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Stooge Searching

In its storied history, Harvard Law School has produced presidents, senators, knights, CEOs, professors, attorneys general, and Supreme Court justices. But only now can the institution say that it has accomplished everything.

It has produced the world’s foremost authority on the Three Stooges.

Robert Kurson may not have made a mark on the world of law, but rest assured he has made an indelible mark, not unlike the one left when Moe put Curly’s hand in a vise. Indeed, the Stooges gave him his first insight that a career in law was not meant to be.

“When I got to law school, there were certain times in lectures that my mind would start drifting and I would make lists, like of the businesses the Stooges owned,” said Kurson.

Those lists amassed to volumes and those volumes spawned two books, The Official Three Stooges Encyclopedia and The Official Three Stooges Cookbook. He has garnered nationwide publicity for his efforts, largely, he believes, because of his status as a Harvard Law School graduate with an unlikely specialty.

In researching the books, he watched each episode, frame by frame (or, as fellow Stooge aficionados might say, step by step, inch by inch). He renewed his love for “the pokes in the eyes and the flying pies,” nurtured by Saturday mornings watching the show with his dad, and cultivated through adulthood by a love for the language and timing of the comic geniuses. Kurson loves them all but, if forced to choose, says his favorite Stooge is Curly, whom he calls the greatest entertainer of the 20th century.

Beyond the sheer thrill of watching their antics, Kurson said the Stooges have taught him something important—and not just knowing when to duck if a pie is thrown at you. They taught him to do what you enjoy, even if the pie should smack you in the face.

“No matter what I did professionally, I had to feel that time was flying by, which it did when I made those lists,” he said. “As goofy as the topic is, there was a lesson there and I listened to it.“

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