Soitenly
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?  (Read 3460 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline QuinceHead

  • Chucklehead
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Hey everyone,

I'm probably not wording it correctly, but after reading the newly-revised Three Stooges Scrapbook, I was curious to know how Joe DeRita's two stepsons ended up being the ones who oversee the Three Stooges brand/rights and so on?

I realize this could be a controversial topic and I'm not looking to cause any flame wars or what have you, but I was curious.

For duty and humanity,
JohnH aka QuinceHead

Offline Mark The Shark

  • Beetlebrain
  • **
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
It had something to do with a lawsuit brought by Joe DeRita and the estate of Larry Fine against the Maurers over non-payment of royalties. I don't remember all the exact specifics, but the gist of it as I remember was that supposedly, Moe, Larry and Joe DeRita had formed a legal corporation late in the Stooges' career and everything was supposed to be a three-way split. Moe handled the finances and gave the other two their shares. After Moe died, it was alleged that his family did not continue making payments to the other two, hence the lawsuit. The result was the (re) establishment of Comedy III, which ended up being operated by the Benjamins. I seem to recall the Maurers received a share of the profits but forfeited any involvement in the business. But this is just from memory. Also, of course I don't know what really went down and who did or didn't get their fair share of whatever, but that's what was reported at the time.

Offline archiezappa

  • Numbskull
  • ****
  • Posts: 869
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
It's a wonder that the original short subjects didn't end up in copyright hell, like many other shows that I like (i.e. Batman).

Offline sandmountainslim

  • Grapehead
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 05:49:49 PM »
The C3 Website says Moe, Larry and Curly Joe formed C3 back in 1959. 
If this is true why did Normandy Productions seem to be running the show?

Offline Mark The Shark

  • Beetlebrain
  • **
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 08:13:23 PM »
The C3 Website says Moe, Larry and Curly Joe formed C3 back in 1959. 
If this is true why did Normandy Productions seem to be running the show?

I don't know, but...I do remember seeing the phrase "Distributed by TV III" on some (not all) of the New 3 Stooges cartoons. Others said "Distributed by Heritage." I noticed that on the Rhino DVDs (authorized by Comedy III) in the closing credits, there is a splice where the distributor name is edited out, and the audio is out of sync for the remainder of the closing credits (which isn't much). Whether "TV III" had anything to do with "Comedy III," I have no idea. But it wouldn't surprise me.

I believe there was some confusion (or dispute) over who owned the trademark of the Three Stooges name for a good number of years. I have seen merchandise with Columbia Pictures' name on it, and other times Norman Maurer Productions (including the mini-posters offered through Post cereals in the late 1970s, which were stills from Columbia shorts).

Offline sandmountainslim

  • Grapehead
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 08:42:01 PM »
I don't know, but...I do remember seeing the phrase "Distributed by TV III" on some (not all) of the New 3 Stooges cartoons. Others said "Distributed by Heritage." I noticed that on the Rhino DVDs (authorized by Comedy III) in the closing credits, there is a splice where the distributor name is edited out, and the audio is out of sync for the remainder of the closing credits (which isn't much). Whether "TV III" had anything to do with "Comedy III," I have no idea. But it wouldn't surprise me.

I believe there was some confusion (or dispute) over who owned the trademark of the Three Stooges name for a good number of years. I have seen merchandise with Columbia Pictures' name on it, and other times Norman Maurer Productions (including the mini-posters offered through Post cereals in the late 1970s, which were stills from Columbia shorts).

Normandy should have lost all rights after "The Three Robonic Stooges"   >:D    C3 seems to be doing a decent enough job of it so I suppose it worked out for the best.     I wonder why Sony/Columbia wasn't interested in the theatrical film this year?     I guess that makes  three TS related films for Fox by my calculations,   Soup To Nuts, Snow White and the TS and now this latest film.   

Offline archiezappa

  • Numbskull
  • ****
  • Posts: 869
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 12:14:42 PM »
Normandy should have lost all rights after "The Three Robonic Stooges"   >:D    C3 seems to be doing a decent enough job of it so I suppose it worked out for the best.     I wonder why Sony/Columbia wasn't interested in the theatrical film this year?     I guess that makes  three TS related films for Fox by my calculations,   Soup To Nuts, Snow White and the TS and now this latest film.

That makes me wonder if Fox will eventually put out a perverse Three Stooges "Trilogy."

Offline sandmountainslim

  • Grapehead
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 02:58:48 PM »
That makes me wonder if Fox will eventually put out a perverse Three Stooges "Trilogy."

Lol!  What a trilogy!!!   
Let's encourage it  ;D

Offline BeAStooge

  • Birdbrain
  • Master Stooge
  • Bunionhead
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,781
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2012, 08:53:50 AM »
The C3 Website says Moe, Larry and Curly Joe formed C3 back in 1959. 
If this is true why did Normandy Productions seem to be running the show?

Norman Maurer set up Norman Maurer Productions to handle licensing for The Three Stooges.  Normandy Productions was the film production company he created to produce the Stooges' 1959/1960s film projects.

C3 was always there, in the background.  After the 1994 lawsuit, NMP was disbanded and its assets transferred to C3.


I believe there was some confusion (or dispute) over who owned the trademark of the Three Stooges name for a good number of years. I have seen merchandise with Columbia Pictures' name on it, and other times Norman Maurer Productions (including the mini-posters offered through Post cereals in the late 1970s, which were stills from Columbia shorts).

No, there was never any confusion or dispute.  The trademark was the property of Comedy III.  Norman Maurer Productions, essentially, operated as its licensing agent from 1959 - 1994. 

Columbia Pictures [Sony] is copyright, ©.  C3 is trademark, .  Two entirely different things.

If Post, or Hostess, or whoever, slapped an incorrect rights credits on their ads and knick knacks, the only confusion belonged to them.  Not to the rights owners.

Offline sandmountainslim

  • Grapehead
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2012, 09:04:32 AM »
Am I correct that the partners in C3 are the heirs of Moe, Larry and Curly Joe and the heirs of Curly, Shemp and Besser are completely left out of the equation?    I know this is fair and legal because it was Moe, Larry and Curly Joe who founded the company but it's sad that Curly, Shemp and Joe's kids and grandkids are left out and can't profit from their work.    Correct me if I'm wrong.

Offline BeAStooge

  • Birdbrain
  • Master Stooge
  • Bunionhead
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,781
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2012, 09:07:45 AM »
Am I correct that the partners in C3 are the heirs of Moe, Larry and Curly Joe and the heirs of Curly, Shemp and Besser are completely left out of the equation?   

Yes.

Offline Mark The Shark

  • Beetlebrain
  • **
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 09:42:05 AM »
That makes me wonder if Fox will eventually put out a perverse Three Stooges "Trilogy."

I bet they will. They already re-released Soup To Nuts and Snow White And The Three Stooges as a 2-fer around the time the Farrelly Bros. movie came out. And when the original DVDs of both came out (alongside The Three Stooges In Color DVD with the four public domain Columbia shorts) I remember seeing the three packaged as a box set a la the Laurel & Hardy Fox features. But I saw the box set after I had bought the three individual DVDs. Possibly might have been a Sam's Club type of item.

Offline sandmountainslim

  • Grapehead
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 06:14:51 PM »
I bet they will. They already re-released Soup To Nuts and Snow White And The Three Stooges as a 2-fer around the time the Farrelly Bros. movie came out. And when the original DVDs of both came out (alongside The Three Stooges In Color DVD with the four public domain Columbia shorts) I remember seeing the three packaged as a box set a la the Laurel & Hardy Fox features. But I saw the box set after I had bought the three individual DVDs. Possibly might have been a Sam's Club type of item.

I ordered the DVD's of the new film and Snow White.   All I need is Soup To Nuts and my Fox Three Stooges Golden Collection is complete!

Offline archiezappa

  • Numbskull
  • ****
  • Posts: 869
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: How did Joe DeRita's stepsons end up "controlling" the Three Stooges?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 01:26:58 PM »
I ordered the DVD's of the new film and Snow White.   All I need is Soup To Nuts and my Fox Three Stooges Golden Collection is complete!

Aw, man!  That's hilarious!