Shemp Howard - Rotten Tomatoes

Shemp Howard



Brooklyn-born comedian Shemp Howard was the oldest of five sons of a Lithuanian immigrant couple. Shemp was a prankish kid who used humor to obscure the fact that he lived in mortal fear of practically everything, from automobiles to oceans. It is fortunate that he chose show business as profession, since he proved time and again to be utterly incapable of succeeding in any other line of work. Following the lead of his younger brother Moe, Shemp went into vaudeville with a blackface act. In 1922, Shemp and Moe were hired as stooges for comedian Ted Healy; three years later, Larry Fine joined the act, which graduated from vaudeville to Broadway. Since Healy liked his stooges to look as ridiculous as possible, he insisted that they each adopt an eccentric hairstyle. Shemp chose to part his hair down the middle and slick it into place with vaseline, a style he'd retain for the rest of his career. Shemp struck out on his own in 1932. Throughout the '30s, he was starred or featured in dozens of Vitaphone 2-reel comedies, where his growly delivery of lines, his incessant adlibbing and his homely "kisser" never failed to elicit loud laughter. In 1940, he signed a contract with Universal pictures, appearing in such films as Hellzapoppin' (1941), Pittsburgh (1942) and Arabian Nights (1942). Shemp was invariably hilarious in these films -- too hilarious for the tastes of such comedians as W.C. Fields and Lou Costello, who insisted that many of Shemp's best bits be consigned to the cutting room floor. While headlining his own series of Columbia 2-reelers in 1946, Shemp was asked by his brother Moe and Larry Fine to rejoin their old act, which by now had gained fame as The Three Stooges. Shemp's replacement in the act, his kid brother Curly, had suffered a stroke, and a new "patsy" was required to act as the target of Moe's physical assaults. Shemp remained with the Three Stooges from 1946 thorugh 1955, appearing in two-reelers, stage presentations, TV guest spots, and one feature film (Gold Raiders [1951]). Shemp Howard died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 60; even after his death, Shemp "starred" in four Three Stooges comedies, courtesy of stock footage from earlier films and a stand-in by the name of Joe Palma.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Spooks!
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Shemp Howard: Shemp Cocktail - A Toast to the Original Stooge
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Shemp Cocktail: A Toast to the Original Stooge
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Who Done It?
  • Shemp
2003
No Score Yet Abbott and Costello in the Movies
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Stoogemania
  • Shemp
1985
No Score Yet Gold Raiders
  • Stooge (Three Stooges)
1951
No Score Yet Malice in the Palace
  • Shemp
1949
60% Africa Screams
  • Gunner
1949
No Score Yet The Three Stooges
  • Shemp
1947
No Score Yet Sing A Song Of Six Pants
  • Actor
1947
No Score Yet Blondie Knows Best
  • JIm Gray
1946
No Score Yet Cookin' Up Trouble
  • Actor
1944
No Score Yet Ghost Crazy
  • Actor
1944
No Score Yet Cookin' up Trouble
  • Actor
1944
No Score Yet Crazy House
  • Mumbo
1943
No Score Yet It Ain't Hay
  • Umbrella Sam
1943
No Score Yet Pittsburgh
  • Shorty
1942
No Score Yet Strictly in the Groove
  • Pops
1942
No Score Yet Who Done It?
  • Goof
1942
No Score Yet The Strange Case of Doctor Rx
  • Actor
1942
No Score Yet Arabian Nights
  • Sinbad
1942
No Score Yet Private Buckaroo
  • Sgt. `Muggsy' Shavel
1942
No Score Yet San Antonio Rose
  • Benny the Bounce
1941
No Score Yet In the Navy
  • Dizzy
1941
No Score Yet The Flame of New Orleans
  • Waiter
1941
No Score Yet Road Show
  • Moe Parker
1941
No Score Yet Buck Privates
  • Chef
1941
No Score Yet Hellzapoppin'
  • Louie
1941
100% Hold That Ghost
  • Soda Jerk
1941
No Score Yet The Invisible Woman
  • Frankie
1940
No Score Yet Murder over New York
  • Fakir
1940
100% The Bank Dick
  • Joe Guelpe
1940
81% Another Thin Man
  • Wacky
1939
No Score Yet Hollywood Round-up
  • Oscar
1937
No Score Yet Convention Girl
  • Dan
1935
No Score Yet Shemp Howard V. 1
  • Actor
1935
No Score Yet Shemp Howard V. 2
  • Actor
1933
No Score Yet Soup to Nuts
  • Fireman
1930
No Score Yet Soup to Nuts - Three Stooges
  • Actor
1930

Quotes from Shemp Howard's Characters