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    Description

    Moe Howard's Handwritten Signed Description of "Our Regular Vaudeville Act," Recounting Early Theatrical Shows (1953). Moe Howard's handwritten description of "Our Regular Vaudeville Act," signed multiple times throughout, recounting the early theatrical shows of Howard, Fine, and Howard from the late 1920s. Howard writes the three page document for "Matt," in either late 1952 or early 1953, asking him for help in replacing the underlined gags, because "we have been using them for quite a number of years. We are to open at the Sahara - Las Vegas - 2 weeks starting Feb 10, 1953." He closes the manuscript by sending New Years greetings to Matt and "Gert," likely Matt's wife.

    Composed on three pages of two sheets measuring 8.5" x 11" of stationery from The Spastic Children's Guild, one of Howards' favorite charities. Folds, else near fine, with bold, legible handwriting.

    Transcript of manuscript follows. Note that Moe uses the word "(bus)" as short for "business", to indicate comedic action.

    Our Regular Vaudeville act (1)

    open in High Hats + Tails - Singing Song - We went to Yale!
    at finish of which we make quick change into stooge outfits and
    comb hair down -
    Shemp + Larry sing a double talk lyric - In the middle of
    which Shemp hollers - Hey Hey - Moe smashes cigar in Shemps face,
    (which he had in his mouth from the start)
    (Moe) yells off stage 'Hey Eddie shut that alley door everythings
    walking in here', -- (Shemp + Larry continue to sing) - Moe speaks talking
    to Larry) - Hey you with the Tony Home permanent - (Larry comes over) 'you
    talking to me? -- (Moe) you'll do - Who are you guys? (Larry) - we're
    technocrats - (Moe) what dyah mean technocrats - (Larry) we technocrat from
    nobody (bus.[iness]) (Moe) where are you lads from? (Shemp + Larry) - We're from the
    South, Hallalujah, Amen, Peace on you brother - Moe) Are you guys
    really from the south? (Larry) - yeah man Hallalujah (Larry to Shemp) - Show
    that man those Dixie Cups - (Moe) Wait a minute, Did you boys ever
    Hear of Abraham Lincoln (Shemp) Glad to meet you stranger (they put hands
    out for handshake) (Moe slaps him) (Moe) What do you guys do? (Shemp)
    Comedy, singing, dancing, songwriting, park your car, get you a couple of
    broads! (Moe) oh sort of versatile hey (Shemp) no that's my natural
    smell (bus)(Moe) And you're also song writers? (Shemp) yeah, here's a little
    song we whipped up this morning (hand Moe song) (Moe) Whipped it up, looks
    like you beat the hell out of it. (Shemp takes music away turns to piano player
    asks for a keynote, which he gets - He sings a lousy notes with the words - 'I
    Have' - (Moe) Boy I'll say you have' - whats the matter with the vocal chord
    (Shemp) I've got a frog in my throat (Moe) The Frog sings better than you do.
    (Shemp) (to piano player) Give me another chord (he gets it) (Larry + Shemp sing)
    'I have a girl named Nellie' (Moe joins them) (In the middle of song Larry belches)
    (Shemp)(To Larry) you must have taken that Serutan sideways (Moe taking song
    from Shemp) I'll show you hoe to sing this number (Larry) Do you know the
    Lyrics (Shemp) And the rythme (Moe) No I'll sing my own arrangement on
    this (Moe sings) Last night Nellie wore a brand new dress (Pointing down saying)
    Basso, Basso (Larry taking music) youre singing it wrong you old - - - basso,
    (Larry sings) Last night Nellie wore a brand new dress (singing the word dress very high)
    (Moe) I'd like to hear that last note again (Larry sings the high dress note again)
    (Moe punches Larrys cheek and says) I just wanted to make sure (Pansylike) (Larry
    Kisses Moe on cheek) (Shemp) Hey do you two guys go steady (smack) (Moe takes
    music back and sings) Last night Nellie wore a brand new - - (Moe Grabs Larrys mouth
    to keep him from singing the note on dress - so Shemp steals the note singing an off key
    low note)(Moe to Shemp) Hey onion head do you gargle with dutch cleanser?
    You know your voice reminds me of a statue in Egypt (Shemp) you mean sphynx
    (Moe) Thats close enough (Moe looking at Larry) You know son you look like

    (2)
    the reason for twin beds - - Whats your racket? (Larry) Racket? (Moe) How do
    you earn money to buy that nylon shopping bag you're wearing - what are
    you a [?], or an F.B.I. man (Larry) No I'm a tailor - you know I
    can make you a beautiful suit with 2 pr of pants, a belt in the back and
    hand stiching for four hundred and eighty five dollars (Moe) $485.00 - youre
    no tailor - youre a robber (Larry) Thats me Robber Tailor (smack) (Moe to Shemp)
    You know I've seen a better looking pair under a bed -- whats your
    vocation-(Shemp) The last 2 weeks in August (Moe) what are you going
    to do on your vocation? (Shemp) Im going fishing (Moe) Have you got
    worms (Shemp) Yeh but I'm going anyhow (Moe to Shemp) now look I
    mean what do you do to earn a salary (Shemp) oh I manufacture
    parts out of wood (Moe) with zippers? (Shemp) No with swinging doors!
    (Moe to Larry) Hey rag map! (Pointing to Shemp) Is that that your brother (Larry)
    No my brother's living (Moe confidentially to Larry) whats wrong with that guy
    (Larry) He's nuts - he thinks he's a chicken (Moe) Well why don't you put
    him in an institution (Larry) We can't we need the eggs! (smack)
    (Moe looking at Shemp says) You know you look like the sporting type
    (Shemp) I am the sporting type (bus) (Moe) Do you like Baseball (Shemp)
    Im nuts about baseball (Moe) Well are you a Yankee rooter (Shemp)
    No I'm an Athaletic supporter (bus) - - - - (referring to song) Now - where was
    I (Shemp) In Nellies Dress (bus) By the way - whats the Title of this hunk of
    junk you handed me (Larry) I took my Girl to Miami now I'm going
    Tampa with her. (Moe continues song) Last night Nellie wore a brand new dress
    It was really very thin, Nellie asked me how I liked it so I answered
    with a grin - wait 'til the sun shines Nellie (Moe tears up sheet and hits Shemp
    with it) (Larry) we have another song - - (Moe) no more songs boys,
    we shall now dash into the dra ama (Larry) Dash into the what-a (Moe)
    I said we shall dash into the dra ama (ala English) eh what old boy (Larry to Shemp)
    Get a load of this high class junk with the spitoon haircut - (to Shemp) give him
    some high words (Shemp) Balloon, Elevator, Pent House (bus) (Moe) alright
    we'll do the drama - a sequel to 'Grapes of wrath' - called Mad raisins
    (to Shemp handing him paper) take this part (Shemp bus) not me (bus) (Moe) Hey are
    you suffering from clean underwear? - - - Pick out two fingers (Shemp does)
    (Moe pokes him in eye with the two he picks out) (Larry laughs + pantomimes)
    (Moe to Larry) Take this part (Larry) I'll take it when I'm ready (Moe menacing)
    are you ready (Larry taking paper) Yeh I'm ready (Moe) Gladys Gladys (music)
    What not here she has discovered me -- she promised to meet me at the
    old bridge at 10 o'clock - its now half past eight and he's not here
    yet (To Shemp) Hey what does your watch say (Shemp) It don't say anything
    you have to look at it. (bus) (Moe) How the wind blows. (Larry makes
    sound of wind and gets a slap in the puss)

    (3)
    (Moe) with Gladys as my wife and those
    papers in my possession I can laugh
    at the world (Shemp makes a phony cackle
    like laugh)(Moe) If you want to lay an egg get over in
    the corner. (Shemp) How can a big guy like me lay an
    egg? (Larry) There's a big basket over there (Moe) you guys
    are nuts, you belong in an insane asylum (Larry) You're
    alright -- can you stand a mental test (Moe) From you?
    I should hope so (Larry) okay -- What would happen if
    I cut off one of your ears (Moe) I wouldn't hear so
    well (Larry) okay - and what would happen if I
    cut off both your ears (Shemp butts in) He wouldn't see so
    well (Moe to Shemp) What do you mean I wouldn't see
    so well (Shemp) Your hat would slip down over you
    eyes (bus) (Moe) Now for the old English (music mysterious)
    (Bus.)(Moe to Shemp) Pay me the $50,000 or I'll forclose the mortgage
    you rat (slap) (Larry pulls Shemp aside and says) I will not
    pay you the money (and pushes him right back in front of Moe)
    (This is repeated twice more with business and shemp
    finally says) For God Sakes pay him the money (music,
    Swanee River and phony dance to finish)

    Matt
    Like to have you replace those gags that I have
    underlined. If you think they should be
    replaced - I feel that some of them should if not all!
    Most of them are good gags but we have been using
    them for quite a number of years. We are to open at
    the Sahara - Las Vegas - 2 weeks starting Feb 10. 1953
    with an option for 2 weeks $5500.00 if only 2 weeks and
    if option picked up the second two weeks at $4500.00
    send gags on as quickly as possible and return this copy of
    act as its the only one I have.
    Helen Loves me in love + best wishes for the New-Year to both
    Gert + yourself. Sincerely, Moe.

    [written on side] Will send copy of Maharajah scene in the next day or two for repairs.

    From the Moe Howard estate.

    COA from Heritage Auctions.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    8th-9th Saturday-Sunday
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