Moe Howard memorabilia auction tallies big nyuks — er, bucks
Proving the enduring appeal of the slap-you-silly comedy style of the Three Stooges, a recent auction of items from head Stooge Moe Howard’s personal collection raked in more than $1 million.
According to the auction house, the top sales included:
• A 1944 Columbia contract with the Three Stooges, selling for $53,926. With bidding beginning at $400, it received 35 bids. The contract called for a five-week lay-off from producing short films. The document was signed by Jerry “Curly” Howard, Moe Howard and Larry Fine.
• Other Three Stooges-signed Columbia Picture contracts, selling for $44,566 and $30,458.
• A 1946 Columbia Pictures agreement signed after Curly suffered a stroke and was unable to perform, selling for $27,670. The contract allowed Shemp Howard, brother of Moe and Curly, to step in for Curly as one of the Three Stooges. Shemp eventually took over for Curly, who didn’t recover sufficiently from his stroke to perform again and died in 1952.
Sorry darling, I have to break up with you. You see, the Moe Howard archive has just gone up for auction, and I need to devote my entire free time to close examination of all eleven-hundred lots. You understand.https://t.co/g9EdO1b89B
— Jonathan Sloman (!) (@SquidyUK) June 11, 2019
Other items included movie stills and posters, vintage video and photographs of Moe and his family, handwritten poems, letters and the manuscript of Howard’s autobiography, “Moe Howard & The 3 Stooges.”
The first Stooges short film came out in 1934. Pre-Stooges, Moe and Shemp Howard performed a vaudeville show circa 1918-21 at Oakford Park, a Jeannette amusement park that operated from 1896 to 1940, and also appeared at Kennywood and the former Holiday House in Monroeville.
Moe Howard died in 1975 at age 77.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .