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A Farrelly Brother On The Three Stooges

The Farrelly brothers bring back the Three Stooges.  We’re talking with director Peter Farrelly.

Scene from the new film "The Three Stooges." (Twentieth Century Fox)

Scene from the new film "The Three Stooges." (Twentieth Century Fox)

When it comes to The Three Stooges, you love them or hate them – or, if you’re young enough – have no idea who they are.

Well, stand back.  Out of the mists of time, Mo, Larry and Curly are back on the big screen. Three non-stop knuckleheads slapping and punching and eye-gouging each other into a perpetual 10-year-old’s frenzy.

And the Farrelly brothers have brought them back.  The guys who brought you “Dumb and Dumber” and “Something about Mary.”  Before you run, they’ve got Larry David as a nun.  Sofia Vergara in a sweat.

This hour, On Point:  Peter Farrelly on The Three Stooges.

-Tom Ashbrook


Peter Farrelly, director and producer — with his brother Bobby — of the new film “The Three Stooges,” as well as many others including “Dumb and Dumber,” and “There’s Something About Mary.”

Dennis Lim, writes about film and culture for various publications including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The new “Three Stooges” movie, opening Friday, brings the knuckleheaded stalwarts of American comedy back to the big screen and into the present day. Given that the film could just as well be called “Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest,” it also brings its directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, full circle, back to the vaudeville anarchy and blunt slapstick antics of their expulsive debut.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer “Mistaken for the new studio bosses, the Three Stooges give Hollywood the full ‘nyuk, nyuk, nyuk’ treatment in their 1936 comedy short ‘Movie Maniacs.’ After their slapstick brand of lunacy reduces a film set to mayhem, Moe indignantly announces to Larry and Curly, ‘Our genius ain’t appreciated around here. Let’s scram.’”

Detroit Free Press “While promoting the new “Three Stooges” film over the weekend (it’s due in theaters April 13), directing brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly said they plan to start shooting a sequel to their 1994 hit “Dumb and Dumber” in September.”

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  • C.P.

    This ‘movie’ looks really lame, even by Hollywood standards. 

    You’d have to be a real knucklehead to waste your time and money watching this turkey.

  • Anonymous

    Never thought much of it was funny the first time around. Meh.

  • Anonymous

    I defy you to watch the Stooges do their Niagara Falls routine without laughing.


    • Chris B

       Was it originally the Stooges or Abbott and Costello?  They both did it.

  • Patrik

    I got a few chuckles out of the black/white films but it was a humor for another time and place and should be archived not redone.  I just don’t see it fitting into the more intellectual humor of today, even the slapstick comedies of today are more ‘thinking’ comedy.

    • Anonymous

      I dunno, some old humor still seems relevant.

      • Patrik

        Oh no doubt, but it just seems to me with that some of that humor was humor of the day more than humor for the ages. 

  • Chris B

    Another testament to the complete creative bankruptcy of Hollywood.  “Hey,this thing worked – let’s do it again.”  Don’t forget to throw in some potty humor.  Phooey

  • Hidan


    Can’t wait to see the movie, If anyone is interested in watch the old ones you can go to Hulu and watch most of them. or crackle.com



  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    This is sounding like Jim Carrey’s attempt to make a feature-length film out of the minimalist classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  Inserting a plot into this kind of comedy may fall flat.

  • Steve Shannahan

    As someone who grew up in the same neighborhood as the Farrellys (North Cumberland, RI) and coincidentally has the same name as one of their previous movie characters and loves the Three Stooges, I have to admit that I was a bit concerned with how this movie would turn out. This is not because I didn’t think the brothers could pull it off but because the original actors were so iconic that I wasn’t sure anyone else could play the roles. After hearing some of the clips here today, I feel a lot better about it. I’ll try to see it this weekend.

    Steve Shannahan
    Albion, RI

  • Terry Tree Tree

    IF even ONE child, or ‘adult’ dis-regards, or misses your “Don’t try this at home.” disclaimer, HOW will you feel about the damage?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      There’s no protecting idiots from themselves.

    • Steve Shannahan

       You’re being facetious, right?…No, really?

  • Patrik

    Stop-Action? lol

  • TrudyS

    I was the rare girl growing up who LOVED the 3 Stooges.  My parents were deaf.  I think one reason I enjoyed the Stooges so much was that those TV shorts were the only shows we could watch together and enjoy. No interpretation required.  We lived in San Francisco for a few years in the mid-60s and I vividly recall my dad taking me to a theatre in the round to see the 3 Stooges live!  If only Curly had been there.  Even now, New Year’s Eve must include a few episodes of the Stooges to ring in the New Year.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Humorless people need to lighten up.

    • Anonymous

      As if not liking Stoogesx3 equates to being humorless.

  • Rex

    Does this move start in Rhode Island just like many of the  Farrelly Brothers films?

    Also, Dumb & Dumber is one of my favorite movies. It stands up there with Raising Arizona as one of the smartest comedies ever written.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a guy and I never liked the Three Stooges.  I thought the show was simply not funny.  Puns and physical comedy just never appealed to me.  And, I hate to say it, I felt like the show was a humans acting like chimpanzees.

    • Rex

      And that was a big appeal of the show.
      I like it when chimpanzees are moving their mouths with human voice overs.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never liked them.  Someone on another NPR show was claiming that their wordplay was considered witty and that it just didn’t age well so they are more known now for the physical comedy which supposedly ages better but as the Marx Brothers are still funny today I don’t think that is true.

    • Anonymous

      Rocky and Bullwinkle was a lot funnier.

  • Shemp Howard Roarke

    You can’t match, much less improve on Curly…and as for the plot, “The Blues brothers” did “The Blues Brothers” about as well as could be expected.

  • Brett

    The original curly was the only Stooge to have genuine, original comedic timing, and that waned considerably as he aged, unfortunately. His life story had many tragic elements, as did the others’ lives….that would make a good story. As much as I don’t care for Hollywood biopics, I think that treatment would have been a better vehicle to revive these characters.  

    Curly was actually a ladies’ man who supposedly had an impressive main of bright red hair. He also supposedly hated having to shave his head and play the fool all the time. 

  • Janet

    No gender gap for me. Bookish young girl that I was, I loved the 3 stooges. The “violence” wasn’t news to me; it was all over my house. And my 3 brothers. I’ve always wondered why I liked it so much, and I’m thinking maybe it was because, as your guest states, LOVING violence–something that was new to me. 
    Janet in Brighton

  • Kevin

    Simply put, idiots are hilarious. If you don’t like the stooges you can’t like George Costanza or Harry and Lloyd.

    • Anonymous

      Not true.  George Costanza is great.  If he were just an idiot, he wouldn’t be funny.

      • Brett

        There’s a little George Costanza in all of us…

  • Brett

    In a way, they served to take such words as ‘moron,’ ‘idiot,’ and ‘imbecile’ out of medical use, which is good. But, then, they also did a lot to put those words in the everyday lexicon.  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Idiot and moron are actually ancient Greek.  An idiot was someone who was incapable of participating in the publich sphere–something like our present-day politicians.

  • Scott B, NY

    As a kid in the 1970′s, my folks would drop of us off on  Saturdays at my grandmother and great-aunt’s house. They had cable (13 channels not just 3, woohoo!) so my sister and I would watch the Stooge’s a lot.  My grandmother and aunt would come into the room to watch now and then and have a laugh. I remember my aunt saying that the Stooges were very underrated, even back then. This woman wasn’t known in our family for her sense of humor, and was an ambulance driver in WWI, so when she said that I remember thinking there must be something to the Stooges beyond the slapstick.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    It’s not the remaking that’s a problem.  The Cohen brothers did an excellent job with “True Grit.”  It’s bad remakes that neither add something to the original nor even reach the original’s quality that we find objectionable.

    • Patrik


  • Rowan

    I grew up watching the stooges with 6 brothers and sisters and don’t remember any of us, or our friends being hit over the head with hammers or acting out any sort of harmful violence on one another. Better the stooges than Grand Theft Auto!!

  • Mazie

    What’s the message by naming the nun Sister Mengele?

  • Jean in Atlanta, GA

    I can’t WAIT to see this! I was born in 1952 and with my younger twin brothers to the Saturday matinee at the Stamm Theater in Antioch, CA – we never missed one! I think the movies cost 5 cents then and we would walk 3 miles to the theater and laugh hysterically! I am female and although the Stooges were guys, I thought they were just hilarious. I am also a huge fan of Buster Keaton (the greatest ever) and these are two very different kinds of movie humor but both great. Looking forward to seeing; just hearing the clips of the sound effects on the radio right now brings back great times. 

  • Lindab4343

    i can not understand how poking, hitting, and all the other personal attacks and violence displayed between the three stooges in any way represents “humanity”.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I think  you need to get out more. A lot of humans love the Three Stooges.

    • Alan

      You do not understand because you have probably never enjoyed, or even lived for that matter.  But before you can do either, you first have to love.  Whether or not you have , I do not know.  But if you haven’t, try it, you actually might like it.  Then you can enjoy.

  • L armond

    From Rhode Island,  moved to Charleston, SC. in the 50′s. Lived on sharp, fresh gravel road.  All bicyclists could use the lasso.  When asked where I was from, I said R. I.  I was lassoed down and pierced by gravel from two directions…  I saw skill, I became a ‘different’ Islander, real quick.  Would have been easier to have been ‘shot’ with caps, but no such luck.  Twas an education.

  • Charles

    I introduced my sons to the stooges at the same time when they were 4 and 6. It was a Sunday morning and we woke my wife who was sleeping.  She appeared grim faced at the stairs because she thought they were too young. I was in deep trouble until she realized both boys were convulsed with laughter.  She couldn’t help but smile and I was out of the doghouse.

  • Kurt

    As the only person in Uber-PC Chestnut Hill theater laughing at the fake-disabled character trying to pick up his keys, I Love Farrelly Brothers humor.
    Now, as you/we analyze the Stooges, I can’t help but feel that We are the ones being analyzed, as if in a Stooges movie, by somebody watching OUR movie. Is there somebody standing over my shoulder? I will “slowly turn” with my kids today.

  • Dsheldon

    I watched the Stooges with my dad, and MayberryRFD and loved them. I think if everyone watched Mayberry, the world would be a better place. I don’t EVER remember “potty humor” in either one and I think that’s to it’s credit.

    • Anonymous

      Shakespeare had potty humor.  The quality of the joke matters not the subject. 

  • Maggy

    I love the stooges. My dad enjoyed them my mom couldn’t stand the woowoo guys. I wish my dad was alive to see this as I’m hoping the movie is true to the show. It’s not the violence I enjoyed, it was their goofy attempts to do what they were totally unqualified to do …. Like surgery, cooking, plumbing, caring for a baby.  Loved niagra falls and the pie episodes. By the way, I am Female. Stereotypes are silly.

  • robert conery

    NO i do not like the three stooges—perhaps the firemen didnt get a broken nose as a result of my son (age 5 ),  diddt yet know that the punching and hitting were just fake—I was working days at the time and had never seen the three stooges–at the time it seemed like a small fortune to get me patched-up–and yes it is a physically  outragious show of humor

  • Jean in Atlanta, GA

    Oh my goodness, you listeners/readers who are talking about “violence”….  This was silly fun from a long time ago when I was young (1950s), and it was all about being silly, slapstick, having fun while loving each other. I totally understand the issues in these days about bullies, but this is not what this is about. Let’s not lose all the fun in life…. Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe (and Shemp) were all about having fun, making jokes, laughing.  This kind of humour (and the vaudeville people who preceded the Three Stooges) is a part of American history, and must be taken in the context of the times. I appreciate the fact that the film-maker has stressed making this film to reflect the sensibilities of the times…. the silliness….. and not trying to make a movie with “special effects” or with actual violence.

    My brothers and I (born in 1952 and 1953) never had any illusions that we should go around bopping people on the head with anything; we just saw the silliness. And now that I have an adopted daughter who is 13 yrs old, she is not running around bopping people on the head after seeing this movie.

    It is all about a funny and silly sense of humor — just making fun in life.


  • iyar

    i find it outrageously anti-semitic because the Stooges were quintessential yiddish speaking  Jews not Catholics. who wrote the screenplay Mel Gibson?

  • iyar

    or are the Farrellys from Moronika?

  • NrthOfTheBorder


  • Slipstream

    I agree with Dennis Lim that the Stooges were not really comedy at its best – pretty lowbrow humor.  And weren’t they pretty much a ripoff of the Marx Brothers, only more loud and goofy? 

    However, I do like the Farrellys and I would like to see how they do this.  And in defense of Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp, I will say that in my grammar school days they were a cultural constant – everybody knew the show and there were numerous references and acting-outs and all that.  The shows were usually on TV in the after school hours.  I wonder: who has that role for kids today? 

  • Slipstream

    I would also like to mention that I am not a fan of the remake trend in general.   It seems that a lot of producers are looking for safe ways to bring home some bacon, by redoing old television that lots of people know and can be relied on to sell some tickets, rather than trying something new and creative.  Sure, you could argue that it is not the same if it is done by different people, in a different era, et cetera, but it is still an attempt to piggyback on a proven hit.

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