SHEMP HOWARD 2016 fine art print / edition of 25 / $260.00
Over the years I've drawn Shemp Howard many times—for the cover of my first comics anthology, for various books, magazines, and prints, and (for some inexplicable reason) for the cover of the defunct sex rag SCREW. I'm often asked: "Why do you love Shemp so much?" Let me clarify my feelings.

I'm a lifelong Three Stooges fan. I've always adored them, and they still make me laugh. I love each of them, even the two Joes—Besser, and the much maligned DeRita. The latter fit the bill, at least physically, when he was recruited to join the aging Moe and Larry late in the game. No one could compare to Curly or Shemp as the "third Stooge"—those were impossibly big and funny shoes to fill. But Curly Joe did his own thing, with subtle gestures that were easy to miss if you weren't watching closely.

I adore Moe. No comic actor has been angrier (with little or no provocation) and funnier at the same time. I'm fascinated by Larry, the thinking man's Stooge, the (usually) innocent Stooge in the middle, the audience's surrogate (as my friend Eddie Gorodetsky pointed out). Curly was beyond funny, not even identifiably human, almost from another planet he was so brilliant as a comedian.

Then there's Moe and Curly's older brother Shemp (born Samuel Horwitz, in 1895). Shemp is the Stooge with whom I was most intrigued. He looked real—maybe the drunken guy you'd see at large family gatherings (weddings, Seders, and Bar Mitzvahs). Always drinking, dancing, flirting, carrying on a bit too much. While the other Stooges looked like professional comedians—broad caricatures of human archetypes—Shemp was accessible, a regular guy you might see working in a crummy restaurant, a crummy shoe store, or a crummy cigar store. He did have a comedian's face, but with his black, greasy, parted hair, and short, stocky build, he came across like a crazy New York neighborhood guy who'd wandered onto the movie set.

I love drawing Shemp's face. He's been called "The ugliest man in Hollywood" (a title he enjoyed). True, perhaps, but he was dapper, and I've always seen and championed the beauty in ugliness. There's no face I enjoy capturing more than Shemp's, in its hysterical, wild-eyed, pockmarked glory.

And there's the name "Shemp." It's a beautiful, unique name/word/sound/croak that fits and becomes him, and only him. My wife Kathy and I have no children, but if we did, one of them—boy or girl—would be Shemp Friedman. There are other Moes, Larrys, Curlys, and Joes. But there's only ONE Shemp.

 — Drew Friedman
Order online with your credit card.

Choose your shipping rate and
click the PayPal button to purchase

Orders for multiple prints in any combination will be charged just the single-print flat shipping rate at checkout.
to order by personal check or MO.

  • U.S. DOMESTIC via USPS Priority: $35
  • HAWAII & ALASKA via USPS Priority mail: $40
  • CANADA via USPS Priority Mail International: $60
  • INTERNATIONAL via USPS Priority Mail International: $75
Only twenty-five (25) prints of SHEMP HOWARD were produced for this edition. Each print is signed in the lower right, hand-titled in the center, and numbered in the lower left (all beneath the image). We have sold print numbers 1/25 thru 21/25, and are now offering number 22/25, unframed, for $260 (plus shipping and handling). Prices will increase for subsequent prints as the edition depletes.

The image area is approximately 16" high x 14" wide centered on an untrimmed 22" x 17" sheet. Paper, ink, and production specifications, as well as shipping details, are available on our PRINT SPECS page.