MastroNet Winter 2003
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When the Three Stooges began to make a name for themselves in the 1930s, the Motion Picture Herald wrote that "half the movie-going public laughs at the Stooges while the other half wonders why." Despite such critical disdain, the Three Stooges have exhibited more staying power than any of their erstwhile comic colleagues. Chaplin, The Marx Brothers and even Laurel and Hardy were all objectively superior to the Stooges. But only the Stooges have incited the kind of fierce loyalty among fans that causes their films to be endlessly shown, every day, in just about every major market in the United States. After years of dismissal by "serious" students of film, the Three Stooges are more popular than ever. Their lowbrow brand of slapstick has turned out to have had incredible lasting appeal. The Stooges operate on an elemental level, without hidden meaning or subtext (much like children interacting with one another). When they encounter resistance from a person, or from the inanimate, they attack it. Someone trying to frame you and put you in jail? Poke him in the eyes! Man doesn't like your singing? Put a monkey up his pants. Women trying to con you into marriage to get your money? Drown 'em with buckets of water! The Three Stooges' appeal is their absurdity. The Stooges are not credible human beings, and the very excessiveness of some of their gags - replete with surreal sound effects -- underscores this point. Colorforms began their love affair with the Stooges in 1959, but the creme de la creme is this 1960 offering of the materials for the Three Stooges Jig Saw Puzzles. The images for the puzzles were created by a detailed hand-coloring of fabulous original crystal clear photographs of the boys with an airbrush. The resulting brash overkill of color is exactly appropriate to the trio that overplayed every line and action to perfection. There are six different NM hand colored photos, each 13" x 10", which were issued in pairs in games #PS1, PS2 and PS3. The titles are: "Fishing," Cowboys," "I'm Your Man Sheriff," "How to Run a Restaurant," "Down on the Farm" and "Halloween." Also in the production materials are: the hand-drawn die cut outline design for the puzzle pieces; two cover pos's.; ad prf.; and a set of the three different cover proofs, each featuring two different puzzle images. The proofs alone are a rare addition to any Stooge collection. Each of the amazing photos will bowl over any Stooge aficionado. Six may be too much for anyone.
"Three Stooges Jig Saw Puzzles" - 1960
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