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The Three Stooges Character Test

August 22, 1999|MARY K. FEENEY | HARTFORD COURANT

Woo-woo-woo-woo!

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

Why, I oughta. . . .

You might be able to talk the Stooge talk, but do you walk the Stooge walk?

This month's edition of Men's Health delves into that question in an article titled "Which Stooge Are You?" Senior Editor Ron Geraci asked psychologists if the Three Stooges might represent some basic personality types found in men. When Geraci called them, the psychologists howled at first. But then they saw some truth in the Men's Health thesis: Men are all variations of Moe, Larry or Curly.

If you're a Moe, you're a hot-tempered guy who intimidates people with "verbal slaps and managerial eye pokes." Temperamental, bossy, paternalistic and hard-driving at work, Moes aren't any smarter than other folks but bang through life being furious at everyone, Geraci writes. But it's good to be Moe, at least in the office; many Moes end up as bosses.

If you're a Larry--the most common personality type--you are a sometimes passive-aggressive fellow who gets through life by not making waves. Larrys are nice guys, regarded as swell friends. But they wait for good things to happen to them rather than devising their own grand plans. They are, as Larry Fine once said, "victims of soicomstance." One woman interviewed for the story commented that she would date "Moe and Curly, but I'd marry Larry."

Curly is a difficult case, what's called an "oral personality," Geraci says. "They give psychiatrists a reason for being. They're in and out for all kinds of problems."

Chris Farley was a Curly. The psychologists interviewed for the article told Geraci that these guys have weight problems because they binge. "They consume, consume, consume. That goes for alcohol, sex, gambling."

Not all Curlys are fat; some are jovial guys who have a few vices and keep their lives under control. Curly Howard did not; he died overweight at 48 after a stroke.

Then there's the Shemp factor. Shemp, the big brother of Moe and Curly Howard, had an ideal Stooge personality: the lovable Moe. But despite having made some memorable Stooges shorts between 1947 and his death in 1955, Shemp was never as beloved as Curly.

So if you follow this line of psychological typecasting--and it's a shaky line, for sure--Geraci takes it one step further. "Kennedy and Nixon were Moes; Carter was a Larry," he writes. "If you crammed all the Fortune 100 CEOs into one Bennigan's, you'd have Moe Central with a wet bar."

How about Bill Clinton? He's a special case: part Moe and part Curly. "He's a man who fiercely wants to have control, but he's got some vices that he can't control."

Al Gore, Geraci said, is clearly a Larry. So's Dan Quayle. "If you had Quayle and Gore in a room, you'd have Larry Fest '99," Geraci says.

*

George W. Bush, oddly, is a Shemp. "Bush is a version of somebody else we've already seen"--his father, Geraci says. "That's the problem with being a Shemp. Shemp was really a very talented Stooge but was always thought of as a second banana to his brother Curly."

Geraci's article includes the perfect women for each Stooge "type," along with the right jobs and a quiz to find out which Stooge you are. In case you really get into this little game, there's also a handy chart that tells you the real medical consequences of those eye pokes ("corneal scratches") and head whacks with shovels or frying pans ("Head trauma. You could kill someone easily this way.")

Don't try it at home, you knuckleheads.

THE LARRY

PERSONALITY

A sometimes passive-aggressive fellow who gets through life by not making waves: "A victim of soicomstance."

THE CURLY

PERSONALITY

An "oral personality,' he has weight problems because he binges.

THE MOE

PERSONALITY

A hot-tempered guy who intimidates people with verbal slaps and managerial eye pokes.

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