The New Three Stooges was an American animated television series that ran from 1965-1966 starring the Three Stooges. The show follows the trio's antics both in live-action and animated segments. The cast consisted of "Curly Joe" DeRita, Larry Fine and Moe Howard, with actor and close friend Emil Sitka co-starring.
Forty-One live action sequences were executively produced by cartoonist Norman Maurer, Moe's son-in-law, who was their film agent at this time. Edward Bernds, who had directed The Three Stooges when they were making their ever-popular shorts from 1945-1953, was also hired to write and direct the series. Emil Sitka, who had appeared in many of the Stooges comedies over the years, was slated to appear in these wraparounds as straightman or stooge to the Stooges. The New Three Stooges cartoon series
Cambria Studios produced 156 short Stooge cartoons under the supervision of Lee Orgel. Four cartoons were produced to correspond thematically with forty of the live-action Stooge opening and closing sequences, so that one live-action sequence could serve as a wraparound for four different cartoons. (This proved to be one of the downfalls of the show, because many a viewer would turn off a show once they saw a wraparound they had seen before, assuming they're watching a rerun.) The "pilot" cartoon "That Little Old Bomb Maker" feature a unique live-action wrap around that wasn't reused on other cartoons.
Many fans dismissed The New Three Stooges as a disappointment, although still not as limited in animation as Cambria Studios' three previous Syncro-Vox series, Clutch Cargo, Space Angel, and Captain Fathom. The boys were visibly aging during this time (Moe was 68, and Larry was 63), so the slapstick was subdued in the live action segments. In an interview on Rhino Entertainment's first volume of these shows, Lee Orgel also states that the Stooges' penchant for slapstick violence was kept to a minimum due to the concerns of parental groups.
The color television series did last successfully from 1965-1966. Although the show was last aired in syndication on WGN in the mid-1990s, it has on rare occasion been seen on Boomerang and Me-TV.
Some episodes are currently available on VHS and DVD (often in cheap "dollar packages") because the majority of the series fell into the public domain.
The entire series was released in a 5-disc box set on October 15, 2013, titled The New Three Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection.