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"Which one is Bobby?" is the first thing I remember Moe Howard saying as my friend Bill Janin and I entered his home. His wife, Helen, was closing the door behind us when it suddenly occurred to me that after five years of corresponding by mail, Moe had no idea what I looked like. My scrapbooks were filled with his pictures, but I had never thought to send him mine. "I’m Bobby," I announced while reaching to shake his hand. Just over five feet tall, Moe appeared to be sizing up my six-foot frame. "Who put you way the hell up there?" he asked. With that, Moe directed us into his living room. The day I had dreamed about for so long had finally arrived.

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My story begins in the spring of 1968. Comedian and actor Joey Bishop had a late-night talk show on ABC that competed with NBC's "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." I was only twelve years old and was usually in bed by the time the late-night talk shows came on. But one night, I remember being awakened shortly after 11 P.M. by my mother who told me that the Three Stooges were on The Joey Bishop Show. She knew how much I enjoyed the Stooges on television and how much I would want to see them. The show was also in color and we had a new color television. Besides, I had never seen the Three Stooges in color.

 

The last time I saw them was in "The Outlaws IS Coming!" in 1965 at the neighborhood movie theater. For a twelve-year-old, three years is a lifetime. ​It was a surprise to see them on a late-night talk show. That was usually reserved for celebrities who were promoting a new movie, TV show, or book. I recall being excited to see them and glad to know they were still working. It was Moe, Larry, and Curly-Joe. 

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The Stooges visit "The Joey Bishop Show" in the late 1960s.

I began corresponding with Moe Howard when I was twelve years old. One might say we were pen pals from June of 1968 until his death in May of 1975. During that seven year period, I received twenty-seven hand-written letters and collected a scrapbook full of memorabilia.

After five years of corresponding by mail, I eventually had the good fortune of meeting Moe at his home in Los Angeles in July of 1973. I have chronicled the experience on this website for other Stooge fans to enjoy. As I get older, I have come to realize what a special time that had been.

On film, Moe Howard did not appear to be the type of person who would open his heart or his home to fans. But the more I have learned about Moe over the years, especially through his book, Moe Howard & The Three Stooges, other books by his late daughter, Joan Howard Maurer, and stories from others close to him, the more I have come to realize that the Moe I met was the true Moe Howard. In person, he was serious and businesslike, but underneath, he was a giving and caring man who took his fans seriously and truly enjoyed entertaining others. I also learned that he was also very giving of his time and he could be generous with his money.

This is a revision of the website originally created in 1995 when the Internet was relatively new. I found this to be a great opportunity to share my story with other Three Stooges fans. Since then, I have heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of others who enjoyed the Stooges as much as I did. I have even gotten to know others who knew them, relatives, and other fans who Moe corresponded with as well. After all, I also enjoy listening to or reading about others who knew them. 

 

Much of the memorabilia I've collected over the years has been included such as the primitive sixty-second home movie that I shot with Moe in his backyard on Saturday, July 28, 1973. Many of the autographed photos and other items that Moe sent me over the years are also a part of the website. There are also radio interviews with Moe and Larry from 1974 recorded only months before they passed away.

 

For the true Stoogephile, I have included complete copies of two original Three Stooges scripts, "Booby Dupes" (1943) and "Micro-phonies" (1945).

As the years go by, that afternoon with Moe in July 1973 sometimes seems like a lifetime ago. But time has its rewards. For instance, certain truths about the Stooges have become clearer to me. First of all, the Three Stooges are timeless. Second, their style is unique. No individual or group has ever successfully imitated the Stooges’ brand of farcical humor. Their timing was impeccable and no one has even come close the natural comic talent of Jerry "Curly" Howard. Third, to the chagrin of many a Hollywood critic, the Three Stooges’ appeal is universal. Responding to a typically critical review of one of their more successful features, Moe Howard explained, "Nobody likes The Three Stooges but the public." He must have been right. No comedy team in film history has remained as consistently popular as The Three Stooges. 

 

 I hope you enjoy the following presentation as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Now, spread out!

 

- Bob Bernet

Table of Contents

Chapter One
Backstory

Chapter Two:

 

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Moe Howard and The 3 Stooges is the original title of Moe's autobiography which was published posthumously. The book has been republished under the title, I Stooged To Conguer, which is below.

Both are available through Amazon.com.

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