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The 3 Stooges... Near Broadway

by James H. Burns

 

3 stoogesThe perception persists that love of the Three Stooges is a guy thing--even though there's a wealth of lore, particularly on the internet (!), to the contrary:

Including, now, this tale!

One night, in one of the popular Broadway joints, I'm having a couple of drinks with an actress I had recently met. A lovely, musicals-type gal. And we're talking; and schmoozing; and maybe she couldn't hold her booze as well as she might have liked. Somehow, old movies came up.

And. somehow, I mention the Stooges. She tells me she LOVES the Stooges. In fact, she grew up loving them in the mid-West. Now, I figure she's just kind of fibbing, trying to get in good with me by professing she shares my affection for the brothers Howard, and Fine.

So, being a little devilish, as many of you know I can be, I say to her:

"Great.... What's the only known defense for this..."

And I start doing a, slow-motion, split-finger, eyepoke. She INSTANTLY raises her hand, sideways, to her nose.

Which, of course, IS the only known defense...

I was sort of, to say the least, semi-delighted. But, now, just to have some more fun, I said, "Well, what's the only proper response to this?"

I held out a closed fist, in front of my chest...

Now, understand, this was all taking place in one of the famous Broadway bar/restaurants. A place where on any given night, there's a multiude of folk who might wind up having a say in, or being involved with, a theatrical person's career.

And this gal was the real deal, a former Christine in one of the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tours, and the co-star of a whole bunch of Broadway, and Off-Broadway, stuff...

But she was fearless. Presented with the outstretched fist, she adeptlly, not to mention adroitly, came down with the traditonal arm-shot.

stoogesWhich just goes to prove, really, that the most rarified comedy connoisseurship, can be found anywhere. And just to prove that I'm not a total sadist, I didn't ask for her Curly impression, until we were safely out on 46th Street.

(And she was a terrific colorutura!)

James H. (Jim) Burns was a pioneer of the second wave of fantasy and science fiction movie magazines, being one of the first writers for Starlog (and several other late 1970s publications), and a contributing editor to Fantastic Films, and Steranko's Prevue. (He wrote the earliest of these articles, when he was thirteen...!) Jim was also a key figure in many of the era's North Eastern American comic book and Star Trek conventions. Burns was one of the field's first writers to cross over to such mainstream fare asGentleman's Quarterly, Esquire and American Film, while still contributing to such genre stalwarts as Cinefantastique,Starburst, Heavy Metal and Twilight Zone magazines. More recently, Jim has made several contributions to Off-Broadway, and Broadway productions, become active in radio, and written Oo-Eds, or features, for Newsday, CBS-NY.COM, The Village Voice, thesportingnews.com, and The New York Times.

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