The affectionate communicator of laughter, Larry (1902-1975) of the Three Stooges, was born Louis Feinberg on this day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An accomplished musician, he played the violin as a child and dreamed of becoming a famous entertainer.
He followed his dream in 1920, honing his craft as a vaudeville performer. Soon, Fine made history by joining brothers Moe Howard and Shmuel Howard (Shemp) to form the Three Stooges. Over time, Shemp was interchanged with Jerome Howard (Curly), Joe Besser (Joe), and Joe DeRita (Curly Joe).
Moe and Larry... and the gags... remained the same.
As the middle stooge with the wild hair, the easygoing Fine played the straight man for 40 years in over 200 theatrical shorts in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, among the funniest films ever made. Larry Fine was the glue that held the trio together.
"They were one of the first comedy teams to satirize Adolf Hitler," recalled Curly Joe's grandson Earl Benjamin in TV Guide. "He put the Stooges on his hit list. He said when he took over America, he was going to get the Stooges!"
In 1958, the trio's short features were released to television and a new generation of fans was born.
"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities," observed writer Jean Houston.
Today, those three "knucklehead" are more popular than ever, beloved throughout the world. Their slapstick comedy--the head knocking, nyuk-nyuks, eye-poking, shin-kicking, pie fights, and more--has become an integral part of our cultural consciousness, inspiring millions, across generations, to celebrate laughter... and life.
Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.