Happy Birthday Larry!
Larry’s birthday is October 5th. He was born on Philadelphia in 1902. He began his career in vaudeville and his act included playing the violin. Larry met his wife Mabel while both were performing in vaudeville as Mabel performed with her sister Loretta as the Haney Sisters. They often performed at the same venues at the same time on the various vaudeville circuits. That’s Larry with Mabel and their daughter Phyllis.
That’s how he also knew Ted Healy and Moe and Shemp and eventually joined Moe and Shemp working with Ted Healy. Yes, it is true that Healy would pay him an extra $10.00 a week if he ditched the violin.
Larry was an accomplished violinist. He began playing as part of his therapy in recovering from a childhood accident from chemical burns received at his father’s jewelry store. He also was a good piano player and he would play both instruments in several Three Stooges shorts.
IN THIS CORNER KID ROTH
While it was Curly and Shemp who stepped into the boxing ring in the shorts it was Larry that actually boxed professionally under the name Kid Roth. His parents did not like the idea of him pursuing a boxing career so he quit the ring.
We always wondered how that might have turned out. Well, now we know. At least we know how it turns out in a new book from author Geoff Dale called The Fine Art Of Boxing. It is a wonderful fictional account of Larry’s boxing career. It’s a fun read, a story with humor and a tribute to Larry. Use these links to get yourself a copy. Maybe even Pick Two!
Slapstick comedy, by definition, involves, well, Slapstick! The Three Stooges were the absolute masters of this comedic art form and their work has been emulated, imitated and inspirational to generations of comedians.
Of course along the way there were the occasional ding, bump and bruise; like when Moe broke his ribs while filming but finished the scene before getting medical attention.
Larry got some lumps, too. The fountain pen pictured here actually did stick in his head. He broke a finger in their first Columbia short, Woman Haters, and was knocked unconscious during the filming of the chariot race in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules feature film.
Here is what did not happen: Larry did not suffer brain damage from all of the slapping. His face was neither callused nor numb from the slapping. When you think about it, he, along with the rest of The Boys, performed from the 1920’s to 1970 and performed laborious physical comedy with many pratfalls, slaps, bonks and pokes. However, the number of injuries sustained collectively over that period of time was remarkably few for the size of their body of work.
A SOLE SOLO
Larry played in the film Stage Mother as a solo. That was his one and only feature film appearance without any of the other members of The Three Stooges.
Speaking of a one and only performance: Larry’s daughter Phyllis and Moe’s daughter Joan only appeared in one short with the fathers: As the little girls playing hopscotch in Pop Goes The Easel.
THE FIRST OF MANY
All of The Boys had many memorable lines, like Larry’s ‘Where’s your dignity?’ and ‘I’ll do it when I’m ready’, usually followed by a slap from Moe and then Larry saying ‘I’m ready!’
Larry does have the first solo line from the Colombia shorts when in the beginning of Woman Haters he says ‘Fellas, I’ll have to quit that club I joined last week’.
Happy Birthday and thank you Larry for all the years of laughter.