With the release of the big screen remake of “The Three Stooges” coming soon to theaters, we’re anxiously awaiting the audience reaction to this attempt at reviving the old team. Will audiences and critics be accepting of this effort? Or will it bomb out big time? Nevertheless, watching three modern actors attempt to capture the magic of the Three Stooges got us to thinking about some of our favorite comedy teams of all time and we compiled a list of five our favorites that we continue to visit time and time again in film and television.
5. Martin and Lewis
(Suggested film: Pardners)
Jerry Lewis has the unkempt geekiness that provides us with many laughs and hysterics, while Dean Martin is the classic suave straight man who puts up with his antics while adding to the comedy. For a long time these two men were the prime source for comedy partnerships, and they’re a template for the straight man and the comedy goon, both of whom get in to comical adventures with laughs that often never cease.
Our favorite entry of theirs by far has to be “Pardners,” which is a Western romp featuring the two that we re-visit constantly.
4. Monty Python
(Suggested Film: Tie between The Holy Grail and Life of Brian)
A wild combination of original, daring, bizarre, ingenious humor, Monty Python are the original daring comedy troupe who never found a comedy skit that wasn’t too off the wall to at least try. We were introduced to the team only ten years ago and ever since we’ve found just more to love about them as the years have passed. Monty Python perfected abnormal humor that folks like Tim & Eric specialize in in modern times.
They were the original cross dressers, the original musical troupe, and their comedy was often brave. Even when they’re at their weakest, they’re still so much funnier than comedians today. Whether it’s their “Flying Circus” series, or their movies, they’re filled with surprises and laughs. For a film treat, we suggest either the highly subversive “Life of Brian” or the hilarious “The Holy Grail,” both of which are comedy standards.
3. The Three Stooges
(Suggested Film: Any featuring Curly or Shemp)
Their knack for violent comedy is timeless, and they’ve bred a legion of devoted fans who continue to follow their exploits, no matter how much comedy has evolved in this day and age. Stereotypically, the Three Stooges attract a mostly male audience, but that’s okay, because the short films from the Stooges are mostly men just being goofy and childish while jumping in to all sorts of mishaps that a normal individual could tackle in under a minute.
We’re very prone to enjoying shorts from the Stooges during their Curly period, but Shemp is also a high contender for our favorite stooge as well. Like every comedy team, the stooges have their dark periods, but at their top, they’re magical on-screen. The violence is mostly improvised but genius all the same, and the gags continue working even long after the black and white period of films have ended. We love the stooges.
2. Abbott and Costello
(Suggested Film: Hold That Ghost)
Another in a line of comedy duos that we love, Abbott and Costello are a pair we’ve followed since our youth. We’ve seen most of their films, and while their best is always dabbling in the mystery genre, they’re still gold, even when ending up in the military in “Buck Privates” or on a boat in “The Naughty Nineties.” Influential to this day, the team garnered a popular television show that continues to be admired for its madcap hilarity and even served as the inspiration for one of our favorite shows of all time, “Seinfeld.”
The team also perfected the brilliant skit “Who’s on First?” which continues to be an ingenious exchange of confusion between the duo that we never tire of hearing. While “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” is an excellent piece from the team, “Hold That Ghost” has the most subtle comedic bits and one-liners, and it’s one we love to re-visit time and time again.
1. The Marx Brothers
(Suggested film: Horse Feathers)
The Marx Brothers continue to be our favorite comedy team of them all, because they’re such a masterful mix and mold of different comedy techniques that work apart and mesh together flawlessly. For a look at what makes this team so beloved, you need look no further than their earlier comedy efforts in film that manage to show what they’re capable of in full force.
Whether it’s Groucho’s quick wit, Harpo’s endless props, Chico’s mispronunciation of even the simplest English words, or Zeppo’s straight man to keep the comedy balanced and even, they’re the perfect team who keeps us roaring with laughter every single time. We’re personally more averse to Groucho’s lightning fast one-liners and comebacks, and love to see what they can do to rich yuppies in films like “Animal Crackers,” stowing away on a ship in “Monkey Business” or running amok in a college in “Horse Feathers,” the team’s comedy is timeless and impossible to duplicate.