The Best in Holiday 2012 Gift Finds: The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations Book

The Best in Holiday 2012 Gift Finds is an ongoing series until December that celebrates the practical to the extravagant, the unusual to the commonly needed items of everyday life.

From food, wine and spirits to beauty, clothing and even home goods and appliances, we have been trying and testing and ultimately weeding out the good stuff you should consider for giving this holiday season. Take us shopping with you.

“The Three Stooges” is an American institution that delivered the goods to us from 1934 to 1958.

Through the course of the famed group there were six Stooges, Moe, Larry, Shemp, Curley, Joe and Curley Joe. Purists will say the early Curly years were the best, others will wax poetic about Joe’s nuanced turn, and then there are the Curly Joe fans, people I cannot fathom.


Moe was the first to break into show business and the last of the surviving original group. In 1928 the brothers added Larry Fine to the act, which appeared in Broadway revues. Larry Fine (born Larry Fineburg) was an accomplished violin player and boxer was born and raised in South Philadelphia.

The Three Stooges originally were formed as a vaudeville team in 1923 by Moe Howard and brother Shemp Howard, who performed with “Ted Healy and His Stooges.”  After Shemp left the act (1930), he was replaced by his brother Curly. Shemp Howard returned in 1946 to replaced brother Curly, when Curly suffered a stroke.

Shemp’s death in 1955 brought in comedian Joe Besser as a replacement, after the use of stuntman Joe Palma to record several “Shemp” shorts after his death. Eventually Joe “Curly-Joe” DeRita (born Joseph Wardell) would replace him. Larry died in January 1975. Moe then died of cancer just a few months later.

Collectively these men turned American kids upside down with laughter with their very un-PC antics of usually greed driven plots foiled by gross ineptitude.

A true fan penned a thoughtful and visually rich retrospective of these early black and white anarchists in the book, “The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations.”


Author Jim Pauley (with a nice foreword by Leonard Maltin) explores the production details of our popular comedy team in this book, as he documents the sites of the Stooges’ most famous Columbia Pictures short films made in and around Hollywood between 1934 and 1958.

Mr. Pauley has rounded up exclusive quotes from the Three Stooges’ directors, supporting actors, and family members, this collection is a treasure trove of memorabilia for the Stooges fan and an important document in Hollywood’s cinematic history.

The photos are nothing short of brilliant, with stills from the Columbia Ranch (page 110 has my favorite of Moe, Curly and Larry with a squirrel and a duck) the Warner Brothers ranch and various Southern California locales. It’s all in this beautifully rendered and covered book and makes the best gift for any Stooges fan.


It’s so much fun to look through, especially for residents of Los Angeles, who can see what their well-worn streets looked like a few years ago. Also included are candid shots, vintage publicity stills, screen captures from films, contemporary photographs, aerial views, and maps detailing the various filming locations. These hilarious shorts are covered in detail through a wealth of archival photographs, many of which are rare and previously unpublished. The captions are rich with specifics and details.

Mr. Pauley is a recognized expert on the Three Stooges filming locations, having written articles on the subject since 2001 for the Three Stooges Journal, a publication by the Three Stooges Fan Club.

Pauley has also presented on this topic at the Hollywood Heritage Museum and the Stoogeum, a Three Stooges museum in Pennsylvania.