The Three (and a half) Stooges

If playing the tuba doesn’t already make me a colossal nerd, how about still loving The Three Stooges at my ever-advancing age?

Scott Irvine with his portrait by Mendelson Joe and Three Stooges book
And, yes, that’s my portrait from the late 1980s done by the late-great Mendelson Joe. (Everyone thinks it’s George Harrison.)

I actually saw The Three Stooges at the Canadian National Exhibition in the summer of ‘62.  We had all grown up with Larry, Moe, and Curly (later Shemp) on TV in reruns of the shorts they did back in the 1930s and 40s, but come 1962, Curly had passed on ten years previously, (no doubt a victim of soikemstance) and Shemp had died a couple of years after that, so Curly Joe DeRita was the new third stooge.
So, after sitting through a bunch of boring, “Mom, when’s this going to end” circus-type acts, they finally came out in an old jalopy and spent about 15 minutes telling us not to try to do all of the really cool stuff that they did on TV.

Nice. Not what I wanted to hear!

And ain’t the internet grand?!? I found the actual programme and a photo of them in the old car as well. It’s nice to know that my memory is pretty accurate on this. (However, I have no recollection of the Great Wallendas being there. That’s pretty cool, but — I mean — why would I?)

Larry and Moe seem into it, but Curly Joe seems to have other things on his mind. Looks like he may have dropped a Tiny Tom donut. (Only people who have attended the CNE [and hung out at the Food Building] will get that joke.). And I wonder if that driver is one of the clowns or an IATSE guy in costume. (Yeah I know, there’s an obvious joke there, but I’m not going down that road.)

But what has any of this got to do with the tuba you may ask. Well, check this out. I think it’s still pretty funny after 60+ years!

And finally

RUSH (yes, THAT Rush) has featured ‘The Three Stooges’ theme as an intro to open their concerts on various tours.

Here’s what Geddy Lee had to say about it in an 1987 interview:

Rush has always featured visual elements and sometimes even elaborately staged jokes as part of their live performance. The “Hold Your Fire” shows open with a re-recorded version of the Three Stooges theme.

“It’s not the original theme because they won’t let you use that,” Lee explained. “So I hired my friend, violinist Ben Mink, who’s a musician extraordinaire and a very big Three Stooges fan, and we had him recreate the original version. The three hellos you hear at the beginning are the three of us talking to him on the phone.”

And, of course, the tuba playing on the track was done by yours truly.

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