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Author Topic: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita  (Read 13092 times)

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Offline shemps#1

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The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« on: January 06, 2009, 01:11:58 PM »
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the first in what will hopefully be a series of Master Debates.

Topic
Who was the better Stooge? Joe Besser or Joe Derita?

Participants
Taking the position that Joe Besser was the better Stooge: metaldams
Taking the position that Joe Derita was the better Stooge: Giff me dat fill-em!

Judges
Dunrobin
curlysdame
Justin T
locoboymakesgood

Format
The participants have until January 12th to write their arguments. In the interest of fairness I will ask the participants to send their finished arguments to me in a Private Message before posting to this thread. This is so the second participant to finish does not have any advantage from reading the other participant's argument. Once I receive both arguments I will inform the participants that they may post their arguments for the judges to read in this thread.

Once the arguments are posted the participants will then have an opportunity for a rebuttal, or a chance to poke holes in their opponents argument. The rebuttals may be posted immediately to this thread.

Once the rebuttals have been posted and the judges have read and scrutinized everything the judges will be allowed to pose one question (from each judge, not as a group) to each of the participants regarding either their argument or rebuttal.

Once any and all questions have been answered each judge will cast a vote (in this thread) for who they believe won the debate. If the vote tally is 4-0 or 3-1 a winner will be announced. If the vote tally is 2-2 I will cast the deciding vote.

The winner will receive a one year subscription to the Three Stooges Journal.

Let the debate commence!
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 08:02:08 AM »
I shall be watching lots of Stooge stuff this weekend, and only if it has a third Stooge named Joe.   :laugh:

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 03:32:33 PM »
Deciding who's a better Stooge between Besser and DeRita, is like trying to decide if you want to die by having your head chopped off or being burned at the stake. There really isn't a good choice. ( my opinion ) That being said I would have to go with DeRita. The Besser shorts were stale and I really believe the Stooges were just phoning it in. I really didn't care for his big sissy bit, and believe in real life Moe and Larry wouldn't roll with a guy like Besser.They would be more apt to take advantage of someone like him. With the DeRita films I believe they were happy to be making feature films and showed a little more interest in what they were doing. They also toned the violence down a little and seemed to be acting more their age. I also think that Norman Maurer added a freshness to the act.

I admit this isn't the easiest debate in the world to be covering (ESPECIALLY on the Besser side, as I think most people go for Derita), as I myself have used the "hot stake/cold chop" analogy.  That said, Besser is the lesser of the two evils, and I'll submit my reasons why on Monday.

Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 01:00:12 AM »
Deciding who's a better Stooge between Besser and DeRita, is like trying to decide if you want to die by having your head chopped off or being burned at the stake. There really isn't a good choice. ( my opinion ) That being said I would have to go with DeRita. The Besser shorts were stale and I really believe the Stooges were just phoning it in. I really didn't care for his big sissy bit, and believe in real life Moe and Larry wouldn't roll with a guy like Besser.They would be more apt to take advantage of someone like him. With the DeRita films I believe they were happy to be making feature films and showed a little more interest in what they were doing. They also toned the violence down a little and seemed to be acting more their age. I also think that Norman Maurer added a freshness to the act.

Well that's the whole point of the Master Debates, to bring up a challenging topic to the table and hopefully get some discourse going. If it had been Curly vs Besser or Moe vs Derita the challenge would really be one-sided (and impossible for the Besser/Derita side). I think Doug and Fred are going to come through big time with this one and hopefully help generate more interest in the concept.

By the way I am also welcoming feedback (positive or negative) on TMD once it has concluded and any suggestions on the format or suggestions for future debate topics.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 01:26:27 PM »
Here's my side.  You judges better pick me, or I'll haaaaaarm yooouuuuu!   [pie]

    Joe Besser Vs. "Curly" Joe Derita.  Picking between the two is indeed like choosing between a hot stake or a cold chop as a means of death.  99% of all Stooge fans will agree any great Stooge lineup consists of a Fine and two Howards, and those Joe guys were simply plugging away past the group's prime.  Nobody will debate this point, but what is up for debate is who was the better Stooge of the two.  The answer is Joe Besser, the far superior comedian who added more to the Stooge vocabulary in his brief stint than Joe Derita did in over ten years.
      Before joining The Three Stooges, Joe Besser had already developed a comic persona as a squeamish, child like pansy.  Loud noises frightened him (Not so LOOOOOUUUUD), he was sensitive to touch (Not so HAAAAARRRRRRRD), and he had a fey, whining voice that could easily pass as a spoiled child's.  In fact, his persona was so child like that he could convincingly wear a Buster Brown sailor suit and play a child called "Stinky" on the Abbott and Costello show.  Say what you will about Besser as a Stooge, but as "Stinky," Joe Besser could hold his own, and arguably even steal a scene from Lou Costello.  Besser had the high octane delivery that was necessary to both jab with Bud and Lou and to be a third Stooge.
      Joe Derita, based on his pre-Stooge filmography, showed very little in terms of a unique comic persona.  In his Columbia shorts, he was a soft spoken Lou Costello lookalike who in one short (SLAPPILY MARRIED), performs a Bud and Lou like verbal encounter in the Costello role.  He fails to summon a fraction of the energy or the laughs Bud and Lou do in such routines, his soft spoken style not quite as suited to such material, nevermind being the third Stooge.
      Joe Derita's strong point as a Stooge was that he could handle all the stock comedian moves and he was professional enough to keep Moe and Larry going throughout the 60's.  The man can take a great pratfall for his size and could do a double take, but these are moves all generic slapstick comedians should be able to handle. 
      Joe Derita lacked any individual quirks that make him memorable as a character.  The Three Stooges have always employed strong characters before him, and each Stooge is simple to impersonate.  Moe has his sugar bowl haircut, his assorted slaps, pokes, insults, and tough guy voice.  Larry had that wonderful frizzy hair, sandpaper voice, and was one of THE great reactionary comics ever.  Curly had his bald head, squeaky voice, his nyuk's, his woo woo woo's, and his graceful movements.  Shemp had his unwashed hair, his eeb-eeb-eeb's, his shadow boxing routine, and a herky jerky personality.  Derita?  Like I said, he could handle all the stock comedian moves, which is why he was able to be a comedian for so long, but he was simply the guy who showed up to work and did no more than what was required.  He had no individual character whatsoever, and if it weren't for Moe and Larry, he'd be joining the Brown and Carney's or Collins and Kennedy's of the world in total obscurity.
      Joe Besser, as much of an acquired taste as he was, had his own unique persona just like his third Stooge predecessors.  His previously mentioned "not so hard" and "not so loud" sayings are a part of Stooge lore along with his fey voice and his limp wristed slaps.  He may have been opposed to being slapped and gouged (though it should be noted as the shorts progressed, so did Besser's slapstick involvement), but he certainly was memorable enough and had the energy to keep up with the boys.  By the time we get to OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, he even performs a slapstick bunk bed scene with Moe and Larry that can be considered classic. 
      Ultimately, we love The Three Stooges for their personalities.  Sure, we love the slapstick too, but there were hundreds of film comedians performing Sennett like slapstick in the early days of screen comedy.  The majority of them lacked any memorable personas, forcing the slapstick to become a tired cliche.  The reason why The Three Stooges brand of slapstick works was because of the personalities that went into it.  Joe Derita was simply a professional, stock comedian who was lucky to work with Moe and Larry.  Besser's persona was either love or hate, but he at least had a screen persona, the very thing that separated The Three Stooges from the lesser comedians.  He's not Curly or Shemp, but Joe Besser at least adds something to the Stooge experience, and for that reason, he is the greater Stooge than Derita.

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 06:53:34 PM »
AND ... here is my take on Joe VS Joe. Derita better win, buddy boy!

   The general debate over who was the best “Thoid Banana” has always been a point of contention for many Stooge fans. There is no doubt that Curly had a unique and singular style, which can also be said of Shemp. Each one brought their own brand of mayhem to the trio, enhancing and enriching the team.
   But when it comes to Joe Besser versus Joe Derita, the lines of demarcation get fuzzy. As a consequence, taking a stand on Joe versus Joe involves much thought and consternation. After lengthy Stooge soul searching, I have deemed Joe Derita the better choice of the two, and here is an itemization of my reasons for this choice.
   First, and possibly foremost, Joe Derita was no stranger to slapstick comedy. His TV appearances with Moe and Larry back up this simple observation, as does the movies our boys made with Curly-Joe. Joe Besser, conversely, had (real or imagined – induced by his wife or family - whatever) an aversion to being slapped, punched, nose-honked, slammed into doors or walls, etc. At the same time Moe, who took an enormous amount of abuse from Joe, almost never reciprocated with the same. He usually only got angry and yelled at him, which was diametrically opposed to his reaction to abuse from Larry.
    This quintessentially sets Joe Besser apart from all other Third Stooges, and laid at Larry’s doorstep the brunt of Moe’s comedic assaults. It is even rumored among Stooge fans that Besser had a contract drawn exonerating him from any excessive slapstick, and was relegated to only nose tweaks, eggs in the face, head bonks, face slaps and the like. Based upon the sixteen episodes that Joe Besser appeared in, Larry took 35 percent more head bonks, 75 percent more of being hit on the head with an object, the entire amount of nose –honks, and 45 percent more face slaps than did Besser, not to mention all of the hair pulls. Even more striking is the fact that Moe took more abuse than either of them.
   With the advent of Derita on the team, the group had real comedic cohesion once again. No more was there a “sheltered” Stooge. And, although Curly-Joe came on board at a time when Larry and Moe were beginning to show their age, and were not so inclined to punch, slap, gouge, and molest as they used to, Curly-Joe took his share like a trooper. It was also a transitional period for our boys, who, after a successful string of movies, wanted to appeal more to children, and began slightly softening their act to allow more wordplay and jokes to pervade their slapstick style. Derita evolved smoothly with all of the later incarnations that our boys took on to allow for the inevitable arrival of age and aches Moe and Larry were accumulating.
   As concerning whether Besser was “funnier” than Derita constitutes a foray into comedic style and acting ability. To be sure, Joe Besser also had a unique and singular style the same as Curly and Shemp, but that style was not inclined to meld easily with slapstick comedy. It is better suited to acting alone, such as his performance in the Abbot and Costello movie “Africa Screams”. Joe Derita, on the other hand, did not attempt to bring any particular style to the team. He made a supreme effort to recapture the days of Moe, Larry and Curly, which quite possibly gave rise to him being christened “Curly-Joe”. It also gave him carte blanche to take on the role of earlier Stooge episodes such as the beloved Curly routine of “Maha … Aaha” as done in “Three Little Pirates”. Joe Derita’s contribution to The Three Stooges kept intact the legacy and appeal that slapstick comedy offers, and did not try to impose his own rules and regulations upon the craft.
   In summary, it matters not if Joe Derita or Joe Besser is considered the funnier Stooge; the apparent act of Joe Besser shrinking away from slapstick is his death knell.
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Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 09:28:10 PM »
Besser could do slapstick comedy.  He was no Curly, but he had his moments.  Like I previously stated, he does a great job with Moe and Larry in the bunk scene in OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.  I've also always loved the little bit in MUSCLE UP A LITTLE CLOSER where he staples the box to his shirt, walks around with it, and says, "It's following meeeee."  A funny little slapstick gag that works because of Besser's unique delivery and timing.  He made the gag his own, something a lesser comic like Derita was incapable of doing.

Being a great Stooge, or slapstick comedian in general, isn't just about how many head bonks or eye gouges one takes.  It's not a mechanical set of rules.  There were hundreds of comedians doing such things, and a lot of times it wasn't funny.  While Mack Sennett kick started the careers of many great comedians, he also had dozens of run of the mill clowns on his lot.  A lot of Sennett's early films had more slaps, bonks on the head, and kicks in the rear than ten Stooge shorts, yet they weren't funny when they didn't have a comedian worth giving a damn about. 

Stooging isn't simply a mechanical thing, it involves character.  I agree with you guys that Joe Derita mechanically does all of the things a third Stooge is supposed to do, but he does it at a level that's so below Curly and Shemp it's not even funny....literally.  If I want to watch that style of comedy, I'll stick with the guys who do it well, not the guy who simply does it.

I may not be getting greatness with Joe Besser as the third Stooge, but as a long time fan who's seen the Curly's and Shemp's dozens of times, at least I get an interesting diversion, which is why I watch Besser's stuff a lot more than Derita's.


 

Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 10:25:11 PM »
Now Gentlemen you may post a rebuttal to your opponents argument.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 11:15:38 PM »
Shemps#1 -
A little clarification, please. Is the above post by metaldams to be considered his rebuttal, or perhaps just an amendment to his submission. I have no qualms either way. I will defer to allowing him the extra post. In the interest of further debates, however, I feel this clarification is needed. Thanks, dude.

That was my rebuttal.

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 12:36:36 AM »
Thanks metaldams, and here is my rebuttal ...

Joe Besser did have a VERY defined comic persona, and quite possibly did steal scenes from his fellow Stooges. Curly and Shemp certainly did the same, many times in my estimation (especially Curly). But Besser's just did not click with the unique style of slapstick that you so eloquently expressed. It is exactly Besser's personality that makes him a lesser choice between Derita and himself. Perhaps it was that weak, whiny, narcissistic persona that made him the "sheltered" Stooge. It appears in the sixteen eps Besser was in that Moe and Larry had a hard time trying to interact with Joe, and so just let him do his thing, whilst Moe and Larry carried on their also VERY defined art and persona, relying upon each other for that unique brand of comedy that was all their own.

True, Curly-Joe was a fine "stock" comedian, taking pratfalls and the like. And as you said, was standard fare for any "generic" slapstick comedian. Joe Besser, as supported by his performance in his sixteen episodes, did not even qualify as a "generic" slapstick comedian. As you said, his persona (and perhaps his entire career), was the one described above, that whiny, child-like pansy.

It is true that Curly-Joe had no individual character. He did whatever Moe told him to do. That is what brought the trio back in the late '50's and into the '60's. They worked to not only extend and expand their careers and routines, but also to cement the legacy of slapstick comedy, which was quickly disappearing from the media. As my wife once remarked, "The closest thing to slapstick on TV today is America's Funniest Home Videos. Sadly, I agree with her.
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Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 12:38:01 AM »
Yes, that was his rebuttal. That was my fault, I went afk before sending the ok to post the rebuttal and by the time I came back and sent it he had already posted his.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 12:39:44 AM »
....and now you beat me to it as well  :P

The floor is now open to questioning from the judges. If the judges are content to not pose a question to either contestant please post "Abstain".
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline Justin T

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 10:01:06 AM »
Good job so far gentlemen, here are my questions:

metaldams- Do you think that if Besser had spent more time with the team, since his short tenure seems to be
one of the strikes against him, that he would have achieved better comedic teamwork and better slapstick antics
with Moe and Larry and perhaps be more appreciated as a Stooge?

Giff me dat fill-em!- You mentioned how Curly-Joe not having much of a unique personality was a benefit to the
Stooges and allowed him to be "pluged-in" better than Besser. If so, would Curly-Joe have worked better with the
team if he was doing the short subjects only, or perhaps did them first before they started their feature films?
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Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 12:09:55 PM »
Good job so far gentlemen, here are my questions:

metaldams- Do you think that if Besser had spent more time with the team, since his short tenure seems to be
one of the strikes against him, that he would have achieved better comedic teamwork and better slapstick antics
with Moe and Larry and perhaps be more appreciated as a Stooge?

Gentlemen?  Where? (Looks around the room)

About the whole teamwork issue, it is true Besser was separated from Moe and Larry in a lot of the shorts.  What is rarely mentioned is that if you look at the last batch of original Shemp shorts (this excludes all the stock footage jobs), you will find shorts like HE COOKED HIS GOOSE, CUCKOO ON A CHOO CHOO, and GYPPED IN THE PENTHOUSE.  With or without Besser, separating the Stooges appeared to be the direction the group was headed in before the nostalgia era kicked in.

There is no doubt Besser was thrown into the team under the least ideal circumstances.  I don't believe he was given any of the stage training any of the other third Stooges had with Moe and Larry, and by the time Besser joined the group, the two-reel comedy was on life support.  Let's face it, two reelers were an outdated form even in Curly's heyday, (Hal Roach stopped making two reelers in 1936).  By 1957, the Columbia shorts department were the last ones standing, and I don't think Columbia had much interest in the shorts department at all by this point.

That said, watch FLYING SAUCER DAFFY if you have a copy.  It was the last short they ever filmed with Besser, and while the short is mostly a dud, check out the scene where Moe gives Besser a barrage of slaps, a stomach punch, and even an eye gouge (like I said, Besser started taking the shots towards the end).  After Besser does a good job at selling Moe's mayhem, Besser calmly goes, "Do that again." Moe slaps Besser nose, and Besser says, "Again."  Moe slaps his nose again, and Besser says, "You do everything I tell you to."  The timing and delivery of the line were perfect, and it's easily the funniest moment in the short.  In this scene, Besser reacts to Moe's mayhem in a unique way Curly and Shemp never would have, and it's all because he had a unique enough character to pull it off.

I'm not saying Besser would've been a better Stooge than Curly or Shemp, but that barrage of slaps he took, along with something like the bunk scene in OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, show that Besser was coming around to the more Stoogian aspect of slapstick towards the end, and was even adding his own stamp to the group by participating in it.  I do think it's a shame we never got to see Joe in more ideal circumstances, as I think the potential for growth was there, and was already starting to show. 

Offline JazzBill

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 04:22:56 PM »
Sorry for butting in on your debate. I didn't realize that sides had been drawn. I missed that post I guess. I thought it was more of a "free for all" type of thing.
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Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2009, 08:02:06 PM »
Good job so far gentlemen, here are my questions:

Giff me dat fill-em!- You mentioned how Curly-Joe not having much of a unique personality was a benefit to the
Stooges and allowed him to be "pluged-in" better than Besser. If so, would Curly-Joe have worked better with the
team if he was doing the short subjects only, or perhaps did them first before they started their feature films?

If the rolls were reversed, as it were? If Derita had joined the team when Moe and Larry still had plenty of piss and vinegar, he would have been given the same chance Besser got. I feel that Derita would not have waited until the last few shorts to start taking excessive punishment from Moe and Larry. Nearly all of the sixteen shorts would have had a higher energy level and more hilarious comedy squeezed into those 16+ minutes. Of course, that is only a conjecture. But since Joe Derita had that "stock comedian" quality, he could more easily step up to what the roll of Third Stooge demanded much sooner than did Besser. As far as the Stooges film careers are concerned, it probably would not have made a difference as far as the level of slapstick. Derita had plenty of time to warm up to the act with their many television appearances.

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2009, 10:19:25 AM »
Hi Guys -

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I was pretty busy at work all day, and when I finally got home last night I was installing Windows 7 (Beta) on my home PC.*

I'll abstain from questions, since Justin already asked the ones that came to mind.

I found both Doug and Fred's arguments very interesting.  I've come to a tentative decision based on what I've read, but I'll refrain from posting it yet until my other fellow judges have had a chance to pose any questions they may have.



*Pretty cool.  If anyone is interested I'll post a review of it next week.

Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2009, 11:50:24 AM »
(OT: anxiously awaiting Rob's review of Windows 7)

I personally enjoy Besser more than DeRita, but they are very close. My boyfriend loves DeRita, and I can appreciate him a lot more now that I gave him more of a chance.

I wonder what DeRita's stage act was like? Anybody know or read anything on it? He was a burlesque comic, wasn't he?   [confused2]
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Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2009, 12:15:35 PM »
I wonder what DeRita's stage act was like? Anybody know or read anything on it? He was a burlesque comic, wasn't he?   [confused2]

A line from Derita's wikipedia page.  Whether true or not, I don't know, though I'm sure Brent's got the answer, and possibly the database in this site.  I'll look into that tonight, HOWEVER..........


"DeRita recorded an LP "Burlesque Uncensored" in the 50s, that shows his forte was blue humor."

If true, I MUST hear this.

Offline Justin T

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2009, 01:11:06 PM »
Hi Guys -

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I was pretty busy at work all day, and when I finally got home last night I was installing Windows 7 (Beta) on my home PC.*

I'll abstain from questions, since Justin already asked the ones that came to mind.

I found both Doug and Fred's arguments very interesting.  I've come to a tentative decision based on what I've read, but I'll refrain from posting it yet until my other fellow judges have had a chance to pose any questions they may have.

*Pretty cool.  If anyone is interested I'll post a review of it next week.

I have also found both arguments very well done, I'm still working on my decision.

But as for Windows 7, I also would like to hear what its like when you have the time
"Moronica must expand! We must lend our neighbors a helping hand. We must lend them two helping hands, and help ourselves to our neighbors!"
Moe in "You Natzi Spy!"

Larry: Say, when I come back I’ll give you a password.
Moe: Brilliant, what’ll it be?
Larry: Open The Door!
"Studio Stoops"

Offline BeAStooge

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2009, 02:45:30 PM »
A line from Derita's wikipedia page.  Whether true or not, I don't know, though I'm sure Brent's got the answer, and possibly the database in this site.  I'll look into that tonight, HOWEVER..........

"DeRita recorded an LP "Burlesque Uncensored" in the 50s, that shows his forte was blue humor."

If true, I MUST hear this.


DISCOGRAPHY

Also refer to the filmography footnote for GYPPED IN THE PENTHOUSE (1955).

The "blue" material in this Minsky show was nothing more than double-entendre, bordering on family-friendly @ today's standard. Attendance for the '50s Minsky Revue was probably age-restricted, but it played mainstream theatres, Las Vegas showrooms, etc.

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2009, 04:20:14 PM »
I have also found both arguments very well done, I'm still working on my decision.

I agree.  A lot of good points were brought up on both sides; I'll have to re-read them both in order to make a definite choice.  I'll abstain, too.
"Imagine five things like us in one room??  I can't stand it!" - Curly (Time Out For Rhythm 1941)

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2009, 06:38:06 PM »
Those were two VERY well-thought out and thorough arguments. I don't have any questions myself (since the main ones seemed to have already been asked), but I'll have to really delve deep in to this so to speak. You guys definitely gave a good read, and a lot for us to consider.
"Are you guys actors, or hillbillies?" - Curly, "Hollywood Party" (1934)

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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2009, 09:32:36 PM »
With that said, it is now all in the hands of the judges to cast their votes. Please keep in mind that it's not who you agree with necessarily but rather who you think presented the best argument. Take your time if you need to.

Good luck, because I think this is going to be tough.
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Re: The Master Debates I: Besser VS Derita
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2009, 06:59:31 PM »
Well, gentlemen, I'm prepared to render my verdict.  I've read through both arguments and the rebuttals, and my vote goes to...

Giff me dat fill-em!

It was close (if I was awarding points, I'd say it would be something on the order of a 51/49 split,) but I think that while Doug made the case that Besser was the better comedian, I think Fred made the case that DeRita was the better Stooge, and that was the point of the debate.

I've always said that I like Joe Besser as a comedian, but I honestly don't think his style and persona really fit in that well with the Stooges.  Joe DeRita was certainly no Curly or Shemp, but his style fit in better with the Stooges, particularly at that stage in the boys' career.