Tag Archive: Three Stooges

Slowly I Turned…

(Submitted by reader Anna B)

Last night, Thursday night, I was talking to my friend at work and the subject of “Slowly I Turned” came up.  This being the routine seen on I Love Lucy by most of us as kids where the man remembers “Martha” and flashes back to when he attacks her while pretending to come after Lucy.  She was going to use the routine in an act at the Club.

He asked me where that routine came from.  Neither of us knew. So I looked it up online.  It was originally a Vaudeville routine where a man recounts how he murdered his wife and when retelling it he flashes back and relives the attack and ends up attacking the guy he’s recounting the story to.  This was news to us both, not having seen this anywhere but on I Love Lucy.

Wikipedia says the routine was done by The Three Stooges, but neither of us had seen it, ever.  We are both in our 40’s.

This morning, now early Friday morning (we work graveyard shift) we turn on the Three Stooges, and that very same routine was being played.  We watched them doing “Slowly I Turned” for the first time in both of our lives.  What’s even stranger is when he first turned on the TV and only saw them doing a random Vaudeville show, he said, “hey, it’s The Three Stooges doing Vaudeville…” I responded with a mimic of the routine we talked about the night before by saying “Martha!” And that very second the very same routine began, moments after I began to mock it. We were flabbergasted at the coincidence.

If you’re not familiar with the routine, a key word makes the man retelling the story go crazy and attack.  For Lucy, she used the man’s wife’s name as the trigger, namely Martha.  But the originally routine used “Niagara Falls” and this Three Stooges show did that original skit.

It was an extraordinary coincidence considering how many I have. This show was recorded in the late 1930s, and Lucy in the ’50s.  The sheer number of episodes and chances of coming upon a Three Stooges show (which we NEVER watch) with the routine we had just looked up and mocked was downright breathtaking!

[EDITOR: While it took us a while to post this story, this was actually submitted to us in the SAME WEEK as our last Three Stooges story. The Odds Must Be… something…]

I have a Three Stooges collectors’ plate that I see every day; the boys are preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey. You either love’em or hate’em — I think they were hilarious, but I think it’s comparatively rare to see their images or references to them.

Yesterday was a 3 Stooges 3-bagger. First, in the morning — I noticed in the Puzzler crossword puzzle I was working from the LA Times, the clue for the three letter word down is: Slapper in shorts, MOE.

Then, later in the day, my partner and I have been slowly Spring cleaning a spare room, and I noticed in a stack of posters a black & white poster of Larry, Moe and Curly in football uniforms, Larry holding a football on Curly’s head, and Moe about to kick the ball.

Finally, last night on MythBusters, during an episode about pain endurance, when the experiment was having redheaded people put their right hand in a fishbowl full of icewater, I could barely believe my eyes when a very brief clip of the Three Stooges slapping each other around was included in the “pain.” Nya ah ah!