• Art S.

Birthday of Jerome Horwitz aka Curly Howard, 1903

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 22, 1903

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#onthisday,1903, Jerome Horwitz, known to comedy lovers as Curly Howard, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

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The youngest of five boys, he would follow his brothers Shemp and Moe into Vaudeville and replace the former as a member of the Three Stooges.

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The Stooges were long under contract at Columbia Pictures and Curly made his first appearance in 1933, ushering in the golden age of the act.

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Remarkably agile for his size, Howard’s comedy pivoted around his physicality and his childlike instincts.

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His signature bald head was hilariously indestructible despite the beating it took from Moe. His persona combined a clever mind—he could turn almost any prop into a comedic partner—with remarkable stupidity and was the perfect complement to Moe’s bossiness and Larry’s befuddlement.

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Curly also introduced a series of expressions into the American lexicon: Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk and the high-toned “woob, woob, woob” most notably.

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His Brooklyn inflected “sointenly” for "certainly" and dog bark reply are second nature to generations of Stooges fans.

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After a decade with the team, the frantic pace of making as many as eight shorts a year, plus live performances around the country, took its toll on Howard’s health.

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Columbia mogul Harry Cohn’s slave-driving mentality didn’t help. Howard suffered his first stroke in 1946 during the filming of Half-Wits Holiday and would only appear in a couple cameo roles after that.

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He withstood strokes and paralysis over the next four years and died in January 1952 at the age of 48. But he left behind an indelible comic persona that has far outlived the Hollywood studio era.

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Text Source:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0397219/bio

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