Many of you already know that my grandfather was Moe Howard of The Three Stooges. But did you know that Moe wrote his autobiography at the end of his life? It was first published in 1977 under the title Moe Howard & the 3 Stooges. But that wasn't Moe's title, it was chosen by the publisher. Moe wanted his book to be titled I Stooged to Conquer, a takeoff on She Stoops to Conquer, a comedy by Irish author Oliver Goldsmith that was first performed in London in 1773.
Well, Moe's dream has finally come true. Chicago Review Press just reprinted a brand new edition of my grandfather's book under his preferred title. My mom, Joan Howard Maurer, wrote a new foreword for the book. And I restored the over 200 classic Stooges and family photographs you’ll find between the covers.
Here's the back cover blurb:
Head Stooge Moe Howard's career stretched from the age of eleven, when, in his first film role, he played a bully in an orphanage, to the age of seventy-seven, when he died while finishing this book. In I Stooged to Conquer, he tells the intimate story of the man who made some of the zaniest flicks of all time.
Born into a working-class family from Brooklyn, Moe transformed his real-life experiences of getting into mischief with his brother Shemp into the plots that would have millions rolling in the aisles. From childhood, Moe's sole ambition was to perform—whether it was joining the Annette Kellerman Diving Girls, plucking a ukulele on the beach, or playing a half-wit on a Mississippi showboat. But he only found success when he joined with Shemp and Larry Fine to play, as the New York Times put it, "three of the frowziest numskulls ever assembled."
As the brains behind the Three Stooges, he went on to act in over two hundred of their movies, introducing his little brother Curly into the act when Shemp departed, and, after Curly's death, partnering again with Shemp, and then with Joe Besser and finally Joe DeRita.
I Stooged to Conquer (originally published as Moe Howard & the 3 Stooges) is Moe Howard's self-penned, no-holds-barred story of the ups and downs of his life, ranging from personal family tragedies to career mishaps and triumphs. It overflows with the easygoing charm, generosity, and inspired lunacy of the "wise guy" behind American's most successful comedy trio.
It's a great read. If you liked the Stooges you'll love the book. It's available at Amazon here.
P.S. My mom isn’t a fan of the photo on the book's cover because it's not the warm-hearted father she loved. Personally, I think it shows the handsome and intelligent side of my grandfather, just like the picture below. Only that's not Moe. It's me as I appeared in a Verizon SuperPages commercial playing my granddad. I think I captured his looks and intelligence pretty well. You could say I "Conquered the Stooge".
©Jeffrey Scott, All Rights Reserved