For everyone who read Friday’s post about driving Moe Howard and wanted to hear more, here’s more.
I wish it had been more memorable. I wish he had poked me the eyes while driving or threatened to “murderize” me. But he just acted…. Normal. He sprinkled in a few Yiddish words in the conversation. I have no memory of him ever saying “farklempt” in any of his films.
A couple of fleeting impressions that stayed with me:
I picked him up at an old duplex around Olympic and La Cienaga (if you have any idea where that is). It was a modest, primarily Jewish neighborhood in mid-town. He was living with his daughter. Or maybe he was just visiting his daughter but I definitely didn’t pick him up at a house. I was a little surprised. If anyone deserved to live in a giant Beverly Hills mansion it was a Stooge.
I also remember that he didn’t complain about being chauffeured in a three-year-old economy car. This was not the case with Zsa Zsa Gabor. “You’ve got to be kidding, darling!” was I believe what she said.
The only two things I can recall from our actual en route conversation:
1) Television made them more popular than they ever had been. When their shorts starting airing on TV in the late 50s they became a national sensation. That never happened during their heyday. Probably because the bulk of their work was in ten-minute shorts and not full-length features but they never received the acclaim and respect that say Abbott & Costello and the Marx Brothers enjoyed. I got the feeling he really relished the long-overdue appreciation.
2) Curly was a real ladies man. And he was always my favorite Stooge before!
Last thing I remember. His hair was grey by then and he wore it combed back. But just before he was to go on camera he combed it forward and there was that familiar bowl-cut.
It was nice to read all of your comments and see that others who have met him also found him to be lovely and gracious. I got the sense he really cherished the love he got back from the young fans of my generation and that thrilled me because for all the joy and laughter he brought us, it was the least we could do.