Bob, Little Jim, Bluebottle, And The Three Stooges

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Bob Solomon enjoyed humor, a good laugh. He was not a teller and collector of jokes or of humorous stories, as Ted Cohen and Noël Carroll are. He did not cultivate clever witticisms. Rather, his interest was in viewing life’s contingency and absurdity for the humor that can be found there, and the target of this humor was as likely to be himself or his friends as it was to be strangers. Bob also displayed philosophical courage. He once argued before an incredulous audience of philosophers that the Three Stooges are funny, and admitted unashamedly to being a life-long devotee. In the published version of that talk he observes: “few adults in their chosen professions would dare attempt a Stooges gesture at risk of being terminally dismissed, but most men carry the secret knowledge around with them, and, in a wild fit of catharsis, display a tell-tale Stooges gesture when the door closes and the boss is out of view. I only hesitate to suggest that it is one of the most basic bonds between men, and perhaps the fact that it mystifies and sometimes horrifies women is far more elemental than the mere phrase ‘a sense of humor’ could ever suggest”
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