This site got its start as my personal home page on a GeoCities member site way back in 1993. I had immediately decided that it had to be about the Stooges. Looking around on what the Internet had, back then, I realized that no one seemed to have more than a bare-bones list of episodes, often little more than a list of titles from the 190 Columbia shorts, so I decided to cover their "filmography."
In 1994, I moved my web site over to a Tripod member site, as Tripod was offering more space than GeoCities, and it was easy to set up multiple accounts at the time. The site had quickly grown, as I had created a separate html page for each episode - with supporting information pages the site was well over 500 individual pages. I used different member sites for various sections of the "site."
The site started attracting traffic, and everything went along pretty smoothly, until the day before Thanksgiving in 1996, when I suddenly received a "cease and desist" letter from the attorneys for Comedy III Productions, the copyright holders of the Stooges' characters and images. They insisted that I shut down my fan site, so I did, but I put up an online petition asking for it to come back.
The following spring I suddenly got a phone call one evening from one of the attorneys in California. He explained why they had sent me the "cease and desist" (I had unintentionally violated Joan Maurer's copyrights by quoting too extensively from her book in the episode descriptions.) After a long and friendly discussion, he asked me if I'd like to reopen the site on a non-profit basis, complete with a license from Comedy III, on condition that I gather my own information. Naturally, I jumped at the chance.
By that time my brother was working for a local Internet Service Provider, and we discovered that the domain name ThreeStooges.net was available, so we immediately registered it. The ISP allotted him web space, as an employee, and they were willing to let us set it up as ThreeStooge.net, and, after some extensive editing to remove all unauthorized copyrighted material, ThreeStooges.net was launched in the summer of 1997.
In 2000 I started learning out to write Active Server Pages (ASP) in the vbscript scripting language, and I saw the obvious advantages of building a database-driven web site. ThreeStooges.net became my testing grounds, as I learned new techniques, and I added the first Message Board to the site in October, 2000.
The site has undergone many transformations over the last eight years, many of which have been captured by The Internet Wayback Machine
. (Unfortunately, a lot of them are missing images.) On January 25th, 2002, I converted over to a completely different Message Board system, and any members who are listed as registering on that date were actually members of the original forum.
The site had become a hodge-podge of ASP pages that weren't interacting well, and the databases had become large and very unstable, so I shut down the site in August, 2004. On October 22, 2004 (Curly's birthday,) I relaunched the site, completely re-written in the PHP scripting language, and using MySQL databases. The combination has proven to be very stable, and I have been busy lately expanding the functionality of the site, and the information it contains. I also switched over to a brand new Message Board system - Simple Machines Forum (SMF) - which is what actually inspired me to learn a new scripting language in the first place. (Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?)
My intention for this site has always been to make it into the ultimate online resource for Three Stooges fans, and it's my way of saying "Thanks!" to the Stooges for giving me a lifetime of laughter at their antics. With the help of those members who have been invited into the Team Stooge Project, we are rapidly achieving that goal.
By the way, WallpapersCentral.com
is my brother's personal website, with thousands of wallpapers to choose from. Please feel free to visit it!
- Rob Davidson (a.k.a., Dunrobin)