in which Riggs flips through a few channels on TV and finds Three Missing Links playing (specifically the scene in which Moe dumps the bucket of water down the back of Curly's overalls). In Lethal Weapon 3, Rene Russo's character has The Three Stooges' video game on her computer, plus an extra scene in the director's cut has Riggs watching the Stooges episode Calling All Curs on TV (specifically the part where Curly literally "calls all curs" and they meet up in the dining hall).

1988 Scrooged When Frank Cross meets the Ghost of Christmas Present, she orders him to close his eyes. When he tries to peek, she attempts to eyepoke him, only to have Frank use a Stooges' hand block.
1993 Hocus Pocus Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) tends to bark at people, just like Curly.
1994 Pulp Fiction When Vincent takes Mia to Lance's house after she overdoses on heroin, Lance is watching The Three Stooges short Brideless Groom and Emil Sitka chants his famous line "Hold hands, you lovebirds."
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Dracula (played by late Stooge fan Leslie Nielsen) is finally defeated by the eyepoke.
1997 Conspiracy Theory Mel Gibson’s character, Jerry Fletcher, disguises himself in medical scrubs to elude capture. He introduces himself as "Dr. Fine".
1997 Flubber Weebo uses a scene from the Stooges' episode Sing a Song of Six Pants on her screen to make Weber be quiet while she's watching a soap on TV.
1998 There's Something About Mary In an homage to the Stooges, Ben Stiller tries to eye gouge the dog only to be blocked by his paw.
1999 Inspector Gadget "Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard" can be heard over the intercom in the hospital.
1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (DVD Version) There are three pit droids squabbling during the podrace; this is meant as homage to the Stooges.
1999 The Mummy Rick O'Connell uses Moe Howard’s eye-gouging gag on one of the revenant mummy swordsmen in the chambers underneath the statue of Anubis in Hamunaptra.

In the film's sequel, The Mummy Returns, Rick also uses the eye-gouging gag while fighting a mummy in a double-decker bus.

2002 Ice Age Sid imitates Curly's "Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk" twice when asleep.
2004 Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers Donald Duck gives Pete the eyepoke in the final fight.

Literature[edit]

In printed media the idea of Stooges can be very difficult to spot. Since most of the Stooges' traits were visual, the reader would have to be familiar with how the Stooges acted in their shorts, or details about the actors’ backgrounds in order to find the parody. The exception would be in comic books where the artist or author may leave an easy to spot reference.

Children's Literature[edit]

  • The youthful protagonists of the Captain Underpants series of books attend Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. The name Jerome Horwitz is both Curly Howard's real name, and the name of a famous scientist.

Comic Books[edit]

  • Flash comics (DC) in the '50s also included appearances by Wynken, Blynken and Nod, clearly modeled after the Stooges.
  • The independent comic book The Badger has three bad guys named the Chisums resembling and acting like Moe, Larry and Curly kidnap an award winning Bull from the main character to be able to sacrifice it and bring a demon to earth.
  • The independent comic book Cerebus contains an homage to the Stooges as the "Three Wise Fellows" in the graphic novel Latter Days. The three comically kidnap the main character, convinced that he is the messiah (meanwhile satirizing the Torah). While waiting for him to speak the "Word of Truth", they engage in hijinks such as clamping pliers on one another's noses over theological arguments.
  • In an issue of The Incredible Hulk, the grey Hulk was saving his alter-ego's wife Betty Banner from large robots unleashed by the Hulk's nemesis, the Leader. Witnessing the battle the Hulk's sidekick, Rick Jones, narrates the story throughout the issue and refers to the three robots as Moe, Larry, and Curly.
  • In the Marvel Comics Power Pack issues #21 and #46, two culprits are featured who are named (and whose appearances are patterned) after Moe and Larry of the Three Stooges.[1]
  • In the The Sensational She-Hulk issue #5, Jennifer Walters is watching TV and came upon a short in homage to the Stooges renamed "The Three Amusing Fellows" where characters Moe and Curly were constructing a house and Moe scolds Curly for leaving on a chainsaw. Curly suggests Moe not to get too excited and recommends he let him have the chainsaw. Moe replies, "I'll let you have it, alright!" and saws Curly on the top of the head. In the next panel Jennifer was horrified to see blood and brains being scattered across the TV, when she knows that is not how it happens when she saw the short before. The cause of this was done by the evil scientist Doctor Bong.
  • The Stooges themselves appeared in their own short-lived comic book series.

Humor[edit]

  • In the book Garfield: His 9 Lives, it is shown in Garfield's fourth life, he was a Moe-type character that led a group of mouse exterminators who resembled Larry and Curly. The exterminators were similar to the Stooges for their hair-styles, their slapstick ways of hurting each other, and their clumsiness of certain jobs.

Magazines[edit]

  • In an issue of Crazy Magazine, a parody of Quest for Fire retitled "Quest For Third Degree Burns", the three main characters on the quest were renamed Moe, Larry, and Curly.

Novels[edit]

  • In Louis Sachar's children's novel The Boy Who Lost His Face, a group of three children (one of which is a girl called "Mo") is nicknamed after the Stooges.
  • In David Brin's novel The Uplift War, an ambassador of the Tymbrini (an alien race with a pronounced sense of humor) considers the Stooges among humanity's finest philosophers.

Music[edit]

Music can be just as difficult to determine the parody to the Stooges as print media. With the exception of Jump 'N the Saddle Band's The Curly Shuffle, or if the video to the song shows a clip from one of the shorts such as I Love This Bar by artist Toby Keith, the listener would have to be familiar with how the Stooges looked and acted in their shorts. The lyrics may refer to someone acting like / admiring the Three Stooges, refer to their names, hairstyles, or pre-Columbia work. The simplest reference can come from when a group names their band after trio such as the group The Stooges.

The Curly Shuffle was a direct homage and featured clips from 26 of the Curly-era Three Stooges shorts. Including An Ache in Every Stake, A Bird in the Head, Calling All Curs, Punch Drunks, No Census, No Feeling, and A Plumbing We Will Go. Each lyric sang the praises of the Stooges and included imitations of some of their famous lines such as Oh, wiseguy? and Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. All of the Stooges with the exception of Joe (Curly-Joe’s image is used) are talked about in the lyrics.

Some songs such as The Haircut Song by Ray Stevens, Timbuk3’s Hairstyles and Attitudes, and Modern Band’s Moe reference the Stooges unique hairstyles, while others like Meat Loaf’s Everything Louder Than Everything Else, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies' Sockable Face Club, Frank Black’s Two Reelers, and Chris Brown’s Look At Me Now contain small references to the trio. The 1934 short Men in Black, provides the line Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard. The names or the actual voice/line is used as part of song/video such as in the background of the video to "Weird Al" Yankovic’s Like a Surgeon, or the title of a song on album Boppin’ the Blues by NRBQ.

Some artists go further in their references. The Canadian rock group Rush used the Stooges' television series theme music, a derivative of Three Blind Mice, as introductory music during their album Signals through Hold Your Fire Tours, and again for the Vapor Trails Tour. A picture of the Stooges and their names are included in the band's album Counterparts liner notes, and are included in the "assistance, inspiration, comic relief" listing.[2]


Song Artist Reference
The Chanukah Song Adam Sandler In this version of this song a line states: "Some people say that Ebenezer Scrooge is [Jewish] / He's not, but guess who is? All Three Stooges!"
The Curly Shuffle Jump 'N the Saddle Band The entire 1984 song expressed admiration for the Stooges and included several Curly imitations in the chorus.
Everything Louder Than Everything Else Meat Loaf  A line proclaims "The three men I admire most are Curly, Larry, Moe!"
The Haircut Song Ray Stevens The chorus warns, "You may look like Larry, Moe or Curly if a stranger cuts your hair."
Hairstyles and Attitudes Timbuk3 The song describes scientific research which "categorize[s] us into three basic types based on which of the Three Stooges we most closely resemble."
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard NRBQ The eclectic group recorded the instrumental song with Carl Perkins on their second LP, Boppin' the Blues in 1970 as an homage to the Stooges' famous hospital routine.
I Love This Bar Toby Keith The music video for the song features a scene where he is at a drive-in movie watching a Three Stooges clip, much to the dismay of his girlfriend.
Like a Surgeon "Weird Al" Yankovic In the music video the line "calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard" can be heard in the background.
Look At Me Now Chris Brown In the 2011 hip-hop single Lil Wayne makes a small reference to the Stooges in the 3rd verse, rapping "I'm a nuisance I go stupid / I go dumb like The Three Stooges."
Moe Modern Man (Band) / Modern Man The folk trio perform the song written by pianist/singer George Wurzbach, about a boy whose father looks like Moe Howard.
Sockable Face Club Cherry Poppin' Daddies The ska punk band the, the narrator, engaged in a bar fight, proclaims "I learned from Larry, Moe and Curly not to take no guff".
Two Reelers Frank Black The 1994 Song, tells the story of the four "original" Stooges and producer/director Jules White, and protests the dismissal of the Three Stooges as mere lowbrow slapstick: "If all you see is violence/Well then I make a plea in their defense/Don't you know they speak vaudevillian?"

Television[edit]

Advertisements[edit]

  • MasterCard, using its 'Priceless' themed ads, used the Stooges in one commercial. Various pieces of the shorts that show of Moe, Larry, and Curly injuring each other are shown.

Animation[edit]

With animation, the creators can be very liberal when it comes to having characters looking like the Stooges. The easiest way to spot the look-a-likes is through the hair. Very often a set of three characters (despite race, type, or even gender) will have the traditional haircuts of Moe, Larry, and Curly. Animators may combine this with Stooge antics such as eye-pokes, slaps, insults, phrases, and head-bops. If Stooge antics aren’t used, the personalities will be according to the hairstyle. If a character has Moe’s haircut, they are usually the boss of the group, where as the one with Larry and Curly’s hairstyles would act closer to a combination of the other Stooges.

Cartoon Episode Reference
Animaniacs Series The Warner brothers and sister, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, often do the musical "hello-hello-hello" routine when they enter a scene.
Batman: The Animated Series Series During an episode, villain Doctor Milo and two accomplices happen to resemble The Three Stooges.
Beany and Cecil Series In an episode of the 1960s cult cartoon, the lead characters set out to capture "The Dreaded Three-Headed Threep", a monster whose three heads resemble the Stooges.
Bugs Bunny Rabbit Fire An elephant, with a voice similar to Joe Besser, tells Elmer Fudd when he threatens to hunt elephants, "You do and I'll give you SUCH a pinch!".
Captain N: The Game Master Wishful Thinking At the end of the episode Kid Icarus wishes that "Mother Brain and her stooges would go away." The Genie grants him his wish, giving Mother Brain Moe's haircut, with Eggplant Wizard and King Hippo getting Larry and Curly's hair. They refer to her has Mother Moe, while she uses the Stooges' line, "Oh, a wise guy, eh?".
Ed, Edd n Eddy Series The characters Ed, Edd, and Eddy seem to hold similar personality traits to Moe, Curly, and Larry.
Family Guy Series During an episode, the main character Peter is shown an anti-abortion video, which claims abortion took the life a potential "4th Stooge", who says "It was gonna be hilarious!"
The Flintstones The Most Beautiful Baby in Bedrock Rival campaigners Fred and Barney call on a trio of men to get their votes. Each of the trio has Stooge-like haircuts and engage in some stooge-like slapstick.
Futurama Series Doctor Zoidberg, from the animated series, makes Curly's trademark "whooping" sound when "evading enemies" (sometimes after squirting ink), and sometimes makes Shemp's trademark "Heep, heep, heep" sound when frustrated.
Garfield Legend of the Lake Three of the cavecats bear a striking resemblance to the Three Stooges.
Garfield and Friends Robodie II Garfield himself points out that Dr. Garbanzo Bean has a Three Stooges haircut.
Disney's Gargoyles Turf Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington (commonly known as "the Trio") are fighting over a female gargoyle, Angela. While Lex and Broadway argue, Brooklyn steps between them, pushes them apart and says "Knock it off, muttonheads!"
Gosei Sentai Dairanger Series There are recurring characters called the San Baka Goma, or the Three Gorma Stooges.
Merrie Melodies Hollywood Steps Out Directed by Tex Avery, The Three Stooges appear in animated form, hitting and punching each other on the beat of the music.
Jabberjaw Series Created by Hanna-Barbera, the title character has some of Curly's mannerisms, including the "nyuk nyuk nyuk" laugh, and the "woob woob woob" vocalization. He was voiced by Frank Welker, who would later go on to voice Curly in The Robonic Stooges.
Jackie Chan Adventures Sheep In, Sheep Out When Daolon Wong sends the Shadowkhan after Jackie, Jade, and Uncle, Jade says, "Larry, Moe, and Curly must be on vacation!" Also, in the episode "Rumble in the Big House", Jade points to Finn, Chow, and Ratso and says, "Look! The Three Stooges!", implying that the enforcers remind Jade of The Three Stooges.
King of the Hill A-Fire Fighting We Will Go This one contains several references to the Stooges. The title is a play on the Stooges short, A Plumbing We Will Go.
Little Rascals Series The Baby Face gang resembles the Three Stooges.
Muppet Babies Good, Clean Fun Fozzie explains how to be prepare for a pie fight. Clips from the Three Stooges episode, Slippery Silks, appear and Fozzie gets into a pie fight with the Three Stooges and asks: "How did those guys get into Nanny's kitchen anyway?"
Neon Genesis Evangelion Series During the English version of the anime series, the three characters Shinji Ikari, Toji Suzuhara, and Kensuke Aida are collectively referred to as 'the three stooges' on several occasions.
The New Batman/Superman Adventures Series The Joker has three henchmen named Mo, Lar, and Cur. Mo has the black bowl cut, Lar has the ring of brown hair, and Cur is bald.
One Piece Series Buggy's crew members The Tightrope Walking Funan Bros resemble the stooges.
Pinky and the Brain Pinky & The Brain And... Larry Pinky and The Brain are inexplicably joined by a third wheel Larry in their plan to get into the White House posing as wallpapers, whose unwelcome addition to the team causes Stooge-style antics to ensue.
Pokémon Series Characters of the series, in the English dubbed versions, have made occasional references to the Stooges. In the episode, "The Flame Pokémon-athon!", Misty and Meowth, and Jessie mention the trio in a heated argument.
Porky Pig Wholly Smoke In the 1938, three cigars resembling the Three Stooges rise out of a cigar box and each one gives him an eyepoke.
Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" The Altruists Largely a homage to the Stooges, a fact that creator John Kricfalusi confirms on the DVD release of the episode, which was an attempt to recreate the altruistic nature of the Stooges, and takes several comical cues from classic Stooges episodes. Other homages in the episode include a version of "Three Blind Mice" being played prior to the cartoon, as well as borrowed plot elements and gags. Stimpy's voice has always been an impression of Larry Fine's Stooge character, and Ren acts like Moe's.
Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers Movie The Boo Brothers are obvious parodies of The Three Stooges.
The Simpsons Series There have been frequent references to the Stooges.
Spider-Man animated series Series Spider-Man refers to the Insidious Six as "the six stooges".
South Park Hell on Earth 2006 There is a recurring parody of the Stooges, featuring Ted Bundy in the role of Moe, Jeffrey Dahmer in the role of Larry, and John Wayne Gacy as Curly.
SpongeBob SquarePants Series In the opening sequence of the SpongeBob SquarePants television series, SpongeBob uses his nose to play the same end-notes that are used in the opening of the Stooge shorts. During one episode, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Sponge Who Could Fly, SpongeBob receives an insulting phone-call from a "fan" of his attempts at flying. On questioning the name of the caller, SpongeBob asks "Jo Mama?".
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Series In this anime, the three Zentradi spies Roli, Konda, and Warera resemble The Three Stooges somewhat in personality and facial appearance, albeit different hairstyles. Their fish out of water adventures as spies aboard the Human SDF-1 Macross spaceship contribute to comic relief moments in the show. Later they defect to the human's side. Warera is heavyset like Curly and subject to the most visually comical moments. When Macross was adapted as the first part of Robotech, the three were renamed the Zentraedi spies Rico, Konda, and Bron. Rico (considered the leader of the trio) has a voice that resembles Moe Howard in his later years. In the Robtech Novel, Zentraedi Rebellion, Lazlo Zand nicknames them the Three Alien Stooges.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series In the first episode, Donatello says "Nyuk Nyuk" three times. In the third season 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series episode "Blast From the Past", Splinter proves he is the true leader of the Foot Clan by defeating Shredder with the Cur-Li Maneuver, a combination of Stooges slapstick attacks and sound effects. In the first-season episode "New York's Shiniest", Donatello's attempt to reprogram one of the evil robots created by Shredder, by using his video collection, results in the robot uttering "Hey Moe, woo-woo-woo!" at one point, much like Curly.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Champion or Chazz-been Reggie guesses that Chazz's facedown card involves the Ojamas, and when Chazz asks why, Reggie replies with "You built your entire deck around The Three Stooges!" as one of his ways of making fun of the Ojama cards throughout the duel. Chazz later refers to the Ojamas as the Stooges when they keep bugging him in the episode, I've Seen the Light. Numerous other references to the Ojamas as The Three Stooges are made throughout the second season, sometimes by Chazz himself.

Comedy[edit]

Series Episode Reference
MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch Series An episode featured the Stooges being brought to the present age via a time travel using a time machine invented by Stone Cold Steve Austin to battle The Three Tenors. The Three Stooges (or, to be more specific, Curly) won.
Cheers What's Up, Doc? Sam is distressed when a female doctor tells him that all he cares about is sex. Rebecca reminds him of his adoration of the Three Stooges. When Sam realizes he has an interest that has nothing to do with sex, he cheers up.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Series Will, Hilary and Carlton are fighting about who should first have access to a car. Hilary suggests that they play rock-paper-scissors. Will replies, "No, let's play the Three Stooges." He then raises his hand, points two fingers and says, "Hey, Moe!"
Fridays Series In a sketch for the short-lived ABC comedy show, the Stooges are depicted smoking an "atomic bonger". This sketch aired only once due to objections from Moe's family.
Friends Series In one of the sets for the series, Joey's and Chandler's apartment have small statues of all Three Stooges.
Full House It's Not My Job In the opening scene, Danny, Jesse and Joey dress up as the Three Stooges and sing "hello" in sequence the way the Stooges did.
Hannah Montana Me and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas Miley says "I am not about to let Larry, Curly and Moe-bro waltz in and steal him (Billy Ray Cyrus) away".
Home Improvement Series Brad, Randy and Mark all dress up as Moe, at a Halloween party.
MADtv Series In one sketch, the Three Stooges are spoofed as paid assassins along with David Faustino as person they had to kill in a parody of the movie Menace II Society. The sketch featured Orlando Jones as Curly, Debra Wilson as Larry, and Phil LaMarr as Moe.
M*A*S*H Back Pay Major Winchester is disgruntled when Colonel Potter orders him to show three South Korean doctors around the compound. During the tour of the O.R., Winchester calls the three Korean doctors Larry, Curly, and Moe. When one of them asks why he calls them that, Winchester answers that in his country, they were highly respected philosophers. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that the Koreans knew of the Three Stooges all along.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey Series During an episode, Adam clinks Windsor and Slips' heads together, as Slips says one of Curly's catchphrases, "Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk", and is followed by Windsor saying, "Hey Moe, what'd I do?" referring to Moe and Curly having an argument.
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Class Clown Lumer and his two bully friends auditioning to be the new class clown by performing a Three Stooges fight with each other.
Roseanne Series In a Halloween episode, Dan dresses up with a mask that has two of the Stooges' heads beside his own.
Rules of Engagement Mr. Fix It The Three Stooges were mentioned by Jeff (Patrick Warburton) in the episode.
Saturday Night Live May 12, 1984 A sketch involves the Three Stooges as self-defense instructors.[2] During the sketch, Curly (Joe Piscopo) and Moe (Tim Kazurinsky) ad-lib after Curly's baggy karate pants accidentally fall down.
SCTV Series John Candy imitates Curly, often doing a "nyuk nyuk" type of laugh. In the parody of Ben-Hur, Candy (in the eponymous role) mimics Curly throughout the entire episode.
Seinfeld The Suicide Jerry Seinfeld's character reference to the Three Stooges to his very enamored neighbor, Gina. Another Seinfeld episode, "The Trip", has Kramer running into an elderly woman who claims to have played a part as Mr. Sugarman's secretary (Mr. Sugarman himself was said to have been played by Curly) in a Three Stooges short titled "Sappy Pappies". When Kramer replies that he never saw it, the woman tells of three sailors charged with taking care of a baby. The story becomes unbelievable and overly dark for a Three Stooges short, as the ending has the baby dying and the Stooges being sent to death row and executed.
The Suite Life on Deck seaHarmony The characters of Mr. Moseby and Miss Tutweiller have an argument about The Three Stooges. When Tutweiller tells Moseby that The Stooges are silly he says "I only have one thing to say to you...Nyuk, Nyuk". Tutweiller follows with "Wise guy, huh?" and attempts to poke him in the eye. The two characters then perform some other Stooges trademark acts.
That '70s Show Series An episode features three of the characters acting out an imaginary Three Stooges short called "Pie Guys"; its thin plot is very similar to one of the live-action wraparounds from The New Three Stooges.
Titus Insanity Genetic: Part 2 An FBI interrogator asks if Christopher Titus has ever physically abused any of his family or friends. His brother Dave immediately begins sobbing as several flashbacks, accompanied by Three Stooges theme music, depict Christopher slapping Dave in the head several times, stomping on his feet and tackling him to the ground during a fight.

Drama[edit]

  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Very Old Man", the three snakes owned by a murdered security officer were named Curly, Larry and Moe.

Children's Television[edit]

  • In an episode of Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive, Mack (as the Red Sentinel Ranger) yelled "Three more stooges to go!"
  • In an episode of the Disney afternoon show TaleSpin when Baloo is briefly hospitalized after one of his misadventures, a scene begins with a long shot of the hospital while the intercom announces, "Paging Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard," in yet another direct tribute.

Made-for-TV Movies[edit]

  • In The Fairly OddParents made-for-TV movie Abra Catastrophe, the main character, Timmy Turner, disguises himself in magical Groucho glasses and tells Mr. Crocker that he is one of America's most beloved comedy entertainers to which Crocker mistakes him as "Shemp". Later, when the disguise falls off, Mr. Crocker yells, "Turner! You're not Shemp! You're not even Curly Joe!" Also, in The episode It's A Wishful Life, Timmy Turner also said Moe's trademark catchphrase "Why I oughtta...." and ends it with "do it right now".

Science Fiction[edit]

Series Episode Reference
Alien Nation (1989 TV series) Series In an episode, human character Matthew Sikes (Gary Graham) is a fan of the Three Stooges. He invited his alien neighbor Cathy Frankel (Terri Treas) to watch a few shorts with him. Cathy was horrified of the violence and informs that "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" is considered a dirty word in their language.
Farscape Out Of Their Minds The main characters switch bodies, which leads to some "strange behavior" in their respective "unfamiliar" bodies. Witnessing this, the character John Crichton proclaims: "It's the three freaking Stooges, I'm hitting myself!" In the episode "Self-Inflicted Wounds", John Crichton flies onto a wormhole to shoot pictures, to see what is at the other end. The shoot later shows a scene from Disorder in the Court, proving that it was Earth at the other end of the wormhole.
The Pretender Back From the Dead Again Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) pretends to be Dr. Howard, a University anatomy professor, while working with Dr. Fein, the head of the department. One of their students calls to them, "Dr. Howard, Dr. Fein, Dr. Howard!"
Star Trek: Enterprise Carbon Creek A group of Vulcans stranded in a small American town in the 1950s. One of the Vulcans is annoyed at being nicknamed "Moe" because of his resemblance to "something called a 'Stooge'". Another Vulcan, who is depicted as being familiar with human pop culture, agrees with the assessment.
Supernatural (U.S. TV series) Man’s Best Friend with Benefits At the beginning of the episode, Sam and Dean exit their car arguing over who was funnier, Curly or Shemp.

Video games[edit]

  • The Three Stooges appear in their own video game for the Game Boy Advance SP system.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, while outside the medical building you can hear Joker say over the intercom "Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!"
  • The SNES role-playing video game Final Fantasy VI features as bosses the "Three Dream Stooges" (also named Larry, Curly and Moe), who entered Cyan Garamonde's mind while he was facing his inner demons in Doma Castle. In the remake of the game for the Game Boy Advance, their names are modified into Laragorn, Curlax, and Moebius, respectively.
  • In the 1995 video game Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier, there is a minigame called Stooge Fighter, a parody of the games Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat where each Stooge is pitted against each other in deadly combat.
  • In the 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System|SNES role-playing video game Chrono Trigger one of the alternative ending in New Game + Mode features three monsters doing a spoof on the Three Stooges.
  • In the 2008 survival-horror game Dead Space, when passing through the medical bay of the Ishimura ship, you can hear "Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard" over the loud speakers.
  • In the 2011 game LA Noire, during a flashback cutscene, the Gunnery Sergeant says "So it's the Three fucking Stooges."
  • In the video game, The Legend of Kyrandia - Book Two: The Hand of Fate, during the end game you need to solve a puzzle based on the Tower of Hanoi, except the three pins are replaced by three heads. When you look at each of the heads, Zanthia says: "He reminds me of my old friend Moe/Larry/Curly" respectively.
  • In the video game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, there is a circus clown whose real name is Laurence "Moe" Curls.
  • In both the original and the VGA remake of the video game, Quest for Glory, three guards attempt to kill the hero in the Brigand fortress. The three guards are none other than the Three Stooges.
  • In Diablo III, there is a set of three unique skeletons named "Moek", "Larel", and "Karel" that spawn during one particular quest. There is an achievement for killing all three brothers in one blow called "Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck". The portrait of the achievement features the skulls of the Three Stooges in a manner similar to the opening credits of the shorts. The necessity of killing all three in a single blow for the achievement is reminiscent of the Three Stooges getting slapped together with a single blow.

Other[edit]

  • The firmware of D-Link products such as routers are notorious for containing the following hidden data string (probably as a joke from the programmers): "Hey Moe, it don't woik. Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk *bop* Owww!"
  • In tutorials for programming language Perl names Curly, Larry, Moe are usually used to represent array entries.
  • In 1979, Ral Partha released a 25mm "Three Headed Troll" figure. Each of the heads was one of the Three Stooges.
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago cogeneration plant contains three gas turbine turbo generators named Moe, Larry, and Curly.
  • Warkop, a classic Indonesian trio of comedians is largely inspired by the Three Stooges.
  • The sorting algorithm stooge sort is styled after the Stooges' tendency to slap each other.
  • During the 2003 Invasion of Baghdad, three highway intersections critical to Coalition operations were known as Objectives: Moe, Larry, and Curly.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Internet Movie Database