Jeannette event will feature Stooges stuff
By Marjorie Wertz
FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Fans of Moe, Larry, Curley and Shemp can get an overload of belly laughs during "A Night with the Stooges" sponsored by the Jeannette Area Historical Society. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the upstairs banquet area of Pitzer's Townhouse.
The festivities will include Stooges history, displays and movies.
"I always remember asking my dad if we were related to Moe and Shemp Howard, but we weren't," said John Howard, president of the historical society. "Their real last name was Horwitz."
A popular rumor that The Three Stooges had performed at the old Oakford Park in Jeannette continues to this day. However, Howard said he obtained proof that the appearance of Moe and Shemp Howard at the popular park was prior to the existence of The Three Stooges.
"I was able to obtain a 1921 newspaper advertisement for the Oakford Park Theater that listed the players of the Marguerite Bryant Players and one of them was Harry Howard, who was Moe," Howard said. "I also received a photograph recently that was taken at the park with several of the vaudeville players on it. When I blew up the photo on my computer, I saw Shemp Howard's face."
Richard Sanner, of Jeannette, corresponded with Moe Howard in the early 1970s. The letters Sanner received from Howard provided more proof that he and Shemp Howard had lived in Jeannette in the early 1920s.
"I had been very curious about The Three Stooges and wrote a letter to Columbia Pictures when I was 16 years old. They gave me Moe's address. I dashed off a letter to him and the first letter I got back from him was two pages long," Sanner said. "Every time I wrote a letter to him, he wrote back."
In the first letter, Moe Howard asked Sanner to say hello to Jack and Mabel Kinsey, of Jeannette, who became good friends with the star when he and Shemp Howard were doing their vaudeville show at Oakford Park. The brothers lived above the old Jeannette Post Office in 1919 and 1920, before the show moved on to another town.
Sanner's correspondence with the slap-happy Stooge continued for three years. Moe Howard died in 1975.
The original Moe Howard letters and some autographed photographs will be on display at the "A Night with the Stooges" event.
A donation of $5 is requested with proceeds to benefit the Jeannette Area Historical Society. Food and beverages will be available at cost from Pitzer's Townhouse.