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Farrellys Deserve Thanks

For ‘Three Stooges’

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Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos and Sean Hayes are Curly, Moe and Larry. Images courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.
Thanks To The Furiously Funny Minds of Bobby And Peter Farrelly, The World’s Youth Will Again Grow Up With The Three Stooges


By Brad Hamilton
Modern Times Magazine

April 11, 2012 — Like most fans of the Three Stooges, Peter and Bobby Farrelly first found a love for the former vaudevillians as boys, and never tired of seeing the slapstick antics of Moe, Larry and Curly (although Shemp was great, too.) Now, about 15 years after they first endeavored to make a Three Stooges feature film, their vision will be opening in theaters across the country Friday.

Through all of the glitz and glamor that is Hollywood, the Farrellys were able to channel their boyhood memories of three guys who got into the most hilarious of situations and how they stumbled and bumbled their way out of them.

“The Boston area was one of the first places that you could see the Three Stooges on television. It was the 1960s and the Stooges had sort of been out of it for a while and they were brought back by channel 38 in Boston which we got down in Rhode Island which is a mere 45 minutes away,” Farrelly said in a YouTube video to Three Stooges fans last month. “Pretty much every kid in my neighborhood would run home from school in the winter, when it was freezing out, and we would watch The Three Stooges from 3:30 to 4:30. We fell in love with those guys. They were, to us, and are to us, the all-time funny guys.”

Even after they made some of the funniest movies of the modern era (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary), it was no easy task for them to create a full length feature-film based on the Three Stooges. Casting snafus, studio bankruptcies and producers who didn’t believe a modern audience would get it, acted as roadblocks for the project. It seemed that 90 percent of comedic actors in Hollywood were attached to the project at one point or another, including Johnny Knoxville, Sean Penn, Jim Carrey and many others.

But through it all, Bobby and Peter Farrelly stayed on course so that the “sacrilege” of the Three Stooges disappearing from the national lexicon could be stopped — at least for another 70 years or so, hopefully. The film opens Friday, April 13.

“We did it because we love the Three Stooges, that’s it. LOVE the Three Stooges. We felt like they were going away. Kids see the Three Stooges less and less on TV now. There were a lot of kids that I asked who don’t know who the Three Stooges are. That’s sacrilege, to me. The three funniest men in my lifetime are gone and kids don’t know who they are today. So that is why we made the movie — because we love the guys,” Farrelly said.

Even though big names like Penn and Carrey eventually dropped out for a variety of reasons, the footage shown in previews show that the Farrellys, along with Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Will Sasso as Curly and Sean Hayes as Larry, have made a fitting homage to the originals — gags and laughs galore.

For years, Three Stooges fans have been forced to struggle through the numerous docu-dramas that have plagued television screens for more than two decades. No one need worry about that happening in this incarnation, however, as this film is just three segments of 25 minutes or so that are tied together in the loosest of fashions, it is said.

“The reason we wrote all new material is because we knew there was no way we could compete with the original Stooges and to just try to duplicate what they did would be a disaster and a losing battle,” Farrelly said.

Basically, it is Hayes, Sasso and Diamantopoulos channeling the spirit of the original Stooges and the Farrellys playing the role of Jules White and Del Lord, who directed dozens of the original shorts for Columbia in the 1930s and 1940s.

“We tried to make something that we feel that they would be proud of, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished and I hope you like it too because it did come from a place of love, if nothing else. And I hope that hardcore Stooge fans out there give this movie a chance because I think they are going to find that the actors, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso and Sean Hayes really pulled it off.”

Hayes, Sasso and Diamantopoulos are not alone in this pursuit, though, as many other famous faces — and a couple hot bodies — serve supporting roles. The nuns who run the orphanage where the Three Stooges grew up include Jane Lynch of Glee fame as Mother Superior, Jennifer Hudson as Sister Rosemary and supermodel Kate Upton — who was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue — are sure to bring a chorus of laughs and in Upton’s case, raise blood pressure. Another nun is the very male (we assume) Larry David as Sister Mary-Mengele.

The voluptuous Sofia Vergara is another foil for the Three Stooges, who almost always became even more obnoxious anytime they ever saw a beautiful woman. Much of the same is promised, here.

While the supporting cast is great, without some credible actors as the Three Stooges, the project would have failed. But again, early snippets show Sasso as a credible Curly, Diamantopoulos as a very able Moe and Hayes as an uncanny Larry.

Hayes had the hardest of the jobs, simply because Larry Fine had a unique accent and a unique way of speaking. Sasso must have practiced Curly his whole life Moe, well, he’s more of the straight man. Regardless, though, imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, it is said.

“We tried to make something that we feel that they would be proud of, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished,” Farrelly said. “And I hope that hardcore Stooge fans out there give this movie a chance because I think they are going to find that the actors, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso and Sean Hayes really pulled it off.”

To be fair, the Farrelly’s also deserve some thanks. Although thanking a Hollywood millionaire for making a movie is a bit of demagoguery, bringing the Three Stooges back into relevance can only be met with gratitude from the Stooge nation.

The pioneering vision of the Three Stooges allowed the Farrellys to do some of their earlier works and guys like Spike Jonze to make Jackass and inspired a million belly laughs.

Everyone can use a little ‘nyuk, ‘nyuk, ‘nyuk and thanks to the Farellys, the Stooges are back to deliver them.

Brad Hamilton lives in Tempe, Ariz.
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