I was talking about The Three Stooges on Audible Althouse #19, last night, tracking the blog post of mine about that Stanford study and, as is the Audible Althouse way, digressing:
When I was a kid, there was a real tomgirl in the neighborhood who just loved The Three Stooges, loved them so much -- really thought Moe was funny. Most of the girls just thought Curly was kind of sweet and liked Curly a lot but found Moe really a little too frightening, a little too disturbing. And Larry was just ... uh ... Larry was ... kinda ugly.This prompted Steve Donahue, in the comments here, to defend Larry Fine:
Larry is indisputably the funniest of the Stooges. Much like the Zippo you defend, Larry is reliable and funny in an understated way. If you ever get a chance to watch another Stooges Short, do nothing but watch Larry. His reactions to the physical comedy are excellent; it's easy to forget when you watch him that they're not really smacking the hell out of each other.I respond to Steve over there in the comments:
Steve: That was a vague memory of what young girls (other than the tomgirl) thought of the 3 Stooges in the late 50s/early 60s. I think we were distracted by Moe and Curly, who called more attention to themselves. I'm willing to believe what you say about Larry is true. In fact, I'd rather completely concede it than watch the 3 Stooges. I do think guys who love the 3 Stooges and comment on the fact that women don't are failing to take adequate account of how physically ugly these men were.So, yeah, I wanted to front-page this point. Maybe if The Three Stooges were physically attractive -- at least to The Marx Brothers level -- women might be willing to watch them. The assumption is that women want more language-based humor, while men are more visual, but maybe a big part of the problem is that the humor is visual and the men are ugly.
Think about it! Which comediennes do men respond to? (Sorry for being so heteronormative here!) Who are the comediennes men don't like so much? There's a physical attraction element here!
And you know how women are always saying the number one thing they want in a man is a sense of humor? You know they aren't picturing Larry Fine coming into their lives.
UPDATE: "You know they are picturing Larry Fine" was a typo, now corrected. And believe me, it wasn't a Freudian slip. I am not longing for Larry!