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It's been almost 80 years since Moe, Larry, and Curly first set foot on a Columbia Pictures soundstage to film the first of the 190 two-reel shorts in which they starred for the studio. The fact that a low-brow trio of face-slapping morons still have the power to polarize audiences after all these years thrills and delights me to no end.

This is not a case of parents prohibiting their impressionable offspring from watching the shorts and potentially imitating the Stooges' aggressively antisocial behavior. Over at The Tablet, A New Read on Jewish Life, former Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman accused the goyishe kop Farrelly brothers and their Three Stooges of deracinating a Jewish classic, while Bill Donohue, the Catholic Legion of Decency's head gansa macher condemned the film for its profanatory depiction of a nun wearing a bikini.

Doesn't anybody give a nyuck about The Three Stooges?

Apparently their fans do. The film took in $17 million and second place last weekend, beating out The Cabin in the Woods and coming close to dethroning The Hunger Games.

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But The Three Stooges wasn't the only poke-fest released last Friday that attempted to cash in on the boys' enduring brand of slapstick mayhem. Robert Benjamin, executive VP and general counsel of C3 Entertainment, which produced the PG movie, is asking for what Curly might call a "cyst and decease" against Will Ryder Productions' Not The Three Stooges XXX, a porn parody that Benjamin feels infringes on the Stooge brand.

WRP contends that the video is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution as a parody. In a letter obtained by TMZ, Benjamin argues that "Such a claim of parody has no merit."

TMZ reports that Michael Fattorosi, the lawyer representing WRP, claims "the only way Benjamin could stop him is with a proper trademark." According to Fattorosi, the only Three Stooges trademark Benjamin owns is for Three Stooges bottled beer.

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Comments

Matthew Lickona April 17, 2012 @ 2:16 p.m.

I wish to salute your restraint here, Mr. Marks. While it was a metaphysical certainty that you would not be able to avoid a "poke" joke, you made no mention of, well, all the things I'm going to make no mention of.

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Scott Marks April 17, 2012 @ 3:27 p.m.

I heard the evil, guttural laughs that came out of you yesterday while running a few ideas past you. That, more than anything, convinced me to play nice.

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Colonna April 17, 2012 @ 2:16 p.m.

There is so much I could add here but won't. So here's some other Stooges stories from around the Internet:

Giant new DVD boxset of all 190 Stooges films to be released on June 5: http://tinyurl.com/79jfsue

Woman wins "Three Stooges" lottery jackpot: http://tinyurl.com/7va7e9c

A fallen NJ firefighter has a Stooge headstone: http://tinyurl.com/86odka9

Head of Razzie Awards hates the Farrelly's remake: http://tinyurl.com/83ypq5m

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Scott Marks April 17, 2012 @ 3:28 p.m.

You don't own them all by now, Jerry? Professional jealousy, I take it.

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Colonna April 17, 2012 @ 7:29 p.m.

Anyone want 2,000 used "Road" box sets with Der Bingle and Bobsy?

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Scott Marks April 17, 2012 @ 9:47 p.m.

Linda Hope will take them off your hands for pennies on the dollar.

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