Some people recently have expressed concern that professional wrestling — that amalgamation of choreographed mayhem, soap opera and larger-than-life villains and heroes — is causing children to hurt each other while practicing “body slams,” “clotheslines” and “pile derivers” on their friends and siblings.
The criticism toward wrestling is the exact same things they said about my television heroes, “The Three Stooges,” back in another century. The Stooges — Larry, Curly and Moe — were criticized as Neanderthals who taught children how to hit each other in the head with hammers, do eye pokes, pull out hair and generally hurt each other.
As one who watched the Stooges for many years, I have managed to grow up to be a contributing member of society (Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk) without once starting a pie fight at a high-class social event. (All right, maybe I did it once, but it needed to be done.)
I have to say I have had no ill effect from watching those three maniacs (Whoop, whoop, whoop). Rather than warp me, the Three Stooges taught me many valuable lessons about life, most of which I still live by today. And I’d like to take this opportunity to share them with you — you knuckleheads.
Stooges Rules of Life
1. The Three Stooges showed me that even if you fight with your friends, they are still your friends.
2. Moe taught me there is always someone out there who wants to belt you in the head if they don’t get their way.
3. Curly proved that timing is everything, especially if you are trying to avoid an eye gouge.
4. Larry demonstrated that even grown-ups have bad hair days.
5. The Stooges proved you can make a living at anything, even being silly, if you are good at it.
6. Curly taught me to never mess with people who slap their own head when they get mad.
7. From the Stooges, we learned that some people can take even the most innocent situations and turn them into a pie fight.
8. And the boys taught us to never hire wallpaper hangers who advertise themselves as “The Three Stooges.”
9. I also learned from the Stooges never to mention “Niagara Falls” to Schemp Howard.
10. Moe proved to be an excellent example that the “brains” of the outfit aren’t always as smart as they think.
11. Larry, Curly and Moe demonstrated that some people just attract trouble.
12. And rude manners are contagious.
13. I discovered from Curly that when things look down, a simple “Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk” can brighten my day.
14. And who among us didn’t learn from watching the Stooges that even the most serious and pompous occasions can have their funny moments.
15. The Stooges taught us kids that we shouldn’t emulate everything adults do.
16. I learned that “knucklehead” can be an affectionate term.
17. I also learned there is no defense against a closed-fist, windmill head bonk.
18. And I’ve discovered that the “Curly Shuffle” gets harder to do the older you get.
19. Finally, the most important thing I learned about life from these guys is that no matter how tough things are, the Three Stooges never solved their problems with guns.
— Myron Kukla