Technically, There Are Six of Them
So, the first thing you need to know about The Three Stooges is that there are actually six of them! The reason they are known as The Three Stooges is that there were only three of them around at any given moment. But only two of them stayed around for the ensemble’s fifty-year run! So, who are they exactly?
The originals and mainstays throughout the five decades were the ring leader Moe (Moses Harry Horwitz) and his friend Larry Fine (Larry Feinberg). The third stooge was first played by Moe’s brother Shemp Howard (Samuel Horwitz), and then his other brother “Curly” Howard (Jerome Horwitz). Then Joe Besser stepped in and, last but not least, “Curly Joe” (Joe DeRita).