Shemp Howard Was Born 124 Years Ago Today!

Samuel Horwitz and I share the same birthday! The man known to millions as Shemp Howard of The Three Stooges was born March 11,1895. He was called "Shemp" because when his mother tried to say "Sam" in her thick Lithuanian accent it came out, "Shemp." His brother Moe Howard was the first to hit the stage, but Shemp followed quickly, along with their friends Ted Healy and Larry Fine. After a contract dispute, Shemp left to pursue movie work and was immediately replaced by his younger brother Jerry Howard, better known as "Curly."

The Three Stooges became famous for their short films for Columbia, but when Curly fell ill, Shemp replaced him knowing that Moe and Larry would be out of work if he refused. He rejoined the Stooges at first on only a temporary basis until Curly recovered, but as Curly's condition worsened it became apparent that Shemp's association with the Stooges would be permanent. Shemp went on to appear with Moe and Larry in 73 Stooge's films.

On November 22, 1955, Shemp went to a boxing match with a couple of friends. While returning home in a taxicab that evening, he died of a sudden massive heart attack, at the age of 60. He was leaning back and lighting a cigar after telling a joke, when he suddenly slumped over on his friend's lap, who thought he was playing a joke since he was laughing just moments before, but Shemp was gone. At least he left this mortal coil laughing! Here's some of Shemp's finer Three Stooges moments...

Chuck Nowlin

Chuck Nowlin

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