Moe Howard memorabilia auction tallies big nyuks — er, bucks |

Moe Howard memorabilia auction tallies big nyuks — er, bucks

Shirley McMarlin
Ed Widdis/AP
An auction of memorabilia belonging to the late Moe Howard of the Three Stooges drew more than $1.2 million in sales. Here, the Three Stooges (from left) Joe “Curly Joe” DeRita, Moe Howard and Larry Fine, are shown in a scene from their 1959 movie, “Have Rocket, Will Travel.”

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.

The June 24-28 online auction, by Nate D. Sanders Auctions, resulted in the sale of more than 1,100 pieces for a total of $1,218,180.

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.

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 .

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