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Offline metaldams

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Who should have replaced Shemp?
« on: March 11, 2016, 03:06:24 PM »
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  • OK, bringing up an old warhorse since there's mostly a new group of people.  Let's have fun here.  I say Tor Johnson.  Imagine this face in the opening credits next to Moe and Larry, and the look of horror Moe has as he no sells an eye gouge.


    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 06:48:08 PM »
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  • OK, bringing up an old warhorse since there's mostly a new group of people.  Let's have fun here.  I say Tor Johnson.  Imagine this face in the opening credits next to Moe and Larry, and the look of horror Moe has as he no sells an eye gouge.



    Obviously said in jest as old Tor would supplant Moe as the leader.  But then, he might just break Moe in two.

    While we're making bad suggestions, how about this guy?   [3stooges]  I'll express real opinions later.

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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 04:45:44 PM »
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  • To start, do you want a new Shemp, or a new Curly?  Obviously, White wanted a new Curly, without spending any money.  Besser was already under contract, it's said ( I don't quite believe that ), so no new money was involved with him.  Buddy Hackett said he was approached, and though his story has been widely disputed, he might have been good.  He was a good "nut" comic, and a self-starter, and the right shape, but really too young for the other two.  Mousie Garner is a definite maybe, but so little of him is available to see that it's a tough call.  Lou Costello ?  One is tempted to say impossible, but he had broken up with Abbott, he was broke, and was just gigging around as a single.  Also, since he had a history of heart trouble and had only two years to live, he may have been too sick to take a gig like that.  How about Joe E Ross, officer Tooty from Car 54?
         O K, a new Shemp: obviously, the back of Joe Palma's head wasn't going to work, how about the front?  Nah, he was an actor and a stunt man, not a real comic.  Shemp's physique was normal enough, so any mesomorph 5'5" or under could get greased down and step into the role, the only question being how much comedic spark the guy would have.  How about Huntz Hall?  Too tall, maybe, I don't really know, and he may still have been under contract as a Bowery Boy, although the timing on that  might be split-second, and his contract might have been buy-outable.  He had certainly ridden that horse about as far as it was going to go.  Huntz apparently loved acting enough to continue, because he didn't need the gig: oddly enough, he was rich - he had invested his money very wisely in oil.
         Here's my choice, I've written it before, and I still like it, although it's utterly impossible: Cy Schindell.  Pros: he was a good clown, funny even when he was a villian, he had hair like Shemp, and he'd been with the stooges for so long and knew their timing so well that he was practically an honorary one anyway.  Cons: he was a bit too tall, and he was dead.  Too bad, that one.
         We also have to bear in mind that the comeback lightning hadn't struck yet, and if ever an act looked like a dead-end career choice it was the stooges in 1957, who now had no more movie contract and whose product had stunk for many years by then.  They had very little to offer any replacement, and looked at that way were lucky to get DeRita, who by his own admission was by profession a Burlesque comic and only dabbled, very much a part-timer, in Hollywood.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #3 on: March 12, 2016, 05:22:27 PM »
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  • My goodness, you can find out anything on the internet.  Huntz was too tall, 5'10".  And according to his son, he didn't get rich in oil, but did drive a brand-new Rolls-Royce.  Figure that one out.  Maybe he got rich on other investments.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #4 on: March 12, 2016, 05:45:46 PM »
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  • Big Chief, Huntz Hall supposedly was a fan of Shemp, but other than being too tall, was also too young.  Leo Gorcey left The Bowery Boys at the right time, and was even the right height, but again, too young, and his character was more Moe like than third Stooge like.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #5 on: March 12, 2016, 06:04:22 PM »
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  • Yeah, Huntz would have been 37 in '57.  Too young, too tall.  I would have guessed he was older, but he started real young.  Hackett would have been only 33.  Agreed, Gorcey was way too close to Moe.  Right height though, yes.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 06:57:55 PM »
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  • Mousie was unavailable because he had just re-upped long-term with Spike Jones, which brings up Freddie Morgan, Spike's comedy banjo player, who was a natural (just check out that mug) except for one thing: his voice didn't match, being a mellow bass/baritone.  It seems that he wasn't a man of many voices, either - Spike used him as a pantomimist.
         I never believed that story about Mantan Moreland, either.  If Moe said it, I think he said it as a joke about how wide they had cast their net.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #7 on: March 13, 2016, 05:34:50 AM »
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  • I think we are looking too much into the age of the comic.  We've seen how Moe and Larry can be, so what was needed was a guy close to them in height.

    BTW, check out the link in my previous post.
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 11:00:46 PM »
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  • Metal, if you remember an earlier discussion about this, could you give us a few names that were floated?

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 05:43:58 PM »
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  • Metal, if you remember an earlier discussion about this, could you give us a few names that were floated?

    This would have had to have been 15 years ago when the C3 owned board had a message board.  I can't remember other than a Tor Johnson joke and probably Mantan Moreland.  Seems like a lifetime ago, I was a different person then in a lot of ways.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 05:46:25 PM »
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  • True.  After 15 years and a different message board, we're starting anew.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #11 on: March 15, 2016, 08:34:21 AM »
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  • Given the budgets and the scripts they had to work with after Shemp, how much difference would a different third stooge have actually made?

    The very question of who "should have" replaced Shemp assumes that Besser was the only (or even main) thing wrong with the Besser shorts -- a highly disputable assumption in my book.
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 11:13:41 AM »
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  • Given the budgets and the scripts they had to work with after Shemp, how much difference would a different third stooge have actually made?

    The very question of who "should have" replaced Shemp assumes that Besser was the only (or even main) thing wrong with the Besser shorts -- a highly disputable assumption in my book.
    I agree that it's a rather "stock" question!  ;)

    CHEERS!  [pie]

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #13 on: March 15, 2016, 11:37:34 AM »
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  • Given the budgets and the scripts they had to work with after Shemp, how much difference would a different third stooge have actually made?

    The very question of who "should have" replaced Shemp assumes that Besser was the only (or even main) thing wrong with the Besser shorts -- a highly disputable assumption in my book.

    Someone give this guy a cookie!  I will save deeper thoughts for the Besser short reviews, but most of the problem was the plots.  The ones with Stooge-style plots actually have pretty good laughs.
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    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #14 on: March 15, 2016, 01:06:22 PM »
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  • Someone give this guy a cookie!  I will save deeper thoughts for the Besser short reviews, but most of the problem was the plots.  The ones with Stooge-style plots actually have pretty good laughs.

    In my eyes, a bulk of the 1957-1959 shorts, particularly efforts like FLYING SAUCER DAFFY and the "Birdie Duology," feel like a continuation of Besser's own on-and-off solo series (1949-1956) at Columbia, with Moe and Larry not as much the other Two Stooges as much as they are Besser's supporting cast (a la Jim Hawthorne).

    I feel doubtful I am alone in that opinion, and I'm sure I'm not the first to have it, but those are my 2 cents anyways.
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #15 on: March 15, 2016, 01:13:58 PM »
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  • I think we can write off the Besser shorts, since he was really only doing mop-up duty until the contract ran out.  They might not have known it for sure at the time, but the handwriting had to be on the wall, they must have felt it in their bones.  The real question is, was there somebody out there who could have done a better job than Derita in sustaining the comeback?  And if that is the question, then it's hard to second-guess Derita, because he was it.  They did it with him.  Granted, it was like getting struck by lightning, for all of them, but he was there, he did a decent job with very rapidly aging partners, and they got an extra, very lucrative, ten years out of it.
         Let's imagine the most ideal, fantastic situation imaginable: that Curly had no health problems at all and aside from the normal aging process, was able to stay with the act until 1970.  How funny would a 60 or even 65-year-old Curly have been?  Very tough to say.  Would he have been fabulously better than Derita  given the same scripts and stunt work that comprised the features?  Very tough to say.  Certainly all of his fellow physical comics - Costello, Laurel, Hardy, Harpo, etc. - had lost it by age 60.  You'd hate to think of looking at Curly, even a healthy Curly, in those last features and reacting like you do to Moe: Oh, man, is he ever OLD !

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #16 on: March 15, 2016, 01:22:02 PM »
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  • In my eyes, a bulk of the 1957-1959 shorts, particularly efforts like FLYING SAUCER DAFFY and the "Birdie Duology," feel like a continuation of Besser's own on-and-off solo series (1949-1956) at Columbia, with Moe and Larry not as much the other Two Stooges as much as they are Besser's supporting cast (a la Jim Hawthorne).

    I feel doubtful I am alone in that opinion, and I'm sure I'm not the first to have it, but those are my 2 cents anyways.

    This I cannot deny, but some of the other shorts, like TRIPLE CROSSED, aren't all that bad.  I can't help but feel though that some people out there would feel different if Joe's last name were Howard, but such close-mindedness does not exist within the four walls of the Kingdom of Moronika.

    I think we can write off the Besser shorts, since he was really only doing mop-up duty until the contract ran out.  They might not have known it for sure at the time, but the handwriting had to be on the wall, they must have felt it in their bones.  The real question is, was there somebody out there who could have done a better job than Derita in sustaining the comeback?  And if that is the question, then it's hard to second-guess Derita, because he was it.  They did it with him.  Granted, it was like getting struck by lightning, for all of them, but he was there, he did a decent job with very rapidly aging partners, and they got an extra, very lucrative, ten years out of it.
         Let's imagine the most ideal, fantastic situation imaginable: that Curly had no health problems at all and aside from the normal aging process, was able to stay with the act until 1970.  How funny would a 60 or even 65-year-old Curly have been?  Very tough to say.  Would he have been fabulously better than Derita  given the same scripts and stunt work that comprised the features?  Very tough to say.  Certainly all of his fellow physical comics - Costello, Laurel, Hardy, Harpo, etc. - had lost it by age 60.  You'd hate to think of looking at Curly, even a healthy Curly, in those last features and reacting like you do to Moe: Oh, man, is he ever OLD !

    Derita was good, but you have 3 actors all over 50 years of age, so it is hard to judge.
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    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #17 on: March 15, 2016, 01:42:04 PM »
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  •      Let's imagine the most ideal, fantastic situation imaginable: that Curly had no health problems at all and aside from the normal aging process, was able to stay with the act until 1970.  How funny would a 60 or even 65-year-old Curly have been?  Very tough to say.  Would he have been fabulously better than Derita  given the same scripts and stunt work that comprised the features?  Very tough to say.  Certainly all of his fellow physical comics - Costello, Laurel, Hardy, Harpo, etc. - had lost it by age 60.  You'd hate to think of looking at Curly, even a healthy Curly, in those last features and reacting like you do to Moe: Oh, man, is he ever OLD !

    I, too, think about a world where Curly wasn't shot down by his strokes sometimes. Seeing as Curly and Shemp were such different performers, I wonder how a short like, say, BRIDELESS GROOM or HEAVENLY DAZE would have even existed or played well with Curly in the lead. But of course, those shorts were written for Shemp, not Curly.

    Which leads to my sub-question: If Curly hadn't had his 1945-1946 decline, which direction do you think the shorts would have taken? Would they have eventually evolved into the (slightly) quieter, more situation-based humor of the Shemp years (and Curly maybe mellowed as he got older), or would they have continued in the more manic Curly style?
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #18 on: March 15, 2016, 02:57:00 PM »
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  • My own $0.02--I'm not sure who "should have" replaced Shemp, but I've pondered a few times in the past what Moe and Larry's careers going forward after Shemp's death, would have been like if they had sought out comedians who had their own style like that of Samuel, as opposed to just replacing him with guys who fit the "Curly mold"--that being "short, fat and bald."

    I've also said before, that I don't hate Besser--certainly the quality of the stooge shorts nosedived before he jumped on board, but imo, he didn't improve the situation either. I actually enjoy Joe's work outside of the stooges--particularly his role as "Stinky" on the Abbott and Costello tv show.

    But his aversion to "slapstick" and not wanting to get knocked around like Curly and Shemp before him definitely hampers the act, in my eyes, over those last 16 shorts at Columbia. Of course, it's hard to imagine even Shemp being able to elevate such manure as the 2 "Talking Horse" shorts.

    Oh well, I've ranted long enough....

     
    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #19 on: March 15, 2016, 03:37:09 PM »
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  • I don't think any of us hate Besser, much as we all deplore the Besser shorts.  From what I can tell, we all like him as Stinky.  And GAWD is Stinky a bizarre character...

         However, I myself don't think there would have been a comeback with Besser.  He just would not have been right.  Nobody would have wanted to make those movies.  That may be a way to think about the replacement:  who wouldn't have worked?  who would have ruined the comeback?  I say Besser, and I think Metal and I agree that Leo Gorcey would have been wrong, and Huntz Hall was too tall.  Much as we all love Emil, he wasn't the third stooge, in fact I'm really glad that those three weren't in Blazing Stewardesses, either.  No reflection, of course, on the sad passing of both Moe and Larry within a very short time.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #20 on: March 15, 2016, 05:43:54 PM »
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  • As far as Derita, The Three Stooges, granted were making new movies, but were living off their past reputation at this point, and he was simply a Curly replacement.  Even with Besser, say what you will about the guy, but at least they were breaking new ground.  With Derita, the only things breaking new ground were the length of their movies and their check books...and good for them, I say.  After all, he was "Curly" Joe, so he was a blatant nod to the past at this point.  Derita did what was needed at the time, and that's look like Curly, be dependable, and keep the act going.  KISS have the same thing going on today in Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer for a rock analogy.

    As far as a healthy Curly going until his 60's, who knows?  I really think Moe, Larry, and Shemp were all respectable performance wise until the end.  Not peak, but respectable.  I'd like to think Curly would be the same, though it's true his style is more manic and perhaps better suited for youth.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #21 on: March 15, 2016, 05:47:38 PM »
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  • I don't think any of us hate Besser, much as we all deplore the Besser shorts.  From what I can tell, we all like him as Stinky.  And GAWD is Stinky a bizarre character...

         However, I myself don't think there would have been a comeback with Besser.  He just would not have been right.  Nobody would have wanted to make those movies.  That may be a way to think about the replacement:  who wouldn't have worked?  who would have ruined the comeback?  I say Besser, and I think Metal and I agree that Leo Gorcey would have been wrong, and Huntz Hall was too tall.  Much as we all love Emil, he wasn't the third stooge, in fact I'm really glad that those three weren't in Blazing Stewardesses, either.  No reflection, of course, on the sad passing of both Moe and Larry within a very short time.

    As far as Stinky, amen!

    You're right, Besser wouldn't have worked in the comeback for reasons stated above.  The comeback was due to the shorts being shown on television, and a third stooge acting as a facsimile of Curly was what was needed to keep the momentum going, hence Derita.

    Leo Gorcey, age aside, would make a good Moe replacement.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #22 on: March 15, 2016, 05:49:18 PM »
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  • Given the budgets and the scripts they had to work with after Shemp, how much difference would a different third stooge have actually made?

    The very question of who "should have" replaced Shemp assumes that Besser was the only (or even main) thing wrong with the Besser shorts -- a highly disputable assumption in my book.

    Valid point, but perhaps the writers would also have written differently with another third Stooge.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #23 on: March 17, 2016, 01:31:07 PM »
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  • Valid point, but perhaps the writers would also have written differently with another third Stooge.
    Differently, maybe. But... better?
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Who should have replaced Shemp?
    « Reply #24 on: March 17, 2016, 01:49:00 PM »
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  • This just in:  I googled Joe E Ross, officer Toody from Car 54, and though he might have been a possible in the part ( I couldn't find out how tall he was ) he was such a loathsome pig of a human being that he would never have made a second callback.  Also it seems he was illiterate, which you can't be if you're carrying a dialog-heavy feature film.  I'm glad I googled him, though, it's quite a story.

     


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