The New 3 Stooges

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The New 3 Stooges
New 3 Stooges Copyright notice.jpg
Title card
Genre Comedy
Created by Norman Maurer
Dick Brown
Directed by Edward Bernds
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Joe DeRita
Emil Sitka
Jeff Maurer
Peggy Brown
Margaret Kerry
Tiny Brauer
Paul Frees
Hal Smith
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes156 individual cartoons
ProducersNorman Maurer
Lee Orgel
Running time5 minutes
Production companiesNormandy Productions
Cambria Studios
Heritage Productions
Original network Syndicated
Original releaseOctober 1965 (1965-10) 
September 1966 (1966-09)
Preceded by The Three Stooges (1934-1959)
Followed by The Robonic Stooges (1977-1978)

The New 3 Stooges is an American animated television series that ran during the 1965-66 television season starring the Three Stooges. The show follows the trio's antics both in live-action and animated segments. The cast consisted of Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita (as Curly-Joe), with actor and close friend Emil Sitka co-starring, as well as Margaret Kerry. [1] The stories took place in varied settings, including a California beach and sailing as buccaneers on the Spanish Main. [2]


Voice cast


Forty-one live action sequences were executively produced by cartoonist Norman Maurer, Moe's son-in-law, who was their film agent at this time. Edward Bernds, who had directed the team at Columbia Pictures from 1945 to 1952 during most of the Shemp era, was also hired to write and direct the series. Emil Sitka, who had appeared in many of the Stooges comedies over the years, was slated to appear in these wraparounds as straightman to the Stooges. [3]

Cambria Studios produced 156 short Stooge cartoons under the supervision of Lee Orgel. Four cartoons were produced to correspond thematically with 40 of the live-action Stooge opening and closing sequences, so that one live-action sequence could serve as a wraparound for four different cartoons. Joe DeRita later commented that this presented something of a problem for viewers:

There were 156 cartoons and we made only 40 live-action segments. So after they ran the whole 40, they'd just start over by using these same introductions on new cartoons. This turned out to be misleading because viewers would say, 'Oh, I've seen this one before.' and they'd turn off the television. They didn't know it was a new cartoon. [3]

Most of the cartoons ended up with the trio running into the horizon after accidentally causing havoc at their current jobs and for getting into trouble. The cartoons were unusual for Cambria in that they did not use Syncro-Vox, Cambria's patented technique which used filmed footage of the voice actors' mouths over top of still frames. The pilot cartoon, "That Little Old Bomb Maker", featured a unique live-action wrap around that was not reused on other cartoons.

Some of the cartoons featured a recurring character named Badman, a jerky supervillain with a Batman get-up who is actually a 5-year-old boy that is nice and kind. The boy can only transform to Badman if he ever hears or says the word "bad", and for Badman, vice versa for "good". In the episode "Badman of the Briny", the two finally find out that they are the same person in several scenes. Another recurring character was a western outlaw named Getoutoftownbysundown Brown.

To avoid any potential licensing problems, Cambria did not use any of the past Three Stooges theme songs, including "Three Blind Mice", or "Listen to the Mockingbird", even though both had lapsed into the public domain at the time (likewise, the on-screen title used a numeral "3" to avoid infringing on any trademark Columbia Pictures might have held on the name "The Three Stooges"). Several of the musical pieces used on the show were also used for the series Bozo's Big Top .[ citation needed ]

The New 3 Stooges was not the first attempt at an animated version of the team. During the late 1950s, Norman Maurer attempted to sell Stooge Time, a live action/rotoscope animation mix half-hour series to television. In 1960, Maurer and the Stooges filmed a pilot for a half-hour series The Three Stooges Scrapbook , which featured a five-minute Stooge cartoon. The Stooges would later return to animated form for Hanna-Barbera (for whom they recorded the audio-only Yogi Bear and the Three Stooges Meet the Mad, Mad, Mad Dr. No-No just as The New 3 Stooges was ending) in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies and in the series The Robonic Stooges (the latter being produced after the death of both Moe Howard and Larry Fine).


The series proved to be a financial headache for the Stooges. In accordance with their contract, Cambria Studios' distributor was supposed to forward quarterly statements to the trio to keep them abreast of the show's profits. Norman Maurer recalled receiving only one or two statements over a five-year period, ultimately leading to a lawsuit. The judge presiding over the case knew little about the film or television industry and ruled in favor of Cambria. The Stooges appealed the decision in 1975, leading to a victory in their favor. However, it changed nothing in regard to the distributor's failure to provide the necessary profit statements to Normandy Productions, and by the time the case was decided, both Larry and Moe had died. [3]


List of live-action wraparounds and cartoons for The New 3 Stooges television series (1965-1966):

Live-action wraparounds

  • Magicians
  • Electricians (remake of They Stooge to Conga (1943))
  • Salesmen
  • Barbers
  • Prospectors
  • Sweepstakes Ticket
  • Buried Treasure
  • Sunbathers
  • Inheritance
  • Melodrama
  • Waiters
  • Athletes
  • Doctors
  • Shipmates
  • High Voltage (remake of Monkey Businessmen (1946))
  • Pilots
  • Turkey Stuffers
  • Piemakers
  • Sharpshooter


Home media

Several episodes are currently available on VHS and DVD (often in cheap "dollar packages" with the cartoons and live action sequences being in poor quality) as the majority of the series fell into the public domain.

Using the original 16mm acetates, Rhino Entertainment issued a restored version in 2002 of 28 live action segments, and 32 of the cartoons over two volumes. Each volume contains a Spanish audio option, and Volume one has a near 7 minute retrospective interview with Lee Orgel. During it, he mentions only 39 live action segments being produced which adds confusion to some claims of there being 40 or 41. Of the many DVD releases of the show, these Rhino Volumes have many reviews stating they are of the best quality available of the series. [4] In 2004, EastWest DVD released a slim case volume of episodes. In 2007 and 2008, Mill Creek Entertainment released a number of episodes as part of their Ultimate 150 Cartoon Festival, their Giant 600 Cartoon Collection and their 200 Classic Cartoons – Collector's Edition Label formats. On October 15, 2013, Image Madacy Entertainment released The New 3 Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection on DVD in Region 1 making it the first time for a complete set to be released. The five-disc set features all 156 cartoons and 39 live action sequences on four discs, with the bonus disc being an audio CD by the Stooges which combines tracks from two of their albums (one of them being their 1959, The Nonsense Songbook).

In 2022, Mill Creek Entertainment released all 156 cartoons on a DVD called The Big Box of Nyuks.[ citation needed ]


The New 3 Stooges was well received upon initial airings, despite the use of limited animation. However, the Stooges were visibly aging during this time (Moe was 68 and Larry was 63), so the team's patented slapstick routines were subdued in the live action segments. Orgel later stated that the Stooges' penchant for violence was kept to a minimum due to the concerns of parental groups. [3] [4] In addition, Larry's motor skills had become somewhat sluggish, resulting in occasional slurred dialogue. To compensate, most of the comedy being divided between Moe and Curly-Joe, with Larry only chiming in when necessary. In retrospect, this altered comedy dynamic was a throwback to the Stooges' prime years in the 1930s when Curly Howard dominated the team's films and Larry was relegated to an occasional line of dialogue. [5]

The New 3 Stooges lasted for a single season. Although animated portions of the show were last aired in syndication on WGN-TV in the Chicago area in the early 1980s and 1990s, repackaged, redubbed and distributed at the time by DIC Animation City and Jeffrey Scott Productions, [6] it is occasionally seen on Me-TV. It also aired in Japan on TV Tokyo.

The New 3 Stooges became the only regularly scheduled television series in the Stooges' history. Unlike other film shorts that aired on television like Looney Tunes , Tom and Jerry and Popeye the Sailor , the Stooges' short films never had a regularly scheduled national television program to air in, neither on network nor syndicated; the film shorts, at roughly 20 minutes apiece, were of ideal size to be run as a stand-alone television series in and of themselves. When Columbia/Screen Gems licensed the film library to television beginning in 1958, local stations aired the shorts when they saw fit, either as late-night "filler" or marathon sessions.

See also

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