The 23rd annual Three Stooges Film Festival, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda), will include a live comedy twist.
The jovial crowd assembled to enjoy seven hand-picked Stooges shorts will start their evening with a 15-minute live stand-up routine by Buffalo comedian Poncho Parrish, who has performed all over the United States and Canada, including the Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
The traditional organ concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer will begin at 7 p.m., followed by Parrish’s family-friendly set. Then the room will fill with “Nyuk-nyuks” as the lights dim and the unmistakable “Three Blind Mice” theme song introduces the first of the Stooges shorts.
The 20-minute shorts were filmed starting in 1934 by Larry Fine and brothers Moe Howard and Curly Howard. After Curly’s health failed in 1946, Moe and Larry worked with Shemp Howard, Joe Besser and “Curly Joe” DeRita. In the shorts, whose madcap, visual humor holds up decades later, the Stooges play everything from plumbers and cowboys to dog groomers and war orphans.
Organizer Lenny Potwora said two of the shorts that will be shown Saturday have never been shown at the festival before, but as usual, he is tight-lipped about the exact lineup.
Tickets, which cost $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under, are available in advance at Hollywood Collectibles in the McKinley Mall or at the door before the show.