The Three Stooges have always been in the American mainstream and their 80+ year history of popularity attests to their staying power and to the very high recognition they enjoy. Throughout their careers, with their film work and as live performers, The Three Stooges were always visible. The legacy continues with their body of work still available to view, and their images used by the media, advertisers and throughout the entertainment industry.
The Three Stooges also have a history with the United States military; a history that is much more than just portraying soldiers or sailors in their shorts. Given their ages, they were a little too young for service in World War I and a little too old for World War II.
That didn’t stop the Boys from serving, however. Larry, Moe and Curly performed and toured with USO shows throughout World War II. They went wherever and whenever they were asked and brought their unique talents and the respite of laughter to our men and women serving in uniform in all branches of the service.
Curly Joe DeRita also toured extensively with the USO during WW II, performing throughout the South Pacific and appearing with Bing Crosby in England and France.
Besides the USO shows, the Boys were involved in some of the most successful War Bond drives throughout World War II. They were big draws and these efforts on the home front helped raise millions for the war effort. So The Three Stooges, as with most of the entertainers of the day, did their bit, some in uniform, like Clark Gable, and some as civilians, like The Three Stooges, providing needed entertainment and boosts to morale for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.
This habit of helping and giving didn’t stop with World War II. Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp, Joe Besser and Joe DeRita continued to give throughout their career, as they could always be counted on for an appearance for charity, good causes and visits to hospitals, especially for children. The Boys would make appearances as The Three Stooges and appearances, unannounced and unpublicized, by themselves wherever they went and whenever they were needed.
So here’s a salute to Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp, Joe and Curly Joe for all the years of laughter and all the years of sharing, caring and patriotism.
To all our men and women in uniform, wherever you are serving, we hope you are home soon safely.
For more information the USO, which continues to provide much-needed services to our men and women in uniform, please visit their website at www.uso.com.