Paul "Mousie" Garner
Paul "Mousie" Garner
Paul Albert Garner
July 31, 1909
Washington, D.C., United States
|Died||August 8, 2004 95) (aged|
Glendale, California, USA
Paul Albert "Mousie" Garner (July 31, 1909 – August 8, 2004) was an American actor. Garner earned his nickname by assuming the role of a shy, simpering jokester. Garner was one of the last actors still doing shtick from vaudeville, and has been referred to as "The Grand Old Man Of Vaudeville."
He was born on July 31, 1909 in Washington, D.C.
In addition to big-time vaudeville, Mousie Garner appeared on Broadway and in major national touring companies; in short subjects, feature films and documentaries; on network television, cable and radio shows; and in nightclubs, auditoriums and concert halls.
Mousie Garner made his stage debut as a child in 1913, singing, dancing and imitating Al Jolson in a family musical-comedy act developed by his father. While still a child, Garner entertained soldiers during World War I. By the time he was a teenager in the 1920s, he had already decided upon a career on the vaudeville stage.
Stage star Ted Healy worked with three rowdy stooges (showbiz slang for "asistants"): Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Shemp Howard (and later Curly Howard). When Howard, Fine, and Howard chose to work on their own, first in 1930 and later in 1934 as "The Three Stooges", Healy promptly replaced them with three new stooges. Mousie Garner worked alongside his cousin, Jack Wolf (father of Warner Wolf) and Richard "Dick" Hakins between 1922 and 1936.Mousie Garner continued working on stage and on screen with Dick Hakins, and either his cousin Jack Wolf or Wolf's replacement, Sammy Wolfe, in a musical comedy trio known as The Gentlemaniacs (aka: Garner, Wolf [or Wolfe] and Hakins) throughout the 1920s and '30s. The Gentlemaniacs starred in several feature films and short subjects including After the Show (1929), Swing It Professor (1937), The Hit Parade (1937), Murder With Reservations (1938) and Radio and Relatives (1940). Garner, however, did almost became one of the Three Stooges for two occasions.
According to Garner's autobiography, after Shemp Howard died suddenly in November 1955, Moe Howard and Larry Fine wanted Garner to join them in 1956, but Garner was then under contract to Spike Jones as a musical comedian with Jones's band, the City Slickers. Despite Moe Howard pleading his case to Jones personally, Jones would not release Garner; Joe Besser would eventually replaced Shemp in 1956.The claim in Garner's autobiography can not be accepted as a whole truth since a similar story can be found in Moe's autobiography, but with Joe DeRita as the protagonist instead of Garner and Harold Minsky instead of Jones. After Besser quit the act in 1958, Larry suggested Garner again as a potential replacement and he and Moe would later rehearsed with Garner. However, based on his tryout performance, Moe later remarked that Garner was "completely unacceptable" to the act. Joe DeRita would instead became the "third stooge" in October 1958. Nevertheless, in the early 1970s, DeRita, with Moe's blessing, would invite Garner and Frank Mitchell to join the "New Three Stooges" act, filling in for ailing Larry and Moe, respectively.
Serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Garner was shipped overseas and he achieved the rank of technical sergeant before completing his term. He participated in the Allied forces' North African campaign, and was injured twice on duty. He received several commendations and after recovering from his wartime injuries, Garner joined the U.S.O. to star in Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson's "Sons O' Fun", the touring version of "Hellzapoppin'". The show was staged for servicemen throughout Europe during the Allies' postwar occupation. Garner's service in the U.S.O. would continue throughout both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, as he continued to entertain the troops throughout the 1950s and '60s.
While living in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s, Garner continued to work as a comic with the U.S.O., as a touring solo and ensemble stage comedian and as a television performer.
Garner appeared on The Colgate Comedy Hour , The Jack Benny Program , Cavalcade of Stars , The Jackie Gleason Show , The NBC Comedy Hour , and Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall throughout the 1950s.
By the 1960s, Garner was a popular character actor on such television programs as Maverick , Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond , Lock Up , Surfside 6 , The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis , 77 Sunset Strip , Wendy and Me , The Munsters , Petticoat Junction , No Time For Sergeants , Mister Roberts , Honey West , Mr. Terrific , I Dream of Jeannie , Get Smart , and Julia . Throughout the 1970s, Garner continued to appear on television variety shows like The Red Skelton Show and The Bobby Vinton Show . In the 1980s, Garner continued to accept bit roles on such television programs as CHiPs , Brothers , and Emmy Award winning Amazing Stories .
In 1964, Garner appeared in the film For Those Who Think Young and also played a bit part in Last of the Red Hot Lovers in 1972. That same year, Garner appeared in the made-for-TV movie Goodnight, My Love which was followed by his appearance in Frasier, the Sensuous Lion (1973) and American Raspberry (1977). In 1980, Garner appeared in the made-for-TV movie The Dream Merchants as well as Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980). In 1981, Garner was featured in the Richard Benjamin film Saturday the 14th and would go on to play bit parts in Rhinestone (1984) and Avenging Angel (1985). Garner also played Billy Crystal's Uncle Lou in Billy Crystal: A Comic's Line (1984) and a zany cameraman in David Lee Roth's "Just a Gigolo" (1985) music video. In 1985, Garner played a bit part in the film Stoogemania . In 1988, Garner appeared with Sid Caesar, Danny Thomas and Milton Berle in the made-for-TV film Side By Side. In 1994 he appeared in the film Radioland Murders as an homage to his work with Spike Jones and His City Slickers. He also appeared as Uncle Smackers, a character in The Onion Movie , a feature film produced by David Zucker, renowned for Airplane! and the Naked Gun series, which was released in 2008.
Garner enjoyed a successful 75-year career as a comedian and show business professional.
Mousie Garner appears in several entertainment biographies including Spike Jones and His City Slickers: An Illustrated Biography, Moe Howard & The Three Stooges, The Stooge Chronicles, and The Stoogephile Trivia Book, and in 2002 he wrote the introduction to The Three Stooges: The Triumphs and Tragedies of The Most Popular Comedy Team of All Time. His autobiography, entitled Mousie Garner: Autobiography of a Vaudeville Stooge, was published in 1999. His nephew, Stephen Garner, a professional magician from Maryland, supplied most of the pictures for the book.
After suffering from kidney problems, Garner died on August 8, 2004, at Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, California, just over a week after his 95th birthday.Garner was interred with his family at the Bnai Israel Cemetery in Oxon Hill, Maryland. He was the last major celebrity associated with Ted Healy and Three Stooges to die.
|1934||Operator 13||Union Soldier||Uncredited|
|1937||Swing It, Professor||Member, The Gentlemaniacs|
|1937||The Hit Parade||Member, The Gentlemaniacs|
|1964||For Those Who Think Young||Mousie|
|1972||Last of the Red Hot Lovers||Waiter #2|
|1973||Frasier, the Sensuous Lion||Man in Bar|
|1977||American Raspberry||Nostalgic Old Person|
|1980||Cheech and Chong's Next Movie||Executive|
|1981||Saturday the 14th||The Major|
|1985||Avenging Angel||Joe Borenstein|
|1994||Radioland Murders||Double bass performer|
|2008||The Onion Movie||Uncle Smackers||(final film role)|
The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team active from 1922 until 1970, best known for their 190 short subject films by Columbia Pictures that have been regularly airing on television since 1958. Their hallmark was physical farce and slapstick. Six stooges appeared over the act's run : Moe Howard and Larry Fine were mainstays throughout the ensemble's nearly fifty-year run and the pivotal "third stooge" was played by Shemp Howard, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard again, Joe Besser and "Curly" Joe DeRita.
Lindley Armstrong Jones, known as Spike Jones, was an American musician and bandleader specializing in satirical arrangements of popular songs and classical music. Ballads receiving the Jones treatment were punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells and outlandish and comedic vocals. Jones and his band recorded under the title Spike Jones and his City Slickers from the early 1940s to the mid-1950s, and toured the United States and Canada as The Musical Depreciation Revue.
Ted Healy was an American vaudeville performer, comedian, and actor. Though he is chiefly remembered as the creator of The Three Stooges and the style of slapstick comedy that they later made famous, he had a successful stage and film career of his own, and was cited as a formative influence by several later comedy stars. His sister Marcia Healy appeared in The Sitter Downers with the Three Stooges.
Moses Harry Horwitz, known professionally as Moe Howard, was an American actor and comedian, best known as the leader of the Three Stooges, the farce comedy team who starred in motion pictures and television for four decades. That group originally started out as Ted Healy and His Stooges, an act that toured the vaudeville circuit. Moe's distinctive hairstyle came about when he was a boy and cut off his curls with a pair of scissors, producing a ragged shape approximating a bowl cut.
Louis Feinberg, known professionally as Larry Fine, was an American actor, comedian, violinist, and boxer, who is best known as a member of the comedy act the Three Stooges.
Samuel Horwitz, known professionally as Shemp Howard, was an American actor and comedian. He was called "Shemp" because "Sam" came out that way in his mother's thick Litvak accent. He is best known as the third stooge in the Three Stooges, a role he played when the act began in the early 1920s (1923–1932), while it was still associated with Ted Healy and known as "Ted Healy and his Stooges"; and again from 1946 until his death in 1955. Between his times with the Stooges, he had a successful solo career as a film comedian.
Jerome Lester Horwitz, known professionally as Curly Howard, was an American vaudevillian comedian and actor. He was best known as a member of the American farce comedy team the Three Stooges, which also featured his elder brothers Moe and Shemp Howard and actor Larry Fine. Curly Howard was generally considered the most popular and recognizable of the Stooges. He was well known for his high-pitched voice and vocal expressions, as well as his physical comedy, improvisations, and athleticism. An untrained actor, Curly borrowed the "woob woob" from "nervous" and soft-spoken comedian Hugh Herbert. Curly's unique version of "woob-woob-woob" was firmly established by the time of the Stooges' second Columbia film, Punch Drunks (1934).
Joseph Wardell, known professionally as Joe DeRita, was an American actor and comedian, who is best known for his stint as a member of The Three Stooges in the persona of "Curly-Joe."
Joe Besser was an American actor, voice actor, comedian and musician, known for his impish humor and wimpy characters. He is best known for his brief stint as a member of the Three Stooges in cinematic short subjects of 1957–59. He is also remembered for his television roles: Stinky, the bratty man-child in The Abbott and Costello Show, and Jillson, the maintenance man in The Joey Bishop Show.
Soup to Nuts is an American Pre-Code feature film written by cartoonist, sculptor, author, and inventor Rube Goldberg and directed by Benjamin Stoloff. It was the film debut of the original four members who would later, minus Ted Healy, go on to become known as The Three Stooges comic trio. Goldberg made a cameo appearance in the film as himself, opening letters in a restaurant. Several other comedians are also featured.
Have Rocket, Will Travel is a 1959 American science fiction comedy film starring The Three Stooges. By this time, the trio consisted of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and new "third Stooge" Joe DeRita. Released by Columbia Pictures, the feature was produced to capitalize on the comedy trio's late 1950s resurgence in popularity.
This is a complete list of short subjects and feature films that featured The Three Stooges released between 1930 and 1970.
Stoogemania is a 1986 film about a fan of The Three Stooges, directed by Chuck Workman, and starring Josh Mostel. The film experienced a brief theatrical release and was poorly received by critics. It has been out of print since the 1980s, and while released to VHS and Beta in 1986, it has never been released on DVD. In the United Kingdom, the film was released under the title Party Stooge.
Hello Pop! is the third of five short films starring Ted Healy and His Stooges released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on September 16, 1933. A musical-comedy film, the film also featured the Albertina Rasch Dancers and Bonnie Bonnell. The film was considered lost until a 35mm nitrate print was discovered in Australia in January 2013. Stooges Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard were billed as "Howard, Fine and Howard."
Gold Raiders is a 1951 comedy Western film starring George O'Brien and The Three Stooges. The picture was O'Brien's last starring role and the only feature film released during Shemp Howard's second tenure with the trio.
Scrambled Brains is a 1951 short subject directed by Jules White starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. It is the 132nd entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
Fred Sanborn was an American vaudeville performer, actor, and musician. He was most notable as a member of Ted Healy's comedy troupe Ted Healy and his Southern Gentlemen.
Frank Mitchell was an American film actor. He appeared in over 70 films between 1920 and 1980.
The Three Stooges is an American biographical television film about the slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges directed by James Frawley. This television film was entirely shot in Sydney, Australia. It was broadcast on ABC on April 24, 2000.
Dangerous Business is a 1946 American comedy drama film directed by D. Ross Lederman. Two young lawyers open an office together. They are hired to defend a utilities magnate who claims he has been framed. He is kidnapped by a gangster, and a battle royal ensues when the lawyers try to rescue him. The film was directed by Ross Lederman with screenplay written by Harold Jacob Smith and Harry Essex.
Paul Garner, a diminutive comic actor who appeared on the vaudeville stage, in films, on television and sometimes with some of the Three Stooges, died here on Sunday. He was 95. His death, at Verdugo Hills Hospital, was confirmed by that institution's spokeswoman, Ellen Borja.