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A local Boston kids' show would appear, and the host, "Major Mudd" would talk about who his guests were and then tell the kids to watch the next cartoon show. If it was not a the new Three Stooges cartoon, I would get off the floor and quickly run into the kitchen for a bowl of sweet cereal and a large glass of Bosco chocolate milk.
When I got back into the den, I would watch the remaining cartoon episode. Finally, well into the show, the "Major" would announce that the Three Stooges were coming up next...the excitement would build!
Something about their zaniness, how grown men could act like kids, seemed very funny to me. They were different. They could not seem to get things right, and were always hitting each other and getting into trouble.
At six years old, I did not understand what slapstick comedy meant. All I knew then was that they were funny! By watching the Stooges almost daily, I got to know most of the Three Stooges scripts, and could speak their lines seconds before they did. I can still do this today, even when my wife and I watch the boys late evenings, she gets a good laugh from it.
Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan, especially my lovely wife, because our wedding included a Three Stooges theme. In fact, the wedding band we hired happily agreed to play all kinds of Three Stooges songs, including my favorite: Swinging the Alphabet. Two of the band members were fellow fans of the Stooges, and knew most of the Stooges' material, from the opening of the reception with a polka-style Three Blind Mice to the Curly Shuffle Dance. I had all the guys wear Stooges ties, and had posters and a life-size cardboard cutout of our heroes placed around the hall.
My brother and I did a short "Niagara Falls" skit late in the evening...most of the older guests had no clue what was going on, but my friends sure did, and thought it was a riot!
Before the last dance of the evening, my bride and I slipped into more casual outfits. I was planning to wear something Caribbean style, but my Caribbean shirt somehow got misplaced. Luckily, I found just the right shirt: I came back into the reception hall wearing a T-shirt graced by a larger-than-life portrait of Larry, and a pair of white shorts. The crowd cheered and laughed as we headed toward the dance floor. Some of my friends started to sing a Stooge melody: "Oh, wedding bells will start to ring ding dong ding..." as the evening came to a close. It was truly a fun-filled night with lots of laughter, humor and high spirits, complements of the Three Stooges.
Today I have a fine collection of old and new Three Stooges items displayed all over my house. My wife says "It's nice to come home to a house full of humor."
Did she mean me...or the boys...?