Those Fabulous Clowns – Marx Brothers & Three Stooges & Abbot n Costello & Laurel n Hardy


The Marx Brothers were a family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) as among the top 100 comedy films….with two of them (Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera) in the top twelve. The brothers were included in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classic Hollywood cinema….the only performers to be inducted collectively.

The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the mid–20th century….best known for their numerous Columbia short subject films that are still syndicated on television. Their hallmark was physical farce and slapstick. In films, the Stooges were commonly known by their first names of “Moe, Larry, and Curly”, or as “Moe, Larry, and Shemp” (among other lineups, depending on the particular film). There were six active stooges….five of whom performed in the shorts.  Moe and Larry were always present….at least until the final years of the ensemble’s run of more than forty years.

William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello were an American comedy duo….whose work in vaudeville and on stage, radio, film and television made them the most popular comedy team during the 1940’s and early 195’0s. Their patter routine “Who’s on First?” is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time and set the framework for many of their best-known comedy bits.

Laurel and Hardy were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. The team was composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and heavyset American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). They became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy.  The duo’s signature tune…..which is known variously as “The Cuckoo Song”, “Ku-Ku” or “The Dance of the Cuckoos”….was played over the opening credits of their films….and has become as emblematic of the duo as their bowler hats.

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