The Three Stooges said children would attack them in public

A nine-year-old thwacked them with a cane on the boardwalk.

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Pies, pokes in the eyes, knocks on the noggin, hair-pulling — The Three Stooges truly put the "slap" in slapstick comedy. It was a physical as physical humor gets. Unsurprisingly, considering the wild west days of Hollywood in which they worked, the trio suffered injuries on the set.

Perhaps most famously, while filming 3 Dumb Clucks in 1937, Curly Howard took a vicious hit to the head. In a stunt-heavy scene, henchmen toss Curly down an elevator shaft. The actor smacked into a 2" x 4", which ripped his scalp open. A studio doctor quickly stitched up the gash. According to Moe Howard's biography Moe Howard and the Three Stooges, "fresh hair" was glued over the wound and Curly was back to work.

A decade later, in 1947, Curly had stepped away, and the new threesome of Moe, Larry and Shemp were doing press for a fresh slate of two-reelers for Columbia Pictures. Journalist Erskine Johnson sat down with The Three Stooges to promote the upcoming comedies.

"Beating up each other is the Stooges' chief stock in trade. But, they never seem to get hurt," the reporter wrote. He must not have heard about the stitches.

Still, there are some interesting anecdotes about injuries sustained by The Stooges, as seen in the Statesville Daily Record on October 11, 1947.

"I got a broken nose once," Shemp admitted. Moe was quick to point out that it was an accident not from stuntwork, but rather… taking a bow during applause.

"Larry was taking a bow on the stage of the theater and his elbow came up and hit Shemp's nose," Moe explained. "Even when it started to bleed we didn't believe it — we thought it was a gag and the blood was only chocolate." Shemp's howls of pain proved it was no gag.

Even stranger was when the trio was attacked by, well, a stranger. A strange child, to be exact. The author noted this was fairly common, that children expected The Three Stooges to not only endure but welcome physical attacks in public.

The three were walking down the Atlantic City boardwalk when a starstruck nine-year-old recognized them, strolled up, and "cracked them over the head with a heavy cane." 

"If that kid had been an inch taller," Moe joked. "I would have kicked his teeth right down his throat."

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Onefootinthegrave 25 months ago
My next door neighbor hit his grandfather on the forehead with a hammer while he was sleeping on the sofa after watching The Stooges. Luckily he wasn’t hurt too badly.
UTZAAKE 37 months ago
Reminds me of the restaurant doorman dressed in a suit of armor in Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob who was either punched or slapped by every entering mobster patron.
harlow1313 38 months ago
I always empathize with the misfits and black sheep.

I would make an excellent real life Stooge. I've got the patience of Moe, the brains of Curly, and the looks of Larry. Ladies, I'm quite the catch!
harlow1313 37 months ago
😆 chicks dig nerds
heymoe3 harlow1313 37 months ago
You sound like a dream boat!!!
harlow1313 heymoe3 37 months ago
Part my hair in the middle, splash on the Ice Blue Aqua Velva, slip into my double breasted shark skin suit, and you'd better hide your daughters, hide your wives.
JHP harlow1313 35 months ago
The blues bros

"How much for the girls? - the little girls"

can you imagine today what that line would stir up?

so damm funny

musicman37 harlow1313 29 months ago
Yeah, every idiot thinks he's a catch.
heymoe3 21 months ago
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MadMadMadWorld 21 months ago
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Michael 38 months ago
But isn't this kind of a variant of the gunslinger coming to town in Westerns, and everyone wants to challenge him?

Deleted 38 months ago
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Dario 38 months ago
That was Pardon My Scotch from 1935, the one where they are carpenters who have pose as Scottish liquor distributors after the guy in the pharmacy asks the Stooges for a "pick-me up"(a term for a medicinal drink) and after drinking it says that it's Scotch. 😁
vinman63 37 months ago
I think Moe broke his ankle in self made maids

21 months ago
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15inchBlackandWhite 38 months ago
When I was a kid our local TV station that ran Stooges shorts faced protests from mothers who were afraid their kids were going to hurt each other by mimicking Stooge stunts like eye-pokes and blows with a hammer. My mom was among them. Not surprising then that they got attacked by kids who thought it was all a joke.
15inchBlackandWhite 38 months ago
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hermanstein2015 38 months ago
Such a great story, they had such a hard life. Didn't get paid for their work like they should have either. The biography is a must read!
hermanstein2015 37 months ago
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I didn't say there was a definitive one, I didn't specify which one. I've also read several but I was referring to Moe's book, "I Stooged to Conquer." He talks about that scene on the boardwalk and he also specifies that only Curly was hit in the head with the cane. I've also read the book written about Curly's life by Joan.
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