Sunday, April 15, 2012
"Spread Out!" My Education with The Three Stooges
The Stooges were popular at Hiram High School, too. My friends made the sounds, talked about the shows, did the Curly-laugh/snicker/chortle (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!), and, by so doing, generally annoyed most of the girls and all of our teachers. I don't remember many (any?) girls in our class who liked--or admitted to liking--the Stooges.
I suppose I should have been reading Tolstoy all those Hiram late afternoons. Or at least The Three Musketeers, whose story I knew only via the movies and Classics Illustrated.
But I didn't. I preferred Moe to Athos. I watched The Stooges smack one another, destroy property, behave inappropriately, and--in one of my favorite moments--drive a tractor through a picnic for no reason that I can summon from my fading memory.
Did I like them because they got away with stuff and I didn't? Because they were dumber than I? (Who knew dumb, by the way, better than Shakespeare, who used the dumb=funny equation throughout his plays?) Because they were more socially clumsy than even I, a most clumsy adolescent?
No. It was much simpler. They were funny.
And last night, in Kent, Joyce (yes, she went, though she'd never been a Stooge-o-phile) and I were surprised at how many very young children (early elementary grades) were in the audience. Oddly, almost all of them were with Dad only. And not oddly: They were all laughing themselves ill.